Pelosi wants Confederate statues removed from the U.S. Capitol
The U.S. Capitol is home to hundreds of statues of figures from American history. Many find their way to the Capitol from the 50 states, each being allowed to send two statues of notable figures for display throughout the Capitol.
Now, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling for the removal of any statue with Confederate ties. Pelosi sent a letter to the Joint Committee on the Library this week addressing the matter.
“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. 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,” Pelosi wrote.
Pelosi’s letter called for the removal of around a dozen statues but singled in on two that are on display in National Statuary Hall, a room frequented by visitors to the Capitol. The two statues are of Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens who served as president and vice president of the Confederate States.
“Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals,” Pelosi said. “Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”
This isn’t the first time that Pelosi has attempted to have the statues removed. In 2017, she pleaded with then Speaker Paul Ryan to do the same. Paul maintained that the decision of what statues to house in the Capitol rested with the states and removal of a statue sent by a particular state should be for that state’s legislature.
Many believe that to remove statues from the Civil War would be an attempt to erase history and that only through recognizing our past can we shape the future. Pelosi addressed that belief in her letter.
“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,” she wrote.
Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt chairs the Joint Committee on the Library. He agreed that the decision should rest with the states.
“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,” Blunt said. “There’s a process for this, and I think it’s working.”
Cities and states across the country have already removed or started to take down Confederate statues and monument. The process has picked back up in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Scroll down to comment!