Virginia lawmakers vote for segregationist’s statue to be removed from Capitol grounds
Virginia lawmakers voted on Tuesday to remove a segregationist’s statue from state Capitol grounds.
The vote had bipartisan support in the Senate with the removal being approved in a 36-3 vote, NBC4 Washington reported.
The bill has already passed the House and is on Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) desk. Northam has already said he supports the bill.
The statue is of segregationist Harry F. Byrd Sr., a Democrat who strongly opposed public school integration while he was governor and senator of the state.
Democratic Del. Jay Jones, the chief sponsor of the bill who is running for attorney general, said after the vote: “Racism and its symbols, obvious and subtle, have no place in this new Virginia decade.”
The removal of statues has been a charged topic across the country, with many Americans calling for statues honoring those who supported segregation and slavery to be removed, while others arguing they are a part of history.
Republican Sen. Jill Vogel fought for the statue to stay up and said that Byrd did good work for the state, including his work on the road system.
“I would just ask the members of this body to look at the whole man and consider that we are each a sum of all of our parts, the good and the bad. And that Virginia has the history of good and bad,” Vogel said.
The completion of the bill will mean the statue will get moved and stored by the state Department of General Services until the General Assembly decides what to do with it.
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