The halls of Congress feature an impressive number of statues, and among them are those that honor former leaders of the Confederacy.
But if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has her way, those monuments may not be there much longer, as Breitbart reports.
“A grotesque affront”
In a letter sent to Republican Sen. Roy Blunt (MO) and Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA), Pelosi made it clear that she wants the supposedly offensive statues removed forthwith.
“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 letter read, according to ABC News.
“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,” the longtime House Democrat leader continued, adding:
Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals.
According to ABC News, Lofgren agreed, stating, “Especially at this time in the nation’s history, when the country is galvanized by the killing of George Floyd and riveted by tens of thousands of Americans peacefully demonstrating against institutional racism, to have statues of Confederates in Statuary Hall is really at odds with who we are as a country and what we aspire to be.”
However, Blunt expressed his opposition to unilaterally removing the statues, arguing that “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 said, according to ABC.
The symbolic impact of statuary has come up frequently in recent days, with angry mobs pulling down statues of Confederate generals and explorer Christopher Columbus in places like Boston, Massachusetts, and Richmond, Virginia, according to NPR.
As NPR reported separately, there have also been calls to rename military installations named for Confederate generals, and the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to a spending bill that would require those changes to be made, according to CBS News.
However, such a move is something that President Donald Trump firmly opposes.
“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,” he tweeted on Wednesday, adding:
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. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” the president concluded. “Respect our Military!”