House Democrats have passed legislation to remove 15 statues because of their connection to the Confederacy, slavery, or white supremacy, 13 of whom were Democrats.
“It’s time to sweep away the last vestiges of Jim Crow and the dehumanizing of individuals because of the color of their skin that intruded for too long on the sacred spaces of our democracy,” Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House Majority Leader, said in a Roll Call report on the legislation.
“The American people know, these names have to go. These names are white supremacists that said terrible things about our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a Just the News report.
The bill only names four of the offending statues — Roger B. Taney, the fifth chief justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, a Democrat, who authored the Dred Scott decision; John Caldwell Calhoun, a Democrat who served as vice president and defender of slavery; James Paul Clarke, a Democrat, who was loyal to his Confederate state Arkansas, which he served as governor and represented in Congress; and Charles Brantley Aycock, a Democrat who was prominent in the Democratic Party’s “white supremacy” Solid South campaigns.
Of the other 11 statues reportedly facing removal, nine were Democrats:
- Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America and former Democrat U.S. senator from Mississippi
- James Zachariah George, former Democrat U.S. senator from Mississippi and member of the Mississippi Secession Convention
- Wade Hampton, lieutenant general of the Confederacy and former Democrat governor of South Carolina
- John E. Kenna, member of the Confederate States Army, former Democrat congressman and U.S. senator from West Virginia
- Uriah Milton Rose, chairman of the Resolutions Committee of the Arkansas Democratic Party
- Edmund Kirby Smith, general for the Confederate States Army who has no recorded political party affiliation
- Alexander Hamilton Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States who served as a Democrat congressman from Georgia and governor of Georgia
- Zebulon Baird Vance, member of the Confederate Army and former Democrat governor of North Carolina
- Joseph Wheeler, commander in the Confederate Army and former Democratic congressman from Alabama
- Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate States Army, no party affiliation
- Edward Douglass White, member of Confederate Army, former Louisiana Democratic senator and associate justice of the Supreme Court
Roll Call also reported that the bust of John C. Breckinridge, a Kentucky senator and vice president in the Buchanan administration, who was expelled in 1861 for joining the Confederacy, would also be removed.
The bill calls for $5 million to be appropriated for the removal.
Author: Penny Starr