House Speaker Nancy Pelosi started a feud which she cannot win with President Trump when she demanded the removal of 11 Confederate statues from the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection.
“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 in places of honor across the country,” Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter.
“I stand ready, and call on the Chair of the Joint Committee to swiftly approve the removal of these statues,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The Capitol building belongs to the American people and cannot serve as a place of honor for the hatred and racism that tears at the fabric of our nation, the very poison that these statues embody.”
The Daily Mail reported that in her letter to Sen. Roy Blunt, the chair and a Missouri Republican and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the committee’s vice chair and a California Democrat, Pelosi quoted Stephens’ ‘corner-stone speech’ in which the Confederacy’s vice president said the ‘assumption of the equality of the races’ was something that was made ‘in error.’
‘Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition,’ Stephens had said in the speech, Pelosi reminded the lawmakers.
She argued that the statues that are on display on Capitol Hill ‘should embody our highest ideals as Americans.’
‘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,’ she argued.
‘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 in places of honor across the country.’
The push to get rid of Confederate symbols has come in the aftermath of the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, at the hands of a white police officer.