William Norman, a student at Nandua High School in Accomack County, Virginia, is refusing to change his ceramic sculpture of a hand, which includes a painted Confederate flag.
The sculpture states: “Robert E. Lee, history not hate.”
Lee was a slave owner who led the Confederate Army in its battle for the slavery of black people during the Civil War.
William told WEVC that his teacher and principal asked him to change the sculpture, but he refused:
I was going to do what I planned. They can’t approve it and then say you gotta change it after I worked so long on it. It’s not fair to me, or anybody.
William claimed his teacher approved the racist symbolism, but changed her mind when it was almost completed.
William said the principal told him to repaint the sculpture or getting a failed grade for the project:
I’m going to stand for what I think is right.
William’s father, David Norman, supports his son’s ode to the racist slave owner because they are distant relatives:
Robert E Lee was a third cousin.
William also defended his alleged ancestral history:
We were on the second ship from England that came to America, so my bloodline goes way back when America first started.
The school eventually allowed William to display his racist project, which William called his “heritage”:
Everybody should be able to practice or display their heritage in a way they’d like.
David insisted that his son isn’t racist because he made a sculpture with a racist symbol to celebrate a slave owner:
I’m not a racist, the furthest thing from it. My son’s not a racist.
William parroted his dad’s denials of racism:
People that may be racist might fly it but to me, it has nothing to do with racism. It’s my heritage, my blood, where I came from.
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