Today, September 8, 2021, the state of Virginia is removing the Robert E. Lee Memorial to pave the way for a new casino in Richmond. The monument has been the central point on the monumental avenue for over 130 years, with the government wanting to remove it. This raised several lawsuits challenging the removal of the monument.
Following the completion of these lawsuits, the state has permission to remove the civil war general. The state’s governor announced yesterday that the state’s largest monument would be brought down this week. The governor added that removing the monument was crucial in showing who the state was and valued as a commonwealth.
The monument is a representation of the son of a Revolutionary War officer called Lee. He graduated from U.S. Military Academy as a trained wartime tactician who later served the Confederate States Army as general. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia from 1862 to 1985 when it surrendered.
Time to Change the History
Some southerners believe the confederate statues represented efforts of the south in the civil war. But, critics think otherwise.
These critics believe the monument represent white supremacist and mythologized form of southern heritage. They insist that the monument does not reflect the complex history of the city. According to these critics, having the memorial erect could further promote inaccurate sentiments.
The removal of Robert E. Lee is a divisive subject. But, it marks a new beginning for the city primarily because it aligns with the most significant investment in the history of Richmond. The proposed $600 million casino resort will be a black-owned corporation.
The removal of the 130-year-old monument and building of a $600 million casino marks a significant step in promoting diversity. It also marks a separation between the city and its past in the Civil War.
Yet, more has to be done. Just recently, the Richmond City Council passed a resolution declaring racism a public health catastrophe. The unanimous vote favoring the motion requires lawmakers to encourage regulations that promote the establishment of minority-owned businesses. The motion also implements new laws and policies contributing to anti-racism.
Introducing a Diverse-Owned Enterprise
On November 2, 2021, the people of Richmond city are expected to vote in favor or against building a property called ONE Casino + Resort. Several diverse local people have invested in the project. If approved by Richmonders, the $600 million projects will proceed to the construction phase.
Another investor in the project is Urban One. The media company promises 1500 permanent jobs once the casino is up and running and 3000 construction workers.
The project’s blueprint shows a 100,000 gaming space carrying 100 table games, 1800 slot machines, and a sportsbook. The casino will be built near Phillip Morris, featuring a four-star hotel, an entertainment theater for Live Nation, 55 acres of green space, television and radio studios, and hotel rooms.
Urban One is campaigning for a new casino using the slogan representing black America. This is a good move considering residents have been using the Robert E. Lee Confederate to protest since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Using a slogan related to Black Americans is a perfect way to pitch to the residents in Richmond, who are in a quest to end racism in the city.
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