Smithsonian’s African American History Museum Releases Statement on Charlottesville and Confederate Memorials

Beth Py-Lieberman, August 20, 2017
Smithsonian Magazine

"Lonnie G. Bunch, the Smithsonian's founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, has released a statement on behalf of the museum following the tragic deaths at Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, was killed when a car driven by a sympathizer of the Ku Klux Klan drove his car into a crowd of protesters. Two Virginia State Troopers, H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Berke Bates, 40, also died when their surveillance helicopter crashed during the white nationalist rally.

"Recognizing the history of violence in support of white supremacy," says Bunch in a statement, "is only part of fully understanding the events of recent days."

Bunch, who has often taken an assertive stance in the court of public opinion, has long practiced a tradition of bringing historical analysis to events of the day, wrote in Smithsonian magazine: "The Smithsonian is the great convener, bringing diverse points of view into contact. A primary goal of the museum is to help America find whatever peace it can over issues of race.""

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