District of Columbia residents and tourists weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, some saying the nation should go as far as renaming Washington, D.C.
CNN anchor Don Lemon recently floated the idea of re-thinking the Jefferson Memorial, dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, since he was a slave owner.
“There may come a day when we want to re-think Jefferson, I don’t know if we should do that, but when we get to that point, I’ll be happy to partake in that particular discussion,” Lemon said.
“It should come down,” one D.C. resident told PJ Media, referencing the Jefferson Memorial in Washington.
“If we do that, though, George Washington owned slaves. Should we rename Washington, D.C.?” he was asked.
“You have to draw the line at some point, I guess, maybe take a poll across the country and see what people think about it and if they want to rename the city, do it,” he said. “I would support changing the American flag as well. America is based on a lot of mass killings and slavery and the history is just – look at the Germans, they own up to the Holocaust, nobody is proud of their history. Americans, at least, you should not be proud of any mass killing. You should not be proud of anything wrong that’s been done in the past or any symbols that represent that and that’s all.”
Another man suggested renaming Washington “Black City” or “Mixed City.”
“We are all human and we are all the same, no more slavery,” he said. “As a black person, yes, they should rename it… anything that relates to slavery, take it off. It’s only fair.”
Some residents disagreed with taking down the Jefferson Memorial or renaming Washington.
“That’s not necessary – that’s all a part of history,” one man said.
D.C. tourists and residents were also asked if they agreed with a bill recently introduced by Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, which would remove the Confederate flag from license plates across the U.S. if states want their full amount of federal transportation dollars. One tourist told PJ Media the bill was not necessary.
“No, I think it’s a part of history. It may not be pretty but it’s a part of history,” she said.
Others agreed with the bill.
“I feel like it’s a symbol of hate, just like the swastika, and I think that it should probably go. People are so unhappy and offended by it, so let’s just get rid of it,” a resident said.