Richmond teens offer alternative take on Confederate monuments

Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A recent Facebook post written by a group of Richmond teens is adding some context to the conversation over the Confederate monuments in the city.

Shared by the group Richmond Cycling Corps, and written by a 17-year-old on behalf of his friends who all grew up in in the city’s public housing, the post describes a recent trip the teens took to visit Monument Avenue. The post’s author, Daquan, writes to ask that residents and media give other issues in the city, such as violence in low-income communities and the struggling local school system, more attention.

“Everybody’s pointing blame at Monument Avenue and the statues that reside there, but those statues never did anything to me or people that I care about,” he wrote. “The only thing that ever harmed people in low-income areas is the violence that resides there.”

Daquan writes that collectively, the five teens who visited the monuments Friday know twenty-two people who died in just the past year.

“What if I told you that there were kids starving in your backyards, living in rundown buildings?” he wrote. “What if I told you that there are kids that [would] rather rob, steal and kill rather than going in the house with nothing to eat? … You might think that makes them savages or ruthless, but it’s all we know.”

The post also addresses issues with the Richmond Public School system.

“The schools we go to are unaccredited and broke,” he wrote. “Instead of using money to knock down statues that most people in low-income areas never even seen, how about using that money to improve schools, fix up the community that we see every day, or why not protest in our neighborhoods where we see violence and hate the most.”

The post concludes with an apparent plea for support.

“Everybody wants to help but nobody is really helping are they?” he writes.

As of 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the post has been shared over 8,000 times and has received over 1,500 comments.

The post concludes that it was written by Daquan, on behalf of the following RCC Youth: Cahlee (16), DaMonte (16), Tawante (17), William (16).

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