Duke University Moves Robert E. Lee Statue

Duke University Moves Robert E. Lee Statue

In a statement written by Duke President Vincent E. Price, the university has decided to remove its statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the entrance of its chapel.

The statue of Robert E. Lee was vandalized a few nights before Price’s announcement; in the recent wake of violent white nationalist rallies, many people are looking to remove such statues and monuments across the country. Price says,

“I took this course of action 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 removal also presents an opportunity for us to learn and heal. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future.”

In studying Duke’s “complex past,” a commission has been created to “advise on next steps and to assist [Duke] in navigating the role of memory and history at Duke.” This commission will be comprised of Duke students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members within the community of Durham, North Carolina. A library exhibition of Duke’s controversial history, a discussion about injustice, and a forum on freedom of speech have all been planned for next school year.

With heightened tensions on free speech and the rise of radical white nationalism, it is nice seeing a university step forward and take educational charge towards unity and understanding. In the months to come, let’s hope other schools follow the precedent set by Duke.

(Photo courtesy of Joe Campbell)


About Dillon Dodson

I am a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University’s Music Business program who is looking to make it as a writer. Last year, I worked at Nashville Public Radio as a Digital Media Intern which sparked my interest in editorial writing and acquiring a soft, calming voice. Now, I write about music for Chunky Glasses and music and more for High Faluter. The picture you see of me is from Bonnaroo, and considering I live for music festivals this is how I usually look. If you want illuminating Instagram posts, serendipitous Spotify suggestions, and tantalizing tweets, follow me via the corresponding buttons below.