US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for all Confederate statues in Congress to be removed.
In a letter to the Library of Congress Pelosi demanded the removal of the 11 Confederate statues on display throughout the Capitol complex , insisting they represent “cruelty and barbarism”.
The letter was sent hot on the heels of President Trump announcing that he would not rename military bases that were named after Confederate leaders.
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RT reports: “Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals,” Pelosi said, referring to the Confederacy and its drive to preserve chattel slavery in the South.
“Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.“
The statues in question include those of Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, the president and vice president of the Confederacy, as well as Civil War soldiers and military leaders – most in Confederate uniforms – such as Robert E. Lee, Joseph Wheeler, Wade Hampton III, James Z. George and Edmund Kirby Smith, among others.
Though the monuments have long been a source of controversy, recent weeks have seen a renewed push to topple the statues in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, with activists deeming them a celebration of racial injustice and inequality. Pelosi’s latest call to take down the statues also comes soon after the US Navy and Marine Corps – as well as NASCAR – moved to ban all public displays of the Confederate flag.