Mia Heller roadway change

Mia Heller, 14, a rising freshman at Kettle Run High School, has started a petition on the website Change.org to change the names of the roadways: John Mosby and Lee highways.

Mia Heller believes that we can learn about American history without commemorating actors such as Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate battalion commander John S. Mosby by naming our roads after them.

“These people are on the wrong side of history…and we shouldn't be memorializing them,” Heller told FauquierNow.

Last month, Heller, 14, a rising freshman at Kettle Run high school, started a petition requesting that Fauquier County rename Lee and John S. Mosby highways. Lee Highway is U.S. 29, and Mosby Highway is U.S. 50.  She argues that naming roadways and erecting statues of historical figures, including Mosby and Lee, were an attempt to “protect the honor of the southern states” and make the Confederacy “seem better than it truly was.”

“And we're trying to memorialize them,” Heller said. “I know that a lot of people from here, they're great, great grandparents maybe fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy. And I understand that that's why some people are hesitant to change the names. But ultimately, they were on the wrong side of history.”

It all started a few years ago when Heller said she was researching the Civil War outside of school. She had learned about the war as early as fourth grade while attending Greenville Elementary School. But it wasn’t until several years later that she began doing her own research at home and learning about the actions of people like Mosby and Lee -- actions she didn’t read about in the textbooks.

“It's like viewing the Confederacy through rose-tinted lenses,” she said.

Heller said that after reading more about the Confederacy online, she realized the importance of changing the names of roadways.

“And when you're in fourth grade, you don't really realize because you're not looking at the road names that much,” she said. “But when you get older, you're like, that's really not the right thing to have here.”

Knowing the war’s history, Heller said it surprised her that people were not only complacent with the names of both highways, but were also trying to protect the names from being changed.

However, seeing changes in other localities -- such as the city of Richmond removing Confederate monuments or Loudoun and Arlington counties changing the names of Route 50 and U.S. 29 -- inspired her to start her own movement.

She began going door to door, asking her neighbors to sign a petition to rename both Lee and John Mosby highways in Fauquier. 

Most people, Heller said, were indifferent. But she noted many were excited about the petition, and a few were hesitant.

“I've only had three or four people who've… debated with me with their side being that we shouldn't do this,” Heller said.  “They say we would be erasing history if we didn't have these names here. That's a big one. And another big one is…that we would forget if we didn't have the road names.”

Heller said she usually responds to these arguments by asking people to look at other countries, such as Germany, that also have bad actors who are part of a nation’s history.

“Germany doesn’t have the names of Nazis as their roads ... They don't glorify it.”

As of Aug. 2, Heller’s petition on Change.org has 145 signatures. But Heller said she wants to wait until she accumulates at least 500 signatures before she brings the issue to the Fauquier Board of Supervisors and state legislators.

According to Chapter 5 of the Fauquier County Code of Ordinances, with the exception of private streets, “changes to official street names shall only be granted by the Board of Supervisors.”

Heller must submit her petition to the Department of Community Development. After its submission the board must consider the petition at its “first regularly scheduled public hearing of the calendar year.”

Heller said she is aware that changing the names of the roadways may not be popular, but she noted she doesn’t believe the issue should be partisan.

“A lot of people view racism…as a political issue, but to me, it's not right or left, it's not blue or red, it's none of that,” Heller said. “It's just something we all should be coming together as a whole, and just saying this isn't right.”

(17) comments

Dick Grayson

Damn, feel safer already a scary road now made safe! At least until a city of Warrenton D bag gets a hardon for redtorative justice

Harry Morant

Only people on the fringe argue that slavery was not the main reason for the Civil War. They veil it in “state’s right”, but don’t like to admit it was their right to own slaves they were defending. Still, comparing slavery, a system that was upheld by both the North and South, for hundreds of years before the war, to the systematic annihilation of a group based on their religion, is just a ruse. A typical conflated comparison, a classic Lefty tactic to divide Americans in their attempt to destroy our Country and replace it with a system void of freedom and rife with oppression and a new kind of slavery: to Government. Lefties use to be happy just stealing our money (through taxes) now they want absolute power and control. As the little girl, mentioned in this article, anyone who supports these traitors are just more useful idiots for the “cause”.

John Dutko

https://www.history.com/news/how-the-nazis-were-inspired-by-jim-crow

"In 1935, Nazi Germany passed two radically discriminatory pieces of legislation: the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor. Together, these were known as the Nuremberg Laws, and they laid the legal groundwork for the persecution of Jewish people during the Holocaust and World War II.

When the Nazis set out to legally disenfranchise and discriminate against Jewish citizens, they weren’t just coming up with ideas out of thin air. They closely studied the laws of another country. According to James Q. Whitman, author of Hitler’s American Model, that country was the United States.

“America in the early 20th century was the leading racist jurisdiction in the world,” says Whitman, who is a professor at Yale Law School. “Nazi lawyers, as a result, were interested in, looked very closely at, [and] were ultimately influenced by American race law.”

In particular, Nazis admired the Jim Crow-era laws that discriminated against Black Americans and segregated them from white Americans, and they debated whether to introduce similar segregation in Germany.

Yet they ultimately decided that it wouldn’t go far enough.

“One of the most striking Nazi views was that Jim Crow was a suitable racist program in the United States because American Blacks were already oppressed and poor,” he says. “But then in Germany, by contrast, where the Jews (as the Nazis imagined it) were rich and powerful, it was necessary to take more severe measures.”

