Lieutenant governor protests Confederate general honoring
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has protested the Virginia Senate’s adjournment in memory of Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson.
News outlets report the Democrat stepped off the dais where he presides Monday when Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger started a speech about Jackson. Fairfax, the second African-American to serve in his role, said the “personal decision” was to honor his family.
Fairfax was going to do the same last Friday after learning about plans honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, whose birthday is a state holiday. In the mid-1980s, Virginia began marking Martin Luther King Jr.’s holiday the same as Lee-Jackson-King Day. In 2000, Gov. Jim Gilmore called for separating them.
This year, Virginia marked Lee-Jackson Day Jan. 12 and MLK Day Jan. 15.
Hanger said lawmakers have adjourned on Jackson’s birthday since his death.