(Author’s note/correction: In editing down the length of this article by the Associated Press which I drew from when I drafted this notes something I inadvertently deleted the passage with the link. Apologies for that.  I’d also like to correct a mistake. The original case by the plaintiffs went down in flames in federal court in DC. My mistake was saying below they refiled in state court, when instead the simply went to a different federal court across the Potomac River from DC and into a different federal court – in the Eastern District of Virginia. That doesn’t change a key point about the judge chastising the plaintiffs for not mentioning the DC case when they called to say “graves were being desecrated” and asking for an emergency injunction or in their brief on which yesterday’s hearing was held. Again, my mistake and thanks to the reader who pointed it out)

I’ve written about this recently and wanted to update everyone. Our premier National Cemetery has for over a century had a large blight sitting there DIS-honoring all it represents. To comply with a law passed by Congress to rename military bases named for famous Confederate TRAITORS as well as remove statues/monuments from federal ground a huge statue at Arlington National Cemetery was scheduled for removal by the end of this year.

Naturally, butt-hurt racists who’ve never gotten over LOSING the Civil War and with it their ability to literally own other human beings (not human to them however) went to court to try and stop the removal. The usual BULLSH*T about “heritage”, “part of our history” etc. was again trotted out in legal filings. And shot down just as it should be. I wrote about this due to a recent federal case which the racists lost, allowing the removal work to go forward. So the a$$holes went to state court to get an injunction. I was furious at the judge who granted a stay. But good news folks. The Associated Press reports he quickly reversed himself and the removal process is back underway. The judge did have a couple of thoughts I’ll share in a bit.

Let’s recap what’s taken place. This whole sordid mess was as I said created over a century ago. As part of a widespread effort to re-write the history of slaver and the Civil War confederates and their descendants created their “Lost Cause”/”War of Northern Aggression” b.s. Part of it included erecting statues/monuments meant to lionize the Confederacy and various Confederate traitors who led the rebel army in public spaces. Not just in former slave states either. This effort, especially the statues part really got rolling prior to the turn of the century (1900) and the idea of putting up a giant “F.U.” Union monstrosity in Arlington National Cemetery took hold.

The soooooo inappropriately named “Reconciliation Monument” is anything but. It’s massive. The marble pedestal alone is 32 feet across. The statue itself, the bronze part has a base with various depictions of things that are rather less than conciliatory.:

Some of the figures also on the statue include a Black woman depicted as “Mammy” holding what is said to be the child of a white officer, and an enslaved man following his owner to war.

I don’t know about you but to me that kind of thing gives lie to the claims the monument has anything to do with reconciliation.  The groups Defend Arlington and Save Southern Heritage Florida teamed up to file a series of motions in court to keep the monument in place, citing the whole reconciliation/heritage bullsh*t I’ve already gone into. When they last in federal court recently it looked like they’d run out of options. However, they tried to sneak in a way to stop the removal via a state judge.  In addition to the “promoting healing/reconciliation” crap the also said the removal work was damaging gravesites. “Desecrating” them. Turns out that was a bad move because the judge took himself a field trip to Arlington National Cemetery, and specifically the spot where the confederate monument sits.

Let’s just say he was less than thrilled with what he found. He noted that NO damage had been done to any surrounding graves, and that care was being taken to minimize disruption and get the job done safely and quickly. However, he didn’t stop with shooting down that aspect of the motion:

He noted that the statue depicts, among other things, a “slave running after his ‘massa’ as he walks down the road. What is reconciling about that?” asked Alston, an African American who was appointed to the bench in 2019 by then-President Donald Trump.

Judge Alston also seemed put out with the case having been brought before him after the plaintiffs had recently lost in federal court, and failing to mention it in their filing. So, a day after granting a stay on the removal work the judge lifted it and now the workers are under time pressure to meet the deadline of getting the work done by the end of the year.

One last note. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is as you might expect an opponent of removing the statue from Arlington. Since instead of, as should be the case cutting that monument up into pieces it’s being removed carefully he’s arranged for it to go to the Virginia Military Institute. VMI is an elite place that has turned out its share of top leaders from its’ ranks. It’s also got its own racist history but has struggled to try and enter modern times. Their accepting this goddamned affront of a memorial is in my view a giant setback to any progress they’ve made. In fact I’ll be contacting them to tell them so. I encourage you to do so as well.


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  1. “And shot down just as it should be. I wrote about this due to a recent federal case which the racists lost, allowing the removal work to go forward. So the a$$holes went to state court to get an injunction. I was furious at the judge who granted a stay.”

    I don’t understand how a STATE judge should be involved in a matter governing FEDERAL property.

    Okay. I did a quick search on “Judge Alston” and discovered he’s NOT a “state” judge. Alston is a FEDERAL district judge for the UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA. I thought something was wrong when you wrote that he was appointed by Trump since “state” judges in Virginia are selected by members of both houses of the Virginia General Assembly (the Governor can name a temporary replacement if the Assembly’s out of session but he only serves until the Assembly returns and votes for a full-time judge).

    I don’t know if it’s possible at this point, Denis, but you really should correct this because it’s misinformation.

    Youngkin may be morally wrong in keeping the statue and placing it at VMI but that’s his prerogative as Governor of Virginia–and, unfortunately, even if the cadets at the school or the immediate administrators of the school object to its placement there, it IS a state school and the Governor is the “commander-in-chief” of the school.

    • Done. The correction is posted, and thank you for pointing out the error. In editing down the drafts of the article (You probably know my reputation for running on too long in articles) I inadvertently deleted the part that included the link to the AP article that prompted this. I had a devil of a time finding it but when I did, sure enough it’s right there in the first paragraph. Still, in my mind it doesn’t change my opinion that the plaintiffs tried to sneak one past the judge in Virginia and from what it says in the linked article the judge seemed to feel they tried to pull a fast one on him.


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