House to vote to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol
Category: News & PoliticsVia: drakkonis • one month ago • 88 comments
By: Rebecca Shabad and Haley Talbot (MSN)
Personally, I'm not a fan of statues of anyone. I don't think anyone is perfect enough to be put on a pedestal, no pun intended. That said, I can understand why some would have a problem with some of the statues in Statuary Hall. Even so, I think removing them would be a mistake. To understand why you need to understand the way I think statues should be viewed.
While I understand that people make statues of those who they think are great people or made great contributions, that is not the way I view them. I simply see them as someone who did some thing that someone else thought was worthy of a statue. While honor may have been intended by the statue's creator, I don't attach honor to statues. For me, they are simply a reminder of someone who did something in the past.
Because of that, I am free to see the individual as they really were and not with some narrow view that highlights some things but ignores others. I can look at the individual in total, warts an all. I don't need to stand in some special spot and, if I squint just right, see some great person. I can simply stand anywhere and see the person for who they were in totality.
If we all looked at statues in this manner, then, perhaps it can be understood why removing these statues is probably a mistake. The "good" and the "bad" should both be displayed. They are the history of this country and we should not forget how we came to be where we are. Jefferson Davis should be in Statuary Hall as a reminder of not simply who he was but also what impact he had on the shaping of this country. In other words, Statuary Hall shouldn't be about honoring anyone. It should simply be a history lesson. Removing those some deem offensive feels more like whitewashing our past and giving the impression that only "good" people were responsible for where we are now.
WASHINGTON — The House is set to vote Tuesday on legislation to remove Confederate statues from public display in the Capitol as well as a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that said Black people couldn't be citizens.
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The measure passed the House in the last Congress but stalled in the GOP-controlled Senate. Last year, 72 Republicans voted with Democrats to take the statues down.
Democrats hold a razor thin majority in the Senate and would need 60 votes to advance the bill.
When the measure was reintroduced in the House earlier this year, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., cited the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in which some Trump supporters paraded Confederate flags and other symbols of hate, as a reason to do away with the statues.
"On January 6th, we experienced the divisiveness of Confederate battle flags being flown inside the U.S. Capitol," Clyburn said in a statement. "Yet there are still vestiges that remain in this sacred building that glorify people and a movement that embraced that flag and sought to divide and destroy our great country. This legislation will remove these commemorations from places of honor and demonstrate that as Americans we do not celebrate those who seek to divide us."
Under the measure, Taney's bust would be replaced with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice. It would also remove statues of those who served in the Confederacy — one of its president, Jefferson Davis, is prominently displayed in Statuary Hall — as well as those of Vice President John C. Calhoun, North Carolina Gov. Charles Brantley Aycock, and Arkansas Sen. James Paul Clarke, all of whom defended slavery, segregation and white supremacy.
The architect of the Capitol will be asked to identify any other statues of those who served in the Confederacy. Removed statues would be returned to states that sent them to the Capitol.
Democrats have tried to remove the memorials to Confederate leaders for years, and their efforts intensified last year as the country wrestled with police brutality and racial intolerance in the wake of George Floyd's death last year.