Senate Panel Votes to Force Change to Bases Named After Confederates

Saturday, 13 Jun, 2020

Native American activists have long objected to honoring Columbus, saying that his expeditions to the Americas led to the colonization and genocide of their ancestors.

The move comes as state and local officials around the US have begun taking down monuments of Confederate leaders and public figures. Several cities tried to remove offending statuary but encountered backlash. Others say their removal amounts to erasing history.

"I am mindful that many people believe that flag to be a symbol of heritage or regional pride". "Confederate monuments have become targets because they are powerful expressions of the brutal practices that led to Floyd's murder; they are the artworks that gild the system".

"Slow down", cautioned Harriet Senie, an art historian at the City College of NY specializing in public memorials. "Just to have a conversation, that's all we wanted".

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The president said that some people who had gathered in the Virginia town - among white supremacists, KKK members and neo-Nazis - were concerned about the tear-down of a "very important statue" of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Others are in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and Louisiana.

Many of the Confederate figures have been moved to less central locations in the building in recent years, though some lawmakers have argued these statues should be removed altogether. Any decision to change the name at Bragg or other bases likely would involve consulting with officials from the affected states and localities.

Prospects for the amendment making it through the full Senate, where Trump's Republicans have a majority, were not clear even before Trump's tweet. "It matters to the Black soldier serving at an installation honoring the name of a leader who fought to preserve slavery and oppression".

"Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with", he added.

"As the most diverse and integrated part of American society, it is only right that our installations bear the names of military heroes who represent the best ideals of our Republic", Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said in the statement about the bill that he introduced with Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md.

The authority for naming and renaming bases rests with the Army, but it's unlikely officials would proceed without the president's approval.

BBC reports that Trump went on Twitter to shut down the possibility of renaming the 10 military bases that are named after Confederate generals.

Col. Edmund Rucker joined the Confederate States Army as the Civil War broke out and was the only officer who was not a general with an Army installation bearing his name. All are in Southern states.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany reiterated Trump's statement during a briefing Wednesday, stating Trump "will not be signing legislation that renames America's forts", according to CBS News.

The defense authorization bill will need to push through the Senate and land on the desk of the president - and with Republicans digging their heels in and the president all but promising a veto, Warren's effort may be earning her praises from her own side, but its ultimate success is far from assured.

"Every state is allowed two statues". Pelosi said Democrats want to remove 11 statues but specifically referred to those of Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens at a press conference. NASCAR on Wednesday afternoon announced it would ban Confederate flags at its events.