Join us in November as we continue the conversation about “What’s Next’ for the Confederate monuments. Join us for as we hear from the Rev. Rob Lee — descendent of Robert E. Lee and vocal advocate for the removal of confederate monuments and working to end White Supremacy.
5:00 pm on Sunday, November 26th in the Upper Parish Hall.
More on the Rev. Lee:
From the Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/09/05/robert-e-lee-descendant-and-denouncer-quits-n-c-pastor-post-over-hurtful-reaction-to-vma-speech/?utm_term=.2d276be192dc
He was the great-great-great-great-nephew of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee, and he felt it was his moral duty to speak out against his ancestor, “an idol of white supremacy, racism and hate.” He said as much when he took the microphone near the end of the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, when he introduced himself by a familiar-sounding name: Robert Lee IV.
Lee’s speech at the VMAs on Aug. 27 followed the glitz and glam of red carpets and all-star performances by the likes of Lorde and Ed Sheeran. But his appearance quickly caught Internet fame as among the night’s most memorable. As he appeared before the cameras, Lee stood in stark contrast to the sleek, geometric set behind him, dressed simply in a black cleric’s shirt and collar. Soon he would introduce Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer had been killed 15 days before, after being mowed down by a car as she protested white supremacy in Charlottesville.
“My name is Robert Lee IV, I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was at the center of violence in Charlottesville,” he said. “We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.
“Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on.
“We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs.”
On Monday, Lee announced he would be leaving his church — Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, N.C. In his statement, published on the website of the Auburn Theological Seminary, Lee wrote that while he did have congregants who supported his freedom of speech, many resented the attention the church received after the VMAs.
“A faction of church members were concerned about my speech and that I lifted up Black Lives Matter movement, the Women’s March, and Heather Heyer as examples of racial justice work,” he wrote, adding that his “church’s reaction was deeply hurtful.” Lee wrote that he never sought the kind of attention that has followed him since the protests in Charlottesville last month, even while his visibility as a religious leader and staunch opponent of Confederate memorials garnered international recognition, a turn of events no doubt fueled by his namesake.