Robert E. Lee statue removed from Duke Chapel
Duke University removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from the entrance of its campus chapel early Saturday morning. The statue was defaced (literally) the Wednesday following the Unite the Right march — organized to protest the removal of another statue of Lee from Emancipation Park — in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman was murdered when a neo-Nazi who attended the rally drove his car through a crowd of counterprotesters.
Duke University president Vincent Price wrote that he decided to remove the statue “to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university.”
“The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.” Price added. Hopefully they don’t restore the face first. After all, that vandalism is a part of history now, we wouldn’t want to erase it.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has called for the removal of Confederate monuments throughout the state, but a 2015 law prohibits taking any public statues down unless they are individually approved by the General Assembly. As such, a few people have taken matters into their own hands.
Duke is a private university, however, so they can do whatever the hell they want.