Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters Thursday that she did not oppose the violent, unlawful removal and destruction of a statue of Christopher Columbus on July 4 in her native city of Baltimore, Maryland.
“People will do what they do,” she said.
Black Lives Matter protesters dragged the Columbus statue off the pedestal where it had stood for over thirty-five years in the Little Italy neighborhood.
It smashed into pieces on the ground, and the frenzied crowd leaped and danced before dragging the remnants of the sculpture into the Inner Harbor.
WATCH: Protesters in Baltimore's Little Italy pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus earlier this evening. (🎥 | Baltimore Brew & Louis Krauss)
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) July 5, 2020
As Breitbart News reported, the statute had been dedicated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 in recognition of the achievements of the Italian-American community, and immigrants generally.
“The ideals which many successive Italian immigrants brought with them are at the very heart of America. I’m speaking of hard work, love of family, patriotism, and respect for God,” Reagan said on that occasion.
Pelosi was asked about the destruction of the statue at her press briefing in the House of Representatives on Thursday:
Q: Madam Speaker, this question is close to home for you. The city of Richmond is obviously in sync with your desire to get rid of Confederate statues. But in Baltimore, in Little Italy, the statue of Christopher Columbus was removed, or taken down, and I wonder if you have anything to share with that.
Pelosi: Well, I’m not — you know, I don’t even have my grandmother’s earrings. I’m not a big let’s-see-what-we-have-in-monuments, and this. I’m more interested in what people have accomplished. I think that it’s uptimes to the communities to decide what statues they want to see. But I think that it’s very important that we take down any of the statues of people who committed treason against the United States of America, as those statues exist in the halls of Congress, in the Rotunda — not the Rotunda, I don’t think, but in the Statuary Hall and the rest, some of them are. But I’m not one of those people who’s wedded to, oh, a statue, to somebody someplace is an important thing. I don’t — again, if the community doesn’t want the statue there, the statue shouldn’t be there. Doesn’t diminish my pride in my Italian-American heritage, and the fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian, named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. So — I have that pride. But I don’t care that much about statues.
Q: Shouldn’t that be done by a — respectfully, shouldn’t that be done by a commission, or the city council, not a mob in the middle of the night, throwing it into the harbor?
Pelosi: People will do what they do. It’s a — I do think that from a safety standpoint it would be a good idea, to have it taken down if the community doesn’t want it. I don’t know that it has to be a commission, but it just could be a community view. And sometimes it’s something that’s been there, that view has been there for a while.
Pelosi represents San Francisco but is originally from Baltimore. Her father was the mayor, and oversaw the dedication of a statue honoring Confederate military leaders Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee in 1948.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.