Virginia’s U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner released the following statement after Virginia’s Commission for Historical Statues recommended that the Robert E. Lee statue at the U.S. Capitol be replaced with that of Barbara Rose Johns, a Prince Edward County civil rights leader who fought school segregation and poor education conditions.
“Barbara Johns bravely led a protest that defied segregation and challenged the barriers that she and her African American peers faced. She will represent the best of our commonwealth in the U.S. Capitol.”
During his time as Virginia’s Governor, Sen. Warner helped establish a commission to build a monument at the capitol honoring Johns, after his youngest daughter asked why Capitol Square didn’t include statues of civil rights crusaders.
Sen. Warner is a cosponsor of the Confederate Monument Removal Act, which would remove statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.
He has also spoken publicly about the need to remove public symbols honoring the Confederacy as part of broader efforts to advance racial justice.