On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vocalized her support for Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) latest call to remove all Confederate statues from the United States Capitol building.
Booker announced on Twitter Wednesday that he is drafting a bill to remove all Confederate statues from the Capitol. The New Jersey Senator continued by saying that this would just be one step in the right direction before indicating that “we have much work to do.”
Pelosi seconded Booker’s plan in a statement following the President’s series of tweets Thursday morning where he called the idea of removing Confederate statues “so foolish.”
“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 House Minority Leader said in a statement.
She has urged her Republican colleagues, specifically calling out House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to join in support of the statue’s removal.
“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible. If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi challenged Republicans that their support would prove that they are truly against racism and white supremacy, even though GOP lawmakers have vocally condemned the white supremacist and their racially motivated hate groups. Speaker Ryan’s office responded promptly to Pelosi’s comments, saying “These are decisions for those states to make.”
The Capitol’s Statuary Hall, a chamber filled with sculptures of prominent historical Americans, currently houses 10 statues honoring former Confederate soldiers, Confederate politicians, and slavery supporters.
Booker has yet to lay out a timeline for his bill or give any further details. Red Alert Politics has reached out to the senator for specifics with no response yet.
Confederate statues and memorials have become a national focal point after Saturday’s deadly riots in Charlottesville, VA. White supremacy groups protested the removal of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s statue in the city violently against anti-fascist counter protestors. The riot killed three people and injured over 30 others. In outrage, people have been vandalizing, destroying, and dismantling Confederate statues around the country.
The president’s initial response to the violent demonstrations fell short of both Republicans’ and Democrats’ expectations when he blamed both sides for the violence without denouncing the white supremacists. Trump later issued a second statement disavowing the white supremacists, but slammed the media in the following press conference. Trump asked reporters if the country has to now take down all prominent historical figures who once owned slaves, naming Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.