Jones bill directing removal of Byrd statue from Capitol Square passes House committee
Norfolk Del. Jay Jones’ bill to direct the state to remove the statue of Harry F. Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square, a measure he first proposed in June of last year, reported out of the House Rules Committee Friday morning on a 13-5 vote and now heads to the full House of Delegates for passage.
“Racism and its symbols, obvious and subtle, have no place in this new Virginia decade,” said Jones, a candidate for the Democratic Party attorney general nomination. “Monuments to segregation, Massive Resistance, and the subjugation of one race below another, such as the Byrd statue, serve only as a reminder of the overt and institutional racism that has and continues to plague our Commonwealth. It’s long past time to bring them down, and I’m proud to be a voice to do just that.”
Byrd was a former Virginia governor and United States senator and one of the strongest supporters of racial segregation in Virginia. He was the architect of the Massive Resistance strategy in the wake of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision overturning school segregation.
Jones’ bill directs the Department of General Services to remove the statue of Byrd and to store the statue until such time as the General Assembly determines its final disposition.