The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee — a monument at the center of the controversy that inspired a group of alt-right neo-Nazis to march in Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us” and ultimately resulted in the death of counter-protestor Heather Heyer — was vandalized over Thanksgiving weekend, according to WTVR, the local CBS affiliate.
The statue was tagged with graffiti that read “Impeach Trump” and “This is Racist” in spray paint on the base of the monument sometime on Thursday night according to local police.
The efforts to remove the statue as an offensive monument to a Confederate general who fought for the continuation of slavery in the United States was the issue that inspired the white nationalist confederate sympathizers to march on Charlottesville in a “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.
The statue was not the only Confederate monument to be defaced recently, and police suspect that the same person or group was responsible for this latest act of vandalism.
It was also not the first time that this particular statue near Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall has been defaced. Back in June, another person protested by painting “Fuck Trump” on the statue itself in white paint. It has also had slogans ranging from “Black Lives Matter” to “Freedom” to “Occupy will rise again!” sprayed on its base.
The political messages sprayed on the memorial’s base were covered with tarps to prevent anyone from seeing the words written on it and Charlottesville officials reportedly plan on beginning a clean up of the statue on Monday morning.
The act of political vandalism demonstrates that the tensions in the region over the suitability of maintaining monuments to the pro-slavery, traitorous Confederate cause has not died down since the deadly Charlottesville alt-right riot two years ago.
You can watch WTVR‘s news report on the incident in the video clip below.
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Original reporting by WTVR.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.