Statue-crushing reverend’s claim he’s descendant of Robert E. Lee debunked, media left with egg on face

Rev. Robert W. Lee IV has gained plenty of notoriety, to include a guest spot on ABC’s “The View,” by claiming to be a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — who has “borne the weight and responsibility of that lineage.”

Lee pushed himself to the forefront in the left’s backwards-looking quest to remove statues marking American history, having once declared: “There are members in my family who are shaking in their boots. I’m sure my ancestor Robert E. Lee is rolling in his grave, and I say, let him roll.”

He even stood next to Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who introduced Lee by saying, “We’ve been talking about his great-great-grandfather.”

But it’s all a lie, according to The Washington Post.

Of all publications, the newspaper opted to trace Lee’s heritage with notable help and came up empty.

From the Post:

The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV, known as Rob, has, since 2016, parlayed his ancestry on behalf of what many may regard as a noble cause — removing Confederate statues and memorials. The pastor stood with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam when the governor announced last June, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, that a statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond would be removed. […]

Lee says he is the great-great-great-great nephew of the famous general. […]

But there is no evidence that Rob Lee, who was born in North Carolina, is related to Robert E. Lee, according to The Fact Checker’s review of historical and genealogical records. We were aided in our search through these records by a retired Los Angeles trial lawyer and Civil War chronicler named Joseph Ryan, as well as an official at Stratford Hall, the ancestral home of the Virginia Lee family.


Lee responded to the development in a statement, saying he “stands by the records I have seen and worked with,” claiming they are not his to share. In an earlier tweet, he also said of the Post’s article that he chose “not to engage because I am currently on a regiment of medication that has made it difficult to keep my head up.”

Adding that his mission is to confront white supremacy, Lee declared himself the final arbiter of the lineage of the Lee family name in the release.

Oh, and he’s “taking some time away”… perhaps for reflection and personal growth.


Of course, such a revelation after several years of media embrace — what makes for a better story that one of General Lee’s own “relatives” denouncing the storied military commander — would result in a lot of egg on the face of many a little too eager to give Lee a wide platform.

It would also bring a wave of corrections if these outlets actually valued journalistic integrity over political ideology. But in the year 2021, one might be better positioned to place money on the media quietly slipping it all under the rug without nary a mention.

As for who should be at the front of the line, let’s start with “The View.”

But that’s just the beginning, as the story showcases just how concerted an effort it is when the media decides to advance a narrative that’s beneficial to its political views.

Here’s a handful of other media outlets we should be hearing from real soon on the matter:

Lee can be seen below sharing the stage last year with Gov. Northam, who seized on the issue of removing statues in the face of an embarrassing blackface controversy of his own.


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Tom Tillison


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