Around the nation, history is changing. It has becoming seemingly malleable in this late stage of 2020, as our nation once again looks to right the wrongs of the past.
People change, sure. What is and isn’t acceptable in society changes, and it does so more swiftly than ever now that the internet has allowed us to share ideas at the speed of light. But the actual events of our past do not change, nor do the opinions held by those who have long since passed.
This has put us in a precarious place as Americans, attempting to teach history so as to not repeat it, while simultaneously allowing the mistakes of the past to exist in their own time.
The dichotomy has led us to a place where the vandalism of historical monuments depicting men and women who committed great sins is almost routine. These are no longer considered valid lessons, but rather pockmarks on modern society.
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Now, one state senator is facing the music for her own part in this oddly violent revision of history.
A Virginia state senator has been charged with damaging a Confederate monument in Portsmouth during protests that also led to a demonstrator being critically injured when a statue was torn down, authorities said Monday.
Sen. Louise Lucas faces charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000, Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene said during a news conference. The protest occurred in June.
Lucas is a longtime Democratic legislator and a key power broker in the state Senate, joining the chamber in 1992. The charges were filed the same week Virginia lawmakers are taking up dozens of criminal justice reforms during a special legislative session.
And Lucas wasn’t the only prominent local leader involved.
Other people facing charges include members of the local NAACP chapter, a local school board member and members of the public defenders office, the police chief said.
Those close to the controversy have suggested that the charges against Lucas are of a political nature, pointing to the commonwealth’s attorney’s refusal to sign off on the charges brought by the Portsmouth Police.
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