Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 28° Clear
News >  Nation

Lawmaker wants Confederate statues removed from U.S. Capitol

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 8, 2017

In this June 24, 2015, file photo, a statue of Jefferson Davis, second from left, president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. is on display in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
In this June 24, 2015, file photo, a statue of Jefferson Davis, second from left, president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. is on display in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
By Sarah D. Wire Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON – On the heels of a clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Virginia last month, Rep. Barbara Lee wants statues of Confederate heroes removed from the U.S. Capitol.

The California Democrat filed legislation Thursday that would require that all statues of people who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America be removed from the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., filed similar legislation in the Senate, which is co-sponsored by California’s Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris.

Furor over the removal of Confederate statues from public spaces grew after a protest about a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va., became violent.

Each state is allowed to place two statues of state figures in the United States’ National Statuary Hall Collection, and about 10 statues from Southern states depict men who were Confederate soldiers or generals.

Under Lee and Booker’s legislation, states could reclaim the statues if they pay the shipping costs and are welcome to send a replacement.

“Having these monuments in Statuary Hall really doesn’t tell the story of my ancestors, of men who wanted to keep my ancestors in chains. The story needs to be told,” Lee said.

Lee said she hopes the statues would be placed in museums, where they can be contextualized.

“They don’t belong in public spaces where we honor and celebrate men who wanted to keep slavery in existence,” she said.

Shortly after the Charlottesville melee in which a woman was killed, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., to remove the statues.

A spokesman for Ryan told Politico last month that GOP leadership thinks the states should make the decision to remove a statue, an indication that the legislation faces an uphill battle in Congress.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com