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Robert E. Lee Descendant at VMAs: Support Black Lives Matter to Fight Racism

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Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
JEROME HUDSON

The Rev. Robert Wright Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, took center stage at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night and urged viewers to find “inspiration” to fight racism in the left-wing Black Lives Matter and Women’s March movements.

“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 the 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 hate and racism, America’s original sin.”

“Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to confront racism and white supremacy head on,” he continued. “We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women’s March in January, and Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.”

He introduced Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, who presented the award for “Best Fight Against the System.” Bro announced the newly-established foundation in her daughter’s name to provide scholarships to activists.

The 24-year-old pastor has been thrusted into the spotlight, as the left-wing movement to remove Confederate monuments from public spaces has ramped up across the country. He told NPR this month that the country has “made an idol of Robert Edward Lee.”

The “Best Fight Against the System” award was ultimately bestowed upon all five nominees in the category as a symbolic gesture.

 

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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