Residents of Iredell County, N.C., are fighting to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and they now have the support of one of his descendants.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer, the fourth great-nephew of Lee, Rev. Robert Wright “Rob” Lee IV, is joining a multiracial lawsuit to remove the statue of Lee in Statesville, N.C. In a statement, Rev. Lee said the statue was “a celebration of white supremacy and racism.”
On March 2, it appeared the Iredell Board of County Commissioners was ready to remove the statue but two weeks later reversed course. The Iredell Free News reports commission Chairman James Mallory said the earlier 4-1 vote had been misconstrued and “the commissioners had expressed only a willingness to work with the United Daughters of the Confederacy if the group decided to move the statue.”
The United Daughters of the Confederacy, which was founded 1894, erected Confederate statues all over the South. They are reportedly refusing to have the statue removed from Iredell County.
A May 4 lawsuit, filed by residents and the local chapter of the NAACP, is asking for the statue to be removed and to be banned from being relocated to any county-owned or controlled property.
Lee led the Confederate army during the Civil War from 1861 to 1865, in which Southern states seceded from the United States over upholding slavery. He surrendered along with his 28,000 troops at Appomattox, Va., in April 1865 to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.