Virginia GOP Apologizes for Tweeting Ralph Northam ‘Turned His Back’ on Slave-Owning Ancestors
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Virginia GOP Apologizes for Tweeting Ralph Northam ‘Turned His Back’ on Slave-Owning Ancestors

Ralph Northam family, Ralph Northam slaves, Ralph Northam Virginia Getty

Ralph Northam in 2013.

The Virginia Republican Party apologized for tweeting that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam “turned his back on his family’s heritage” after he said he was disturbed to learn that his ancestors owned slaves. Northam has also supported removing Confederate monuments and statues.

In the original Tweet, the party wrote, “@RalphNortham has turned his back on his own family’s heritage in demanding monument removal.” The second tweet read, “Shows @RalphNortham will do anything or say anything to try and be #VAGov – #Pathetic 2/2.”

Before the first tweet was deleted, Northam quickly responded. “I feel fine about turning my back on white supremacy. How does @EdWGillespie feel about the president’s position?” Northam wrote, calling out his Republican rival, Ed Gillespie.

“Our previous tweets were interpreted in a way we never intended. We apologize and reiterate our denunciation of racism in all forms,” the party tweeted.

Of course, the original tweet still exists thanks to screenshots.

Northam has called for Confederate monuments to be removed after the August 12 violence in Charlottesville, where white supremacists protested the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee statue.

In June, Northam also told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he recently learned that his ancestors on the Eastern Shore of Virginia owned slaves.

“The news that my ancestors owned slaves disturbs and saddens me, but the topic of slavery has always bothered me,” Northam told the Times-Dispatch. “My family’s complicated story is similar to Virginia’s complex history. We’re a progressive state, but we once had the largest number of slaves in the Union.”

Northam’s father, 92-year-old Wescott Northam, and late grandfather were both judges. However, all of earlier ancestors were farmers. Wescott Northam told the Times-Dispatch that he researched his family’s past and found documentation revealing that his great-grandfather owned slaves.

After the tweets, Virginia GOP Executive Director John Findlay told the Washington Post that they were referring to Northam’s family, since his great-grandfather fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy.

“When he wants to tear down monuments dedicated to those killed in action and wounded during the war, he is literally talking about a member of his own family,’ Findlay told the Post. “A substantial majority of Virginians believe these monuments are not about hate but about history, and we likelwise share that opinion.”

The Post notes that a recent MassInc. poll showed that 51 percent of Virginians still want Confederate statues to remain on public land, while 28 percent want them removed.


