House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that the names of Confederate leaders need to be taken off American military bases and Confederate statues must be removed from the U.S. Capitol.
“The American people know these names have to go. These names are white supremists that said terrible things about our country,” the California Democrat said.
“Some of these names were given to these bases. You listen to who they are and what they said and then you have the president make a case as to why a base should be named for them. He seems to be the only person left who doesn’t get it.”
“They committed treason against the United States,” Pelosi said of the president and vice president of the Confederate states, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens.
“[T]he 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,” the letter read.
“Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.”
The 10 military bases named after Confederate leaders include Fort Lee, Fort Hood, Fort Benning, Fort Gordon, Fort Bragg, Fort Polk, Fort Pickett, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Rucker and Camp Beauregard.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he would not “even consider” renaming the bases.
“These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,” he tweeted.
…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…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2020
His statement on Twitter came days after an Army spokesman said Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Defense Secretary Mark Esper were “open” to renaming the bases.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also proposed an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to rename the bases named after Confederate military leaders.
Trump criticized her amendment in a Thursday tweet.
Seriously failed presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, just introduced an Amendment on the renaming of many of our legendary Military Bases from which we trained to WIN two World Wars. Hopefully our great Republican Senators won’t fall for this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2020
The Republican-led Senate Armed Service Committee approved the amendment on Thursday in a voice vote, The Hill reported.
Only Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri voted against the measure.
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