In a Sunday interview on MSNBC’s “Kasie DC,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) discussed her legislation to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol.
Lee said that now is the time to “address systemic racism” and “the legacy of slavery” in the United States. She added that there is no need to have statues “honoring those who were traitors” and “wanted to preserve the institution of slavery in America.”
“If the states want them back, you know, each state has two statues. They can have them back, or we will send them to the Smithsonian, and they can do with it what they deem necessary,” Lee told host Kasie Hunt. “But I believe we’re building consensus. I believe this moment is the moment when we have to address systemic racism, the legacy of slavery, the legacy of what we see today in terms of white supremacy and white nationalism, and how these are manifested in the policies and programs of this government. We do not need to have in public places statues honoring those who were traitors who committed acts of treason and who wanted to preserve the institution of slavery in America.”
“I have to fight and honor my ancestors and those who have fought and died in this country to build this country to make sure any monuments to slavery, any monuments to preserving the institution of slavery, any monuments that enslaved Africans for so many years, 401 years ago, that all of that is shattered, dismantled and disrupted,” she continued. “That is what I feel when I go through Statuary Hall. It’s like anger, and I’ve got to do something about it. That’s why I’m working very hard to do something about it.”
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