Statue of “Stonewall” Jackson in Charleston, West Virginia

Statement from West Virginia Branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

The West Virginia branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation wholeheartedly endorses and stands in solidarity with the call to remove all monuments to Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and any other Confederate sympathizers from public display in the state. These monuments serve as staunch reminders of the scourge of white supremacy that remains firmly rooted in the United States. We completely reject the narrative that these are simply “historical” pieces. Rather they are the ever-present embodiment of ideals that non-white people are considered second-class citizens at best, and subhuman at worst, by the capitalist state.

The fascist rallies in Charlottesville,Virginia, facilitated by the police, and the subsequent death of an anti-fascist protester that confronted them
show that racism is not solely an electoral talking point. These events are part of  this country’s long history of racism and state oppression towards Black and other non-white peoples. We assert that it is the moral duty of all freedom loving people to stand united against such fascist elements and their other various white supremacist allies.

There are no shortcuts to healing the wrongs that have been inflicted upon oppressed communities throughout the history of the United States. In order to truly confront the white supremacist foundations of the United States, we must acknowledge its true history and work to rectify it.

Abolitionist John Brown stood in stark contrast to many of the people of his time, including Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Brown’s disdain for the monstrous practice of slavery did not stop at simply speaking out against it. Instead, he took up arms against the forces that legitimized its existence and for doing so, he was condemned to death at the hands of the U.S. government. His dedication and moral fortitude shine as an example to all of us who seek justice, sometimes at odds with the status quo and legal institutions that prevail at any given time.

We therefore demand:

1. That the statute of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in Charleston, West Virginia be torn down and replaced with a monument to John Brown, the revolutionary abolitionist who organized and led a rebellion to capture weapons at the arsenal on October 16th, 1859 in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (modern day West Virginia).

2. That the state of West Virginia declare a holiday commemorating John Brown on the date of the raid.

We call on all people to stand on the right side of history by most vigorously condemning the institution of slavery, the Confederacy which fought to preserve it and those who defend these institutions to this day.

“Talk, is a national institution, but it does not help the slave.”

-John Brown