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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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