RICHMOND, VA — Upon the removal of Confederate monuments in Richmond today, Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker released the following statement:
"For far too long these statues have been standing as symbols of hatred and racism, a blight on our capitol city. I'm proud to see Mayor Stoney take this swift action to remove these monuments.
It is thanks to decades of work and activism on the part of the Richmond community, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, and Black leaders across Virginia that this is happening. From Portsmouth to Charlottesville to Alexandria, the movement to take down these statues has been gaining momentum for years because of their work. Senator Mamie Locke and Delegate Delores McQuinn led the charge this year to finally pass a law that allows cities to take down these monuments, and we're seeing the results of that law on the very first day it takes effect.
This is a historic day for our Commonwealth. The symbolism of these monuments being removed in what was once the capitol of the Confederacy cannot be understated. I'm looking forward to seeing other cities across Virginia remove their Confederate monuments as well.
But our work cannot stop here. This is an important symbolic step, but it must be followed up with concrete action to root out systemic racism in our Commonwealth and pass substantive legislation to create a more just and equal society. I'm looking forward to seeing that progress at the upcoming special session of the General Assembly and in next year's legislative session."