Having failed to obtain a circuit court's sanction to violate Section 15.2-1812 of the Virginia Code, which protects war memorials, Charlottesville watches as vandals repeatedly chisel away at two national historic landmarks, the damage extensive and perhaps irreparable now.

Cameras placed in the parks would seem an obvious aid to a police force depleted in numbers and morale. However, the city refuses to permit this and forbids the citizenry to install them at their own expense. And while awaiting the seating of newly elected, sympathetic council and state legislature members, the city is turning its attention to other local sculptures.

If you’re keeping score, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson still stand, albeit with parts missing.

Two Methodist pastors preached in a series of on-site prayer groups that the monuments are idolatrous. A member of the group opines that the Confederate monuments have “…no artistic value or public beauty.”

The monument to native sons and explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark has offended a posse of Native Americans whom the city paid to travel to Charlottesville, and so it was voted into exile at a recent council meeting.

The magnificent multi-figure sculpture to another Virginian, George Rogers Clark, also has earned opprobrium, so its future is in doubt.

The Moses Ezekiel statue of Thomas Jefferson still stands in front of the Rotunda, although the two ministers’ Bible study group also held meetings at the Thomas Jefferson statue as well as at the Clark statue.

So, one imagines that our local thought police must already be busy contemplating possible uses for newly barren spaces — perhaps re-education centers in the former parks, to incarcerate those of us who still resist being told what to think and what we can see. And the smaller spaces, vacated of their sculptures, would do nicely as platforms to burn the books we will be no longer permitted to read.

These are, of course, well known totalitarian tactics, though masquerading here as virtue signaling. Welcome to your Brave New World, Charlottesville.

Jane Williamson

Albemarle County

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