Scumdogs rejoice: Gwar, the American heavy metal band (commonly stylized as GWAR), has backed a fan-launched campaign to replace the controversial Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Va., with a statue of Oderus Urungus — a deceased member of the band.
That’s right. Rather than honouring a “failed” 19th-century U.S. confederate general, one “GWAR scumdog” launched a change.org petition on June 12 in an attempt get the “racist” landmark replaced with a tribute to the former Gwar frontman (born David Brockie).
“Robert E. Lee is a failed war general that supported a racist cause,” wrote the campaigner. “For too long, the city of Richmond has been displaying statues of him and other loser Civil War veterans.”
Lee was born in Virginia and served as the commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He died in 1870, 20 years before his statue was erected on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.
“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,” they added in the online document.
To white citizens in the late 1800s, the statue of Lee, a Civil War “hero” and native Virginian, was a cause for celebration. Some even reportedly saved pieces of the rope used to haul the statue as souvenirs, according to the Associated Press.
Black citizens, however, felt a deep-seated animosity toward the statue, seeing it as a glorification of slavery, the Civil War and their treatment as second-class citizens, Julian Hayter, a historian and professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond, told the outlet.
In response to the viral campaign, longtime Gwar drummer JiZMak Da Gusha (Brad Roberts) was filmed paying a visit to Monument Avenue last Friday. In the band’s official video, the Robert E. Lee monument can be seen covered in graffiti.
“You see this? This is great,” Roberts, said while “critiquing the artwork” covering the monument.
“Gwar is here,” yells the musician, before showing his support for the fan-made campaign. “There’s a petition to put Gwar on that horse instead of Robert E. Lee. I strongly encourage that everyone signs that petition online,” he adds.
“F—k that guy,” concludes Roberts, while looking at the statue.
In 1984, Brockie co-founded Gwar and served as frontman Oderus Urungus — an ancient and fictional, intergalactic barbarian — until his death six years ago.
Though he was born in Ottawa, the musician moved to Virginia with his family at a very young age and became a dual citizen.
Praising Brockie, the petition reads: “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.”
Brockie died on March 23, 2014, as a result of an accidental heroin overdose. He was 50.
As of this writing, the petition has garnered more than 46,000 signatures, with a goal of 50,000.
It’s currently unclear whether a statue of Oderus Urungus riding a horse will actually be erected in place of the Robert E. Lee monument.