House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., filed a request with the Joint Committee on the Library on Wednesday to remove 11 statues of Confederate leaders from the US Capitol.
The statues are held in Statuary Hall, and is a prominent spot for visitors of the US Capitol. The hall is frequently seen in the background of media interviews with members of Congress.
Each state sends two statues to be viewed in Statuary Hall. States largely decide on the statues to be displayed in the hall. Among the statues in Statuary Hall include Confederacy president Jefferson Davis and Confederate commander Robert E. Lee.
“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,” Pelosi said in a letter to formalize her request. “Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.
“While I believe it is imperative that we never forget our history lest we repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.”
Pelosi’s sent her letter around the same time NASCAR announced that it is banning Confederate flags from be displayed at its race tracks. There are also a number of Confederate statues that are in the process of being removed throughout the US in response to the unrest following the death of George Floyd two weeks ago.