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Confessions of a Free Speech LawyerCharlottesville and the Politics of Hate$
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Rodney A. Smolla

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749650

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749650.001.0001

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The Monuments Debate

The Monuments Debate

(p.53) 9 The Monuments Debate
Confessions of a Free Speech Lawyer

Rodney A. Smolla

Cornell University Press

This chapter recalls the approval of the resolution to create the Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials, and Public Spaces by the Charlottesville City Council on May 28, 2016. It explains that the resolution will provide the council with options for telling the full story of Charlottesville's history of race and for changing the City's narrative through public spaces. It also identifies nine persons who were appointed to the Blue Ribbon Commission, which had as its principal focus the statues Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. The chapter highlights protestors that favor the removal of the statues, arguing that modern society should not idolize an evil history. It analyzes the Blue Ribbon Commissions compromise to not remove the Lee and Jackson statues on the condition that their meaning is transformed, and their history is retold.

Keywords:   Blue Ribbon Commission, public spaces, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, modern society

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