NAACP, Lee County commission talk compromise on Robert E. Lee
FORT MYERS, Fla. The Lee County NAACP chapter is proposing a compromise over a Robert E. Lee portrait in the county courthouse.
Commissioner Frank Mann said Tuesday he’s willing to “consider carefully” the NAACP’s idea to replace the portrait, which depicts Lee in a Confederate uniform, with one of him in a suit.
The suit would be representative of his time as president of Washington College, which is now Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
“This is how he was seen in his final years, while demonstrating by his own example his personal leadership in ‘binding up the nation’s wounds,'” Mann wrote in a letter (see below).
The NAACP plans to submit a formal resolution Saturday and file it with county commissioners. The organization is also willing to work out a compromise on its call for the removal of a Lee monument downtown, proposing it be placed in a cemetery instead.
The NAACP renewed its efforts against the memorials to the county’s namesake this weekend after deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The full text of Mann’s letter is below: