As an actual descendant of the Lee family, as someone who was weaned on the history of Robert E. Lee and sat in one of the chairs that used to grace his office, as a child who grew up going to Stratford Hall Plantation to see where my family’s first home was, I love and appreciate parts of my family’s history.
I also recognize that they made decisions and held beliefs that were totally wrong and should not be glorified nor perpetuated.
What I love and value about my family is not threatened by acknowledging this truth unless I actively love and value the subjugation and exploitation of others.
However, for people of color, the celebration of Robert E. Lee – what he stood for and what he has come to represent – IS a threat. When we white people buy into those beliefs, we hurt and we kill. We inflict pain. There is no need to glorify this. There is no need to take pride in such actions. It is time for us to own the pain we have caused and make reparations. If we have not begun already, then let us begin now.