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NAACP Threatens Lawsuit If County In Virginia Gives Statue To Pro-Confederacy Groups

The groups are also asking for the “immediate surrounding land.”

There is a statue in Mathews County, Virginia, that honors Confederate soldiers. There are calls for the statue to be removed, but there is also controversy about where the statue will go.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, the Mathews County NAACP is requesting for the statue to be removed, but pro-Confederacy groups have asked for the statue and the “immediate surrounding land” to be given to them.

The NAACP is threatening a lawsuit if the statue is handed over to the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“The County must refrain from favoring Confederate displays, which would be the obvious result of deeding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and surrounding public land to groups with a pro-Confederate view,” the NAACP stated in a letter. “Actively supporting the ongoing display of Confederate flags or other memorabilia on the Mathews Courthouse Square creates a hostile and unwelcoming environment for Black families in Mathews County and interferes with the rights of Mathews County residents.”

RELATED: Virginia Lawmakers Take New Steps Toward Getting Rid Of Holiday Dedicated To Confederate Generals

The letter continued: “The County must refrain from favoring Confederate displays, which would be the obvious result of deeding the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and surrounding public land to groups with a pro-Confederate view. Actively supporting the ongoing display of Confederate flags or other memorabilia on the Mathews Courthouse Square creates a hostile and unwelcoming environment for Black families in Mathews County and interferes with the rights of Mathews County residents.”

The Mathews County NAACP also stated promoting Confederate messages may violate the federal Constitution, the Virginia Constitution, and federal and state laws, including the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and the Fair Housing Act.

County board members, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans did not respond to a request for comment from The Virginian-Pilot.

A year ago this month, former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam removed the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. The Associated Press reported the statue, which was erected in 1890, was cut into pieces to be transferred to a secure location. Its final destination is unknown as of now.

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