F. T. Rea reflects on the decision to remove the statue of Harry Byrd from the grounds of Richmond’s Capitol Square. He suspects that it may portend something larger than removing a remembrance of a racist political boss.
For those who don’t remember, which, these days, is likely most of us, Harry Byrd could best be described a Virginia’s own Mayor Daley. He ruled Virginia’s politics for half a century, much as Daley dominated Chicago, and was a central figure in Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” to desegregating schools in the 1950s.
Here’s a bit:
As a Richmonder who has lived near the Lee Monument for a long time and has given the subject of public art some thought, it looks to me like the era of everyday people having what amounts to an automatic reverence for public displays of heroic sculpture — depicting a political celebrities of a given moment — may be passing as you read this.
In a subsequent post, F. T. Rea expanded on his thoughts.