(February 13, 2020) Earlier this week two bills advanced in the Virginia General Assembly that would permit individual localities to remove Confederate statues by the authority of the locality’s governing body. No public vote would be required.
The bill from the lower chamber would permit localities to remove the memorials by a simple majority vote of the applicable governing body. The Senate version would require a two-thirds vote. A number of communities such as Charlottesville, Alexandria, Portsmouth, and Norfolk have indicated they want to remove their memorials. Presumably, the House and Senate must hammer-out a compromise bill before the communities can act. Governor Ralph “Black Face” Northam has signaled that he will sign a bill. To save Confederate memorials one must know his enemies. Consider the following:
First, the votes in each chamber were close and strictly on Party lines. Democrats want the statues removed and Republicans want them protected. The Senate has a total of forty seats with twenty-one held by Democrats and nineteen held by Republicans. The House of Delegates has one-hundred seats with fifty-five held by Democrats and forty-five held by Republicans. Before last November’s election Republicans held a 20-to-19 majority in the Senate, with one seat vacant. They also held a 51-to-48 majority in the House, with one seat vacant.
Second, Governor “Black Face” and the General Assembly are additionally trying to pass gun control legislation, also on Party lines. Presumably the Venn Diagrams of Virginians rejecting gun control and opposing Confederate statue destruction have significant overlap. The two groups can help one another with mutual support. Presently, support might best be demonstrated by writing polite, but firm, postal (not email) letters to the voters’ Senate or House representative, as well as the Governor.
Third, Democrats gained control of both chambers last November because of a cash flood donated to selected Democrat candidates from wealthy outsiders, most notably former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and political action committees associated with him. Although Bloomberg’s chief objective is reportedly gun control, it’s also likely that he is hostile to Confederate memorials. Thus, Confederate Heritage advocates can help gun rights supporters by sending Bloomberg respectful, but firmly worded, postal letters as well.
Given his Presidential aspirations it also seems likely that Bloomberg’s donations were intended to create friends within Virginia’s Democratic Party machine. Since the state’s Presidential primary is only three weeks away, Confederate Heritage and gun rights proponents may wish to let Bloomberg know how they stand on those issues with postal letters as well.
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The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh