WASHINGTON – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said the statues of Confederate leaders present in the U.S. Capitol building should be replaced with “female heroes.”
Schakowsky also said other members of Congress should support the proposed resolution “censuring and condemning” Trump over his reaction to the white supremacist violence last month in Charlottesville.
“We should be aware that there are 10 statues within the Statuary Hall collection that represent Confederate leaders. They do not have a place in our Capitol. I, for one, want to see some more women heroes to be there in Statuary Hall, but there are plenty of really heroic Americans who have stood for our values that could replace those statues in Statuary Hall,” she said during a press conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with the nonprofit organization Bend the Arc Jewish Action. “So this fight is far from over.”
Bend the Arc’s official website says the organization’s vision is to “build and activate Jewish power to help transform our country to be inclusive, equitable, and supportive of the dignity of every person across race, class, gender and faith.”
According to the censure resolution backed by Democrats, President Trump’s “immediate public comments rebuked ‘many sides’ for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and failed to specifically condemn the ‘Unite the Right’ rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism.”
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) shared a similar view of the Confederate statues in the Capitol building and added that Confederate symbols should be moved out of veterans’ cemeteries.
“Right behind me in the people’s house there are statues that glorify racist Confederate leaders who committed treason against the United States and fought to defend the institution of slavery. We’re going to have to change that as well, but mainly today I want stand in solidarity with all of you,” he said.
Huffman also called for passage of his amendment that would cut off taxpayer funding for the salaries of Trump administration officials including White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller for supporting what he called “white nationalist” policies such as the travel ban and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program repeal. The amendment was proposed with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
“Trump keeps filling his administration with people with these twisted ideologies and sowing their division, racism and bigotry,” he said. “Stephen Miller is still there, and of course he’s the mentee of arch-racist Richard Spencer.”
Huffman said he recently learned that the Republican leadership is not going to allow his amendment to be put up for a vote.
“So we’re going to press forward in every other way that we can,” he said. “We have to stand up and confront this hate, bigotry and racism, and we’ll keep doing it.”
Ben Wilker, an activist from Moveon.org, claimed that the rise of President Trump is “the result of white supremacy and bigotry.”
“We have learned what happens when people refuse to take sides, and so when they came for the Muslims, even those of us who were not Muslim stood up, spoke out and fought for them in the airports across this country in January,” he said at the Capitol Hill press conference. “When they come for trans men and women serving in our armed forces, all of us, even if we are not trans, stand up and fight for them.”