A couple of weeks ago, during the Festival of the Book, City Councilor Kristin Szakos was attending a talk by historian and University of Richmond president Edward Ayers, in which he talked about the importance of talking about the Civil War in intellectually honest terms throughout its 150th anniversary. During the Q&A period, Szakos—an attendee like any other—asked if Ayers thought he believed that statues honoring the Confederacy should be removed. In response to that question—apparently not an assertion or a suggestion, but a question—some folks freaked out.
At tonight’s City Council meeting, Szakos lamented the hateful e-mails and phone calls that she’d received after her remarks, Graham Moomaw writes for the Progress, saying that one caller informed Szakos’
daughter child that her mother was a “fucking whore who needs to get her fucking hands off our heritage.” Of course, it can’t be known which ugly responses came from local folks, and which came from pro-confederacy and white supremacy groups. Szakos asked that people tone down the rhetoric and leave her family alone, which seems like a tough request to object to.