Posted by 20 July 2020
This week, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would result in the removal of 14 statues and a bust of individuals linked to the Confederacy or racist ideology.
HR 7573 would direct the Architect of the Capitol to remove the statues of 11 men who served the Confederacy, 3 men who advocated for white supremacy when in office, and a bust of former Chief Justice Robert Taney. Advocates of this change argue that the U.S. Capitol should not house statues or busts of individuals who fought against the government or who celebrated racism.
Each state can send two statues to be placed in the Capitol. Some states have selected statues of men who served the Confederacy. These include Gen. Robert E. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. One of the statues being targeted is that of John C. Calhoun, who served as senator and vice president. He was a strong advocate of slavery, arguing that it was a positive good for both the slaves and their masters. Chief Justice Taney authored the Dred Scott decision, which said that no one who had African ancestry could be a citizen of the U.S.
Those opposed to removing these statues say that such removal would be erasing history. They also contend that it is up to states to decide what statues they send to be placed in the Capitol, not Congress.
If the House passes this legislation, it will go to the Senate to be considered. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not been supportive of efforts to remove statues from the Capitol.
Do you support removing statues of Confederate officials from the U.S. Capitol?