Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe Advocates for Putting Confederate Statues in a Museum
Given Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe’s unabashed liberalism, you will probably not be surprised to learn that he’s in favor of removing Confederate monuments in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
But you might be surprised to learn that Blythe thinks those statues ought to be preserved… although not for the reasons that someone like, say, Donald Trump wants them preserved.
Speaking recently to The Hundreds, Blythe expounded on the history behind such statues:
“I think it’s important to recognize when and why these monuments were put up, because there’s this false narrative that at the end of the Civil War, the Confederacy put up all these monuments. Most of these monuments, they were erected during the Jim Crow era, when the segregationist laws were put into effect. And they were put there to cement the position of white people in our society, particularly in the South.
“I find it very interesting, for me, the biggest monument is Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue, that Robert E. Lee himself was very against erecting such monuments; on several different occasions, he spoke against it. He was, like, ‘I think we should try to endeavor to remove these reminders of civil strife so people can heal.’ But with Jim Crow and the need to — now that slaves are illegal — the need to keep black people in a subservient position, both physically and economically, they erect these big monuments.
“The monuments are maintained. Tax dollars pay for lighting them. They pay for the upkeep. They pay for the police right now that are protecting them. That’s people’s tax dollars.
“Richmond is a majority — it’s not a huge majority — but a majority African-American community. To a lot of these people in the African-American community, when they see these monuments of these Confederate generals, it’s just a reminder of going back all the way to why the African-American community is here in the first place, which is slavery. Richmond had the second-largest slave market in the United States; the first was in New Orleans.”
Addressing the recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and the protests that arose all over the country as a consequence, Blythe continued:
“The stuff that’s happening right now, it’s not just about one man in Minnesota getting choked to death — this is a built-up thing, and it has been building. In Richmond, particularly the younger population, they’ve had enough of this. We’ve talked about putting the statues in context or maybe adding signs or all this other stuff. I think particularly the youth today are just, like, ‘No. This is a slap in the face.’
“I believe — it’s my personal belief — that the statues should be preserved. Not where they are, in this glorified postion on Monument [Avenue], and everybody’s tax dollars are paying to take care of them. But I think they should be taken — they are supposed to be put in storage. And maybe they can be in a museum exhibit or something, so people can understand this time. And when I say this time, I’m talking about right now; there’s graffiti all over these things.”
So, basically, Randy is advocating keep the statues on display in a museum for the same reason I still own a copy of Hericane Alice’s Tear the House Down: so that I never forget a very, very dark time in our history. I think that idea has merit.
You can check out the entire interview below.