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BLM Protesters Throw Tarp Over Jefferson Statue at UVA

A group of around 100 University of Virginia students, faculty, and community members, some displaying “Black Lives Matter” banners, gathered Tuesday night at a statue of the school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, to call him a “racist” and a “rapist,” among other terms.

A handful of protesters climbed the statue and wrapped a tarp around it.

“With every new horror that arises each month, each day, there has been an unparalleled resistance of people who say no to white supremacy, no to fascism, no to all forms of oppression,” one person said, per The Daily Progress.

“We can and must condemn the violence of one month ago and simultaneously recognize Jefferson as a rapist, racist, and slave owner,” the primary speaker said. “The visibility of physical violence from white supremacists should not take our attention away from condemning and disrupting more ‘respectable’ racists that continue to control the structures that perpetuate institutional racism.”

Virginia Republicans responded to Tuesday’s protest with condemnation.

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck said the vandalism that occurred “is the next step in the extreme left’s movement to erase our history. The defacing of our historical monuments is not free speech, it is a criminal offense, plain and simple. … We cannot tolerate lawlessness and extreme political correctness masking as free speech any longer.”

Corey Stewart, candidate for governor earlier this year, wrote in a Facebook post, “This was never just about [Robert E.] Lee. They’re going after the Founders, then the founding documents”:

After the events in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump warned of a slippery slope leading to the removal of statues of former presidents.