The race to remove Confederate statues in order to battle white supremacy is intensifying throughout this week. After a deadly riot in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday surrounding the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue, Confederate statues are coming down left and right, whether removed by cities or by angry protesters.
“This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson. Is it George Washington [who owned slaves] next? You have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump said during a Tuesday evening press conference, according to the New York Times.
And someone is already calling for the demolition of at least the Jefferson Monument in D.C. Rev. Al Sharpton says the popular museum and attraction is an insult to his family because President Thomas Jefferson owned slaves.
In Chicago, a pastor is demanding that two parks dedicated to Presidents George Washington and Andrew Jackson have their statues removed and their names changed. He’d prefer Jackson Park be named after a black hero like Jesse Jackson or Michael Jackson instead.
Now House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is insisting on a change in the U.S. Capitol as well. According to the Washington Examiner, she wants Confederate statues inside one of America’s most iconic buildings carted away.
"The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation," she said.
"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,” she added. “There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokesman pointed out that each U.S. state gets to choose two statues to display in the Capitol and that their removal is up to the states, not Congress.
The Gettysburg National Military Park was also asked this week what it planned to do with its many, many Confederate states and symbols. Park officials came back with a firm answer.