Robert E. Lee would say take the statues down, says great-great grandson

The great-great grandson of Robert E. Lee thinks the statue should be taken down.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - At the center of the Charlottesville violence is the Robert E. Lee statue, to which a descendant says take it down.

The Confederate general's great-great grandson believes his great-great grandfather would say the same. 

Because of the violence that broke out this weekend, he asked WUSA9 not show his face on camera. However, we can tell you he's a Washingtonian, he works at a McLean, Va. school and gave his perspective.

RELATED: Ways to help Charlottesville here at home

"So, Saturday was just a horrendous day for America and the State of Virginia and for us, quite honestly as a family. If the monuments are creating this sort of decisiveness, then it's time to take them down," said Robert E. Lee V. He goes by "Rob" Lee.

Lee V is still very proud of his family's heritage.

"I know to some that may be hard to hear, but we feel strongly he was a man of dignity and honor and truly a great unifier in many ways," he said. "After the war was over, he was the first to say let's lay down our arms and let's bring this nation back together to a more perfect union. So for him to have this kind of conflict over his statue, we would say take it down tonight because that's not what we're about and we don't believe that's what he's about at all."

In his writings, the general himself opposed Confederate statues. Rob Lee believes they should be preserved in museums with the proper historical context. The D.C. Dad says he would he would go to Charlottesville if that's what's needed to help heal.

On the President's remarks, Lee V says, "I think it was too bad he didn't react more strongly on Saturday."

The official family statement reads in part, "While the debate about how we memorialize figures from our past continues, we the descendants of Robert E. Lee decry in the strongest terms the misuse of his memory by those advancing a message of intolerance and hate ..."

The statement is on behalf of both Lee V and his sister, Tracy Lee Crittenberger, the great-great granddaughter of General Robert E. Lee.

Both denounce white supremacists, the KKK and Neo Nazis. Rob Lee said the family will continue to speak out against them.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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