Sons of Confederate Veterans respond to change in annual parade route

(Suri Crowe/WSET)

LEXINGTON, Va. (WSET) - The Sons of Confederate Veterans is upset that Lexington granted a parade route to a different organization.

According to a release sent by the SCV, the city council approved a request for CARE to hold a parade at the same time and place as their traditional Annual Lee-Jackson Day events hosted by the organization.

A statement from the SCV reads in part:

It is no secret that some members of the council, the outgoing mayor who forced through the vote, and the college elites have great disdain for the traditional values and views of the native community who still commemorate their Confederate history. These elitists have worked tirelessly to intimidate local venues in an attempt to disrupt the SCV's commemoration of the lives of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson in their final home and resting place.

Officials say the action is an "attempt to silence the viewpoints of those they disagree with." They say the SCV believes in freedom of expression , but not when it impedes in the expression of others.

According to the statement from SCV, the organization is open to all races and creeds. The statement says marginalized groups like Jews and Native Americans fought with the Confederacy during the war. According to SCV, Chief Stande Waite was the last general to surrender. They say both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson opposed slavery.

The SCV says they have passed resolutions condemning racial hatred and misuse of Confederate symbols.

The statement released ends with.

The Stonewall Brigade SCV believes the actions of CARE and others to disrupt the Lee-Jackson Day events is simply an effort to promote hatred for our ancestors and us and an attempt to cause confrontation. Therefore, we will seek to meet with the organizers of CARE and seek to show that our struggle is about honoring the good character of men like Lee and Jackson and not about hatred and perhaps join them in their efforts to denounce such. However, in the meantime we have decided that on the traditional weekend of our event to shift our focus onto promoting Lexington's rich Black Confederate History and call to honor the names of Levi Miller, Jefferson Shields, Jim Lewis, and others. Furthermore, if we cannot reach a consensus to respect our original event date, we plan to host the Lee-Jackson Day events in Lexington on the following weekend on January 21, 2017 which is the birthday of General T.J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

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