Tear Down the Statues. All of Them.

A Mississippi state flag waves in front of the statue and tomb of Nathan Bedford Forrest, rebel general, slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan member.Mike Brown/Commercial Appeal via AP

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It’s about time:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) plans to announce Thursday that he will remove the towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from its site on Monument Avenue and put it into storage, according to an official in his administration. Word of the pending announcement set off jubilant roars among thousands gathered at the foot of the edifice Wednesday evening for a sixth straight day of marches protesting police brutality against African Americans. The stone base of the monument has been festooned with colorful graffiti calling for racial justice, with numerous expletives directed at police.

I’m keenly aware of the whole history behind these statues, but it’s just stunning that in the year 2020 there are still people fighting to keep them. Nobody who fought a war of rebellion in the cause of slavery deserves to be glorified. That’s it. There’s no more to the argument. Just take them down. All of them.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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