WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says now is the time for lawmakers in the United States to remove prominent symbols of the country’s racist past from places like Capitol Hill.
Pelosi is calling for the removal of 11 statues representing Confederate soldiers and officials, including former Confederacy leaders Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, from the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol building.
She told a news conference today that the time is now to remove the statues, and to rechristen certain military bases, given the civil shockwaves still roiling cities in the U.S. and around the world following last month’s police killing of George Floyd.
President Donald Trump, however, has made it clear he won’t support renaming “fabled military installations” named for Confederate leaders like Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Hood in Texas.
The debate is not confined to American soil: Canada has been wrestling for years with the history of its first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and other founders and supporters of the residential school system.
Calls are also growing for Toronto to rename its busy Dundas Street, named for Henry Dundas, a British politician who deferred the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020.
The Canadian Press