President Donald Trump forcefully dismissed any notion of renaming military bases named after Confederate figures on Wednesday, according to the Washington Examiner.
“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,” Trump tweeted, according to Fox News.
Trump speaks out
The national unrest over the death of George Floyd has brought not only rioting and looting, but also a concerted push to remove or destroy statues from America’s history that some consider racially insensitive. While Confederate statuary has been the prime target, monuments of Christopher Columbus have also been defaced and torn down by mobs around the country.
Suddenly, the Army is contemplating renaming 10 Army bases, like Fort Bragg in North Carolina, that are named after Confederate generals. In a reversal from a prior position, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy indicated that he would consider such a move, and retired Gen. David Petraeus wrote an article in The Atlantic advocating the idea.
“Once the names of these bases are stripped of the obscuring power of tradition and folklore, renaming the installations becomes an easy, even obvious, decision,” Petraeus said.
But President Trump pushed back on Wednesday, tweeting in no uncertain terms that he has no interest whatsoever in the possibility.
“[M]y Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” Trump tweeted. “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”
Senate committee bucks president
On Wednesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve an amendment to a defense bill that would require the Pentagon to rename the bases — and erase all references to the Confederacy from Pentagon property — within three years, Roll Call reported. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who proposed the amendment, cited Petraeus as she announced it.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that Trump would veto any defense legislation requiring bases to be renamed.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), for her part, has called for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol, while in Virginia, a judge temporarily blocked Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam’s efforts to topple a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond.
This was all happening as long-running television series Cops and popular A&E program Live PD were canceled amid protestor demands for sweeping police reform, as the New York Post reported, and HBO Max pulled the Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind from its streaming service, at least for the time being, due to its “racist depictions,” according to NBC News.
In an apparent reference to the escalating controversy over America’s past, Trump tweeted Thursday morning: “THOSE WHO DENY THEIR HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT!”