Amid the protests taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody, some long-standing statues are not fairing very well. Now, a new petition calls for a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, to be replaced with one of late GWAR leader Oderus Urungus.
In recent days, statues of Christopher Columbus have been toppled and beheaded in Richmond and Boston, respectively, with protesters citing the explorer’s involvement in the genocide of Native Americans. In England, a statue of known slave-trader Edward Colston was destroyed and thrown into a river, and in Belgium, a statue of King Leopold II was removed because of his oppressive rule over the Congo.
As Metal Injection reports, onetime GWAR dancer / backup vocalist Slymenstra Hymen (aka Danielle Stampe) posted a Photoshopped image of Oderus in place of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond. Shortly thereafter, a GWAR “scumdog” started a petition on Change.org calling for a statue of Oderus to be erected in place of the one of General Lee.
Oderus Urungus, real name Dave Brockie, was one of Richmond’s favorite sons, having started GWAR in the mid ’80s, and fronted the intergalactic metal barbarians until his death in 2014. The petition’s description argues for the statue swap as follows:
“Robert E. Lee is a failed war general that supported a racist cause. For too long, the city of Richmond has been displaying statues of him and other loser civil war veterans.
We the scumdogs of the universe call on the city of Richmond to erect a statue of great local leader Oderus Urungus in its place. While Oderus comes from the planet Scumdogia, he called Richmond his home, working with the local art community and employing local artists and ladies of the night.”
As of this posting, the petition already passed its initial goal of 500 signatures, with a new goal of 1,000. The organizer is also asking signees to donate to the Richmond COVID-19 Arts and Culture Relief Fund, if possible. Update, June 11th: The Change.org petition now has more than 20,000 signatures.
Update, June 12th: GWAR drummer JiZMak Da Gusha visited the now-defaced statue of Robert E. Lee, urging onlookers to sign the petition, which now has more than 30,000 signatures. Watch here.
GWAR have soldiered on without Oderus Urungus, continuing to terrorize Earth with new music (2017’s The Blood of Gods) and highly entertaining live shows. While they’re usually disemboweling the likenesses of political figures like Donald Trump onstage, they recently praised the president for suggesting people inject themselves with disinfectants to combat the COVID-19 virus. “If you wanna stay safe from COVID-19, drink bleach, shoot it, smoke it,” declared drummer Jizmak Da Gusha.