‘Say goodbye to Stratford Hall’: Dems and 3 REPUBLICANS are trying to wipe away Virginia’s history

Two Republicans joined all 21 Democrats in Virginia’s state Senate on Tuesday and voted to remove the tax-exempt status granted to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), a group dedicated to preserving the history of the Civil War.

According to The Washington Post, the organization “sponsored most of the Confederate statues that dotted Virginia’s landscape until localities began removing them over the past several years.”

The Post reports:

The UDC tax measures picked up some Republican support in the legislature — three GOP lawmakers joined all 51 Democrats in voting for the House version, along with the two Republicans who joined Democrats in the Senate. But that’s not enough to provide the two-thirds majority required to overcome a veto.

The bills involve sections of state code that deal with taxes related to real estate. In the law, the UDC is the only specific special-interest group exempted from deed recordation taxes, along with the broader categories of churches; federal, state and local governments; nonprofit hospitals; and corporations making internal property transfers. The UDC also is exempted from real estate and property taxes, part of a long list of carveouts that also includes local historic preservation groups, the Future Farmers of America, the American Legion, several local fine arts groups and more.

Both House and Senate bills would strip the UDC from those lists. The Senate bill also would remove the property tax exemption for the Stonewall Jackson Memorial and the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, which owned Richmond’s White House of the Confederacy before it merged with the American Civil War Museum.

Virginian and Theopolis Institute interim editor Jackson M. Waters warned last week, “It would bankrupt all three and force the closure of Stonewall Jackson’s home and Lee’s childhood mansion, plus Confederate veteran museums across the commonwealth.”

On Wednesday, Waters reported that S.B. 517 was “passed by the entire Virginia Assembly” and urged Virginians to call Governor Glenn Youngkin and demand he veto the legislation.

“This is going to Youngkin’s desk soon,” Waters wrote. “He must feel pressure to veto.”

“Removing tax-exempt status from the national chapter could bankrupt + fracture the UDC in every other southern state, sending a shockwave through the entire south, and causing a diaspora of artifacts + dispossession of 10,000s of rare Confederate items,” he argued.

“Say goodbye to Stratford Hall, the Jackson family home, and other historic homes,” he wrote in another post.

He pointed to the 2020 George Floyd riots.

“On the 2nd night of BLM/George Floyd riots, anarchists set fire to the UDC HQ, a national historic landmark, which under new law would almost certainly be confiscated + turned over to the very same arsonists and their friends,” Waters stated.

In an updated post, Waters reported, “yesterday afternoon Sen. Williams Graves, a black Norfolk Dem (Booker T. Washington HS alum) amended the legislation to remove the Robert E. Lee Foundation.”

“It seems she thought his Stratford Hall would make it too easy a target,” he added. “Stonewall Jackson’s home is still axed.”

In response to Waters’ thread, users lamented the left’s drive to rewrite history.

“History does not require our approval,” one user wrote. “Removing monuments/buildings & protections because they are deemed ‘offensive’ to modern sensibilities is a grave error. Doing so removes opportunities to learn from history so that we never repeat its mistakes.”

Melissa Fine

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