Because of this, Nazis were more interested in how the U.S. had designated Native Americans, Filipinos and other groups as non-citizens even though they lived in the U.S. or its territories. These models influenced the citizenship portion of the Nuremberg Laws, which stripped Jewish Germans of their citizenship and classified them as “nationals.”"

One of the more interesting commonalities between Jews and Blacks is how the Right constantly targets those communities and places blame on them.

See: Marjorie Greene, Doug Mastriano, Steve King for starters.

ROBERT ARRINGTON

actors, what are they teaching this child so sad

Mike Hunt

But there is no liberal bias in the public schools. The teachers union and media says so.

John Dutko

Reality has a liberal bias.

Harry Morant

Yes, for the mentally ill, their "reality" does have a liberal bias.

George Lawton

This girl is another product of public education brain washing thinking the civil war was just about “slavery,” what a joke. She’d probably like to replace Lee with George Floyd highway no doubt a hero of hers and her parents. Some loser crack head from MN. Lee and Mosby were some of the greatest military commanders in the nations history and deserve to be honored. You on the other hand will live your whole life accumulating some worthless degree waiting breathlessly for each new iPhone release, accomplishing utterly nothing useful excepting complaining about two men who lived in the 19th century. Sorry, you don’t get decide what is the correct side of history, another leftist talking point you hear frequently.

John Dutko

Mosby is a leftist because he said he fought for the institution of Slavery.

https://web.archive.org/web/20131112054334/https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/reconstruction/resources/former-confederate-officer-slavery-and-civil-war-1907

But sure, let's honor traitors to America. Especially ones that lost.

John Deca

Love it. Practicing her First Amendment right of petition.

Harry Morant

And she does not even understand she is just a "useful idiot" for the Left and their crusade to destroy American identity.

Brad London

Totally ridiculous. Let's face the real problem here if this absurdity continues. No doubt that the name Mia Heller is rooted in white supremacy. .No doubt if one was to research the name Heller, the family in distant history owned slaves. Equally as likely if one was to go back far enough every family owned and were probably owned at some level as slaves. Slaves still exist today. Most of the slaves were owned by blacks. But yeah, let a 14 year old try and interpret history and take action to erase it all. We are afraid of learning from the past. Why?

John Dutko

Brad,

Tell us how awesome Lee and Mosby were. I want you to justify the Southern States right to secede and then provide the primary sources which give the justification.

Here is a clue: https://www.battlefields.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states

I want to see you defend the actions of the Confederacy.

Brad London

John Dutko,

You need to stop with the ridiculous jump to the conclusions you attempt, but fail miserably, to justify. Re-read my post. Try again. And keep trying if necessary. I will not respond to absurd statements or false accusations.

John Dutko

Totally ridiculous. (Yes, but let's go line by line)

Let's face the real problem here if this absurdity continues. (I can't wait for where this is going)

No doubt that the name Mia Heller is rooted in white supremacy. (Did you find this out on Ancestry.com? Maybe you want to become acquainted with libel laws: https://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/defamation).

No doubt if one was to research the name Heller, the family in distant history owned slaves. (See the previous statement)

Equally as likely if one was to go back far enough every family owned and were probably owned at some level as slaves. (And if you go far back enough, you would find that you are related to Genghis Khan. What is your point?)

Slaves still exist today. (Where does it exist and in what countries?)

Most of the slaves were owned by blacks. (Not in America. You see, this is where you messed up and give sweeping generalizations to rationalize your argument.)

But yeah, let a 14 year old try and interpret history and take action to erase it all. (There are a lot of adults who frequent the comments section that refuse to cite primary sources and make up crap in order to make their racist mindset feel better)

We are afraid of learning from the past. Why? (Because you can't read, Brad.)

Duke Nukem

I know this is one of those protected articles from InsideNova so this probably won't last long but Germany has a dirty little secret that she was not told about.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/nuremberg-decides-conserve-nazi-rally-grounds-180972244/

"Officials have long grappled over what should be done with this dilapidated monument to Nazi supremacy. In 2015, experts and citizens convened at a forum to discuss the issue, where some argued that the site should be maintained so that visitors will long be able to envision the pomp and circumstance that once fueled deadly ideologies on its grounds. Others favored bulldozing the site, or letting it dwindle through “controlled decay."...

"earlier this year, torch-wielding members of a neo-Nazi group marched onto the rally grounds and posed on the Zeppelinfeld grandstand."...

Ultimately, however, officials decided that the grounds should be preserved; in part, according to Hickley, because they did not want to erase this difficult chapter of the city’s history, and in part, because they did not want to be forced to close off large portions of the site."

They spent millions to maintain the site. Locals have said they can still hear the echo of Hitler's voice entering the grounds, probably.

I fully support her initiative though. I hope she moves on to petition the renaming of Fairfax and Manassas too, or was she not told about the issues there yet? I heard Robert Byrd has many roads and buildings named after him as well. Oh and lastly how does America get away with being named after some Italian merchant.

John Dutko

What you fail to mention is that displaying the Nazi symbol is illegal in Germany. And that the German people have come to terms with their history and acknowledged that the action of the Third Reich were abhorrent.

In America, there are apologists who want to twist history and not confront or admit the sad fact that the Civil War was ultimately about slavery.

Here is your answer on Amerigo Vespucci: https://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/aug03/america.html#:~:text=He%20included%20on%20the%20map,in%20the%20late%2015th%20century.

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