House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls for Confederate statues to be removed from Capitol Building
WASHINGTON - As government and industry leaders across the country move away from confederacy ties, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has requested the removal of 11 Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.
"The statues in the Capitol were meant to embody our highest ideals as Americans and to express who we are and who we want to be as a nation. Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a clear racist end are grotesque Affront to these ideals "Pelosi, D-Calif., Said in a letter to Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., And Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Who head the Mixed Library Committee, who oversees the collection the National Statues Hall.
Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump said he would not consider renaming military bases that are currently named after Confederate generals, in a split from Pentagon leaders who said earlier in the week that they were open to discussion of the idea .
"Our history as the largest nation in the world is not being manipulated. Respect our military!" Trump tweeted.
The statues that fill the halls of Congress should reflect our highest ideals as Americans. Today I am again calling for the eleven statues depicting Confederate soldiers and officials to be removed from the U.S. Capitol. These statues are a tribute to hate, not heritage.
00:32 - June 11, 2020
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Statues in the Capitol's Statuary Hall collection are donated by the 50 states. This process usually begins with a decision in that state setting out a person and their qualifications for honor. The process of replacing a statue also includes a decision by the state legislature. A state's request to replace a statue can be approved or rejected by the joint library committee.
The statues in the collection are those of the deceased who are "famous for their historical reputation or for outstanding civil or military service," according to the Capitol architect's guidelines.
"Respect our military!": Trump says he will not consider renaming military bases that are named after Confederate generals
Pelosi named the statues of President of the Confederate States Jefferson Davis and Vice President of the Confederate States Alexander Stephens as one of the 11 statues she would like to remove. She noted parts of Stephens's "Cornerstone Speech" from 1861, in which he gave reasons for leaving the union. He said US racial equality ideals were a "mistake" and defended the institution of slavery.
“Our new government is based on exactly the opposite idea. his foundations have been laid, his foundation stone rests on the great truth that the Negro is not like the white man; This subordination of slavery to the superior race is its natural and normal state, "Pelosi quoted from Stephen's speech in the letter.
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It is not the first time that Pelosi has asked for the statues in the Capitol Statuary Hall collection to be removed. In 2017, she asked Paul Ryan, then spokesman for the House, to do the same after the "Unite the Right" rally that led to violence and tragedies in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"While I believe that it is imperative that we never forget our history so that we do not repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for the violent bigotry of the Confederation men in the sacred halls of the United States Capitol or in places to celebrate honor across the country, "Pelosi said in her letter on Wednesday.
Lofgren said in a statement that she agreed with Pelosi's request: "Indeed, what the Confederate statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection represent is anathema to us as a congress and country.
"I agree that the Mixed Committee and the Capitol architect should appropriately remove these symbols of cruelty and bigotry from the Capitol halls. I stand by and urge the Chairman of the Mixed Committee to quickly approve the removal of these statues The Capitol belongs to the American people and cannot serve as a place of honor for the hatred and racism that tears apart our nation's tissues, the poison that these statues embody. ”
New calls for the removal of confederate monuments come when the nation sees massive protests against racial inequality and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a black man detained by a Minneapolis police officer, when he cried that he could not breathe. In some places, officials have announced plans to remove monuments.
The Marine Corps banned the display of the Confederate flag last week, a move the Navy followed on Tuesday. Also on Wednesday, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at events and on its properties.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Nancy Pelosi demands that Confederate statues be removed from the Capitol
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