Last month, the Make It Right Project erected a billboard along one of Charlottesville, Virginia’s main roads calling for the removal of two of the city’s most notorious Confederate monuments. The billboard artwork includes images of local monuments to Confederates Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee—the latter being the statue white nationalists claimed to be “defending” at the racist 2017 Unite the Right rally. Filling the space between the figures, in capital letters, are the words “Monumental Change Needed.”
Neo-Confederates made a grotesque parody of the Make It Right billboard in response. And then put it on a truck and drove around town with it.
Charlottesville residents and activists alerted the Make It Right Project to a truck that’s been driving around town in recent days with an offensively altered copy of the billboard mounted on it. A local man who runs a right-wing blog called the Charlottesville Free Press has taken responsibility in a post titled, “Why we did our billboard parody.” Below on the left is an image of the truck with the “parody” version of the billboard, and on the right is the real Make It Right Project billboard.
The Make It Right Project’s efforts in Charlottesville have also included lawn signs that build on the language and images featured in its billboards. Distributed by the local chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), the signs bolster the messaging of the campaign to take down the city’s Confederate monuments.
The Make It Right Project is dedicated to working with multiple groups—activists, artists, historians and media outlets—to remove Confederate monuments and develop post-removal protocols to tell the truth about history.