In an act of stunning hypocrisy, a University of Virginia sociologist is decrying “cultural destruction” in the Middle East, while ignoring similar obliteration here in central Virginia.
In a recent story published by the University, Professor Fiona Greenland laments the “tragic disturbance of history and local culture” committed by ISIS during the ongoing Syrian civil war, calling it “cultural destruction.”
Absent from Greenland’s jeremiad is any reference to full-swing cultural destruction taking place in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and at her own University of Virginia.
A partial list, to wit:
- In March 2015, Charlottesville City Council voted to discontinue the observance of Lee Jackson Day
- In February 2017, Charlottesville City Council (illegally) voted to remove the Robert E. Lee monument.
- In June 2017, Charlottesville City Council voted to rename Lee Park
- In June 2017, Charlottesville City Council voted to rename Jackson Park
- In August 2017, Charlottesville illegally covered publicly owned war monuments honoring Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
- In September 2017, UVa secretly removed from the Rotunda historic plaques, which featured the names of Confederate soldiers.
- In September 2017, Charlottesville City Council (illegally) voted to remove the Stonewall Jackson monument
- In July 2018, Charlottesville City Council voted to rename the already renamed Lee Park
- In July 2018, Charlottesville City Council voted to rename the already renamed Jackson Park
- In October 2018, a petition was launched to coerce the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to remove the “Johnny Reb” statue from the Albemarle County Courthouse
- In November 2018, the Charlottesville School Board banned Confederate imagery from all Charlottesville City Schools
- In February 2019, Albemarle County Government Schools Superintendent, Matt Haas unilaterally banned Confederate imagery from Albemarle County schools
- In June 2019, Albemarle County voted to end the holiday observed in honor of Thomas Jefferson
- In July 2019, Charlottesville City Council voted to end the holiday observed in honor of Thomas Jefferson
- September 2019, Charlottesville City government and law enforcement ignore hammer and chisel damage to Lee and Jackson monuments
- In October 2019, Albemarle County School Board voted to rename Paul H. Cale Elementary School
- In November 2019, Charlottesville City Council voted to remove the downtown Lewis and Clark statue
- In November 2019, the University of Virginia sought public input on the renaming of the Curry School of Education and the associated Ruffner Hall
- In November 2019, local United Way affiliate renamed itself from United Way Thomas Jefferson Area to United Way of Greater Charlottesville
- In December 2019, Charlottesville City Council, led by then-Councilor, Wes Bellamy, voted to rename Preston Avenue to Preston Avenue
- In February 2020, the Slave Auction Block marker in Downtown Charlottesville was stolen and reportedly disposed of in the James River
Professor Greenland notes that ISIS, through their attempts to “obliterate history,” also has fomented cultural violence. Additionally, she references the Syrian government’s “official” opposition to the destruction of cultural sites—a position that differs from practice.
Greenland’s study ironically is entitled: Investigating the Relationship Between Monument Destruction and Civilian Victimization.
Conceptual parallels in Charlottesville are not difficult to ascertain.