On MLK Day, descendants of Lee, Jackson urge Va. to halt Confederate tributes
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On MLK Day, descendants of Lee, Stonewall Jackson urge Va. to halt Confederate tributes
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), (center) invited the descendants of two Confederate generals to the Capitol. Warren Christian, left, is the great-great grandson of Stonewall Jackson. The Rev. Robert W. Lee is the great-great-great-great nephew of Robert E. Lee. (Laura Vozzella)
RICHMOND — Descendants of two Confederate generals appeared in the Virginia Senate Monday to show their support for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who days earlier sat out a Republican senator’s ode to Robert E. Lee.
The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, the great-great-great-great nephew of Lee, and Warren Christian, the great-great grandson of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, oppose tributes to their confederate ancestors. They have done so publicly since 2017, when the proposed removal of General Lee’s statue in Charlottesville was the rallying cry for a white supremacist rally that turned deadly.
Fairfax (D), a descendant of slaves and only the second African American elected statewide in Virginia history, invited Lee and Christian to the Senate session on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which this year happened to fall on Stonewall Jackson’s birthday.
He and Christian were recognized in the Senate gallery but made no remarks to the body. Republicans who have sponsored Confederate tributes in recent years did not react to their appearance and were not immediately available for comment, as their floor session continued throughout the afternoon.
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