When a 125-year-old Confederate monument was dismantled early Monday morning in New Orleans, everyone expected a fight. Workers wore face masks and tactical vests, and snipers manned the rooftops of nearby buildings, according to CNN. The removal was uneventful, but the public reaction has been anything but.
Among those protesting the removals: Corey Stewart, a self-described conservative Republican running for governor of Virginia. And he’s not shy about airing his concerns.
Stewart, according to his campaign website, was born in Minnesota. After spending one year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, he finished his bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He later returned to Minnesota to receive his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, then moved to Virginia and entered local politics there.
His Twitter account contains a lot of commentary on statues in the South.
The reaction from some Twitter users was not kind.
The city of New Orleans is planning to remove three more statues that celebrate Confederate history, but it is not divulging details publicly ahead of time, according to CNN.
Stewart later released a statement about the removals, saying, in part: “Democrats in New Orleans are destroying history today, just like they’re trying to in Charlottesville. This will not stop with Robert E. Lee or P.G.T. Beauregard. Next, they will tear down statues of Washington and Jefferson.”
Supporters of the changes say they’re good moves away from the checkered history of the Confederacy. Others say the monuments are simply historical markers that should be preserved.
Stewart’s campaign previously made news at the end of March when CNN revealed his campaign had removed “unflattering information” from his Wikipedia page and replaced it with passages more friendly to the candidate.
Micah Emmel-Duke is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.