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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe: "Take Down These Monuments." 

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Scott Elmquist

Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Earlier today, Mayor Levar Stoney issued a statement about Richmond’s Confederate monuments. “It is my belief that, as they currently stand without explanation, the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue are a default endorsement of a shameful period in our national and city history.”

The mayor added, “I personally believe they are offensive and need to be removed,” while at the same time he urged ongoing dialogue and community participation in the decision regarding the monuments' fate. Cities and states throughout the country are debating what to do with their Confederate statues after the horrific events in Charlottesville.

Now Gov. Terry McAuliffe has weighed in. “I encourage Virginia's localities and the General Assembly — which are vested with the legal authority — to take down these monuments and relocate them to museums or more appropriate settings,” he said in a news release.

At the same time, the governor acknowledged that any decision will ultimately rest with the localities. “I hope,” McAuliffe said, “we can all now agree that these symbols are a barrier to progress, inclusion and equality in Virginia and, while the decision may not be mine to make, I believe the path forward is clear.”


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