Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder governor weighs in on Confederate monuments

(file photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The nation’s first elected black governor says improving education is more important than spending tax money on removing Confederate monuments.

Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder said during an interview on C-SPAN Thursday that his election in 1989 showed how Virginia had changed. He said the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last month does not represent the city or the state.

Wilder spoke of problems around the country, including in Richmond’s schools. He said he believes it’s more important to improve the quality of education now “than this talk about destroying and taking down.”

Wilder said it will be up to others to decide whether the state-owned statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee should remain on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has appointed a commission to consider what to do with city-owned Confederate statues.

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