Three days after Charlottesville, Virginia, erupted into violence and racial unrest, the direct descendants of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee have denounced the white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups who rallied and marched to preserve a statue of the long-dead Civil War general.
“There’s no place for that hate,” Robert E. Lee V, the general’s great-great-grandson, told Newsweek in an interview.
Lee and his sister, Tracy Lee Crittenberger, condemned the white nationalist groups and said their Confederate ancestor would not have tolerated such behavior.
“At the end of the Civil War, he implored the nation to come together to heal our wounds and to move forward to become a more unified nation,” the statement reads. “He never would have tolerated the hateful words and violent actions of white supremacists, the KKK, or Neo Nazis.”
“I think that is absolutely an option, to move it to a museum and put it in the proper historical context,” Lee told Newsweek. “Times were very different then. We look at the institution of slavery, and it’s absolutely horrendous. Back then, times were just extremely different. We understand that it’s complicated in 2017, when you look back at that period of time… If you want to put statues of General Lee or other Confederate people in museums, that makes good sense.”