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4 Comments

JOHN MAYOR

Ha, ha, ha!… then what does the Virginian Republican Party say about the Great-great-great-great-nephew of Robert E. Lee, Rev. Wright Lee, who wants the Robert E. Statue (and others!) to come down? And!… what does the Virginian Republican Party’s Tweety say about Republicans’ TRUE FEELINGS re MR. PHEWTUS’ recent “BOLD AFFIRMATIONS” that White Supremacists have NO HOME in America?
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DESCENDANT OF GEN. ROBERT E. LEE SAYS IT’S TIME FOR HIS ANCESTOR’S STATUES TO COME DOWN
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“People are dying because we have been complicit in our silence or in our action” – The Rev. Robert Wright Lee, Great-great-great-great-nephew of Robert E. Lee – by Carol Kuruvilla, HuffPost (HuffingtonPost(dot)com)
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General Robert E. Lee is the man who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War, defending the desire of Southern slave owners to keep human beings in chains.
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The Rev. Robert Wright Lee, IVth, the General’s great-great-great-great-nephew, has for years struggled with the legacy attached to the name he bears. And on Saturday, he followed along in horror when images surfaced online of a white nationalist rally defending a statue of his ancestor in Charlottesville, Va.
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As white nationalists clashed with counterprotestors… and the mayhem turned deadly… Lee said he was heartbroken.
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“It broke my heart to see a symbol of my family being used to allow such hate,” Lee told HuffPost. “All in the name of what my relative stood for.”
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The General, Lee, was a slave owner and Army Officer who married into a wealthy Virginia family and went on to become the General In Chief of the Confederate Army. After the war, he became a symbol of “The Lost Cause,” a revisionist narrative that reimagines the Civil War as a fight for constitutional ideals, instead of a fight about slavery.
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In the 1920s, as new Jim Crow laws came into effect, monuments and memorials to Lee began appearing in the South. The Charlottesville statue was erected in 1924, according to The Associated Press.
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The white nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville on Saturday were there to protest the City’s decision to remove Lee’s statue from a local City park. Tensions between the white nationalists and their opponents flared into a physical brawl, which prompted law enforcement to sweep in and clear the area.
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After the rally was broken up, a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters walking down a nearby street. Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old local resident, was killed in the crash, while at least 19 were injured.
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Robert Wright Lee, IV, is a Minister from North Carolina, and a descendant of General Robert E. Lee.
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Lee, who serves North Carolina’s Bethany United Church of Christ, was preparing to officiate at a wedding on Saturday, when he learned about what had happened in Charlottesville.
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While emphasizing that he doesn’t speak for all of the General’s descendants, the Minister said that he believed it was time for statues of his ancestor to come down.
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“These statues have morphed into a symbol of racism, a symbol of bigotry, a symbol of the alt-right, a symbol of white nationalist movements,” he said. “That is not okay, and that can never be celebrated or honored in any way… whether you believe you should honor legacy or ancestors, or not.”
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Lee already had a sermon ready to deliver at Broad Street United Methodist Church, where he had volunteered to be a visiting Preacher on Sunday. But he decided to switch gears to address the tragedy… challenging the Church to speak up in the face of racism, and bigotry.
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“It was not safe to be black or a person of color in Charlottesville yesterday. So I have to ask you, what were you doing yesterday? God, who calls us not to silence, but to redemption, was watching… and if you didn’t see the oppression… if it somehow missed you on social media, or the nightly news, you only have yourself to blame,” Lee said during the speech (according to a transcript of the sermon he posted, to his blog).
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“If you are silent at a moment like this, if you do not condemn the racism you see through whatever channels and avenues you have, you can leave Church now… because you’re doing Church wrong,” he said.
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It wasn’t the kind of sermon the Congregation hears often, Lee said. But it was important for White Christians to acknowledge the ways in which they may be complicit with perpetuating racism.
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“When we don’t acknowledge that white bodies matter more than black bodies in America right now, it’s a gross mishandling of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “People are dying because we have been complicit in our silence or in our action.”
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To conclude… to me, The Rev. Robert Wright Lee, will be henceforth known as, The Rev. RIGHT Lee!… and, for whom, a RIGHTFUL STATUE, may someday be built! Martin Luther King would be proud!… as I’m sure, Caryn E. Johnson, Chelsea Handler, Joy Behar and many other Americans, are today!
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Please!… no emails!… Jesus is Lord!
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P.S.: Well… it appears that the Robert E. Lee Statue– in particular!– is out the door! And!… in the light of the fact that it was created many years after the fact of the life and times of REL, is an indication that its creation, and its placement, was by way of forces that were more sinister, than not! And begs the question:… “Was the KKK behind the push to fashion and install the statue of General Robert E. Lee?” And!… if it is shown that this to be recycled metal was the “brainchild” of 20th century “politicosociopsychopaths”, then many other “objects of American disdain” will be meeting a similar fate! And those Confederates left standing– if any!– will be subject to the most critical of cross-examinations that our learned U.S. citizenry can oblige! Confederate judgement is due!… brass, marble, or otherwise!
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ATTENTION PHEWTUS’* NEW COMMUNICATIONS “STRATEGIST”, MS. HOPE FOR AMERICAN HICKS!:… A QUESTION FOR MR. PHEWTUS!…
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In the light of PHEWTUS’ recent public “comments’ on the subject of Human Trafficking, does he believe that the once Confederate support for Slavery in America, is SYNONYMOUS with H-U-M-A-N T-R-A-F-F-I-C-K-I-N-G? And lastly, should Americans be building and errecting statues in America today, of those who have been arrested and convicted of H-U-M-A-N T-R-A-F-F-I-C-K-I-N-G? Thank you!
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*”The fish stinks from the head down!”… a quote from the outgoing White House Communications Director, ScaryMooch!
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Anonymous

There were 4 million slaves owned by Democrats at the start of the US Civil War. Not a single slave was owned by Republicans.

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