House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday called for the removal of various Confederate statues from Capitol Hill in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.
Writing to the Joint Committee on the Library, Pelosi requested Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) to order the Architect of the Capitol to “immediately” remove 11 Confederacy statues from the halls of Congress.
“While I believe it is imperative that we never forget our history lest we repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or places of honor across the country,” the speaker’s letter reads.
“The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation,” she added. “Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals.”
Blunt judged that states should decide whether or not the statues should be taken down, saying: “I think the best way for that to happen would be for the states to take them back, if that’s what they want to do.”
“There’s a process for this, and I think it’s working,” he added.
Earlier Wednesday, President Donald Trump dismissed calls to renaming U.S. military bases named after Confederate figures, declaring: “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with.”
“It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etc,” President Trump wrote on Twitter. “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars.”
In recent days, Virginia to Jacksonville, Florida, have begun taking down Confederate statues. On Tuesday, protesters tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond, while a statue of the 15th Century explorer was beheaded in Boston.