Following the gruesome death of 46-year-old father of two, George Floyd, change was demanded. Protesters called for widespread structural change to protect black Americans from the disproportionate rate of police brutality they experience. Small gestures to address the problem, while small indeed and not truly real solutions to the issue at hand, are gains nevertheless.
Tonight I voted to remove all Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol Building.
These monuments uphold a legacy of racism and oppression.
They don’t belong in the halls of Congress.https://t.co/1CrAGvnOsJ
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) July 22, 2020
Although the president has made clear that he’s more interested in saving Confederate statues than American lives from the coronavirus, Congress passed a bill on Wednesday to remove statues of Confederate generals and soldiers from the Capitol building. The statues that black members of Congress have had to walk past every day, statues commemorating those who fought to keep black people owned as property by white people, will finally come down.
CNN reports that:
‘The bill requires the removal of statues of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederacy from display in the Capitol complex, and it would force states to replace such statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. It would also get rid of three statues of men who defended slavery, segregation and white supremacy during their lives — John C. Calhoun, Charles Aycock and James P. Clarke.
‘It passed with a bipartisan vote of 305-113.’
Honestly, does anyone give a fvck at this moment? We have a violent police state encroaching on our civil rights, a raging pandemic with no one we can trust to offer consistent guidance, the GOP want to kill our kids and congress votes on statues? Wtaf!?! https://t.co/7DoFhfYkyG
— Angelux (@Angelux1111) July 23, 2020
It’s not much. It won’t save any black lives or make racism go away, but it is a small step in the right direction. Making heroes out of Confederate soldiers, statues that are nothing more than monuments to the worst part of American history, should have no place in the people’s house.
‘The statues have come under fire before now, but members of Congress have pushed with renewed urgency to address the matter in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and mass protests against systemic racism across the United States.
‘The Senate also would have to pass the legislation for it to take effect. Republicans in that chamber have pushed back on congressional efforts to address the statues, saying states should make the decision.’
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) July 23, 2020
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus expressed their approval of the bill following its passage. The legislation still has to pass the Senate, but the bipartisan vote in the House bodes well for the future of the bill.
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) said that:
‘”My ancestors built the Capitol, but yet there are monuments to the very people that enslaved my ancestors,” Rep. Karen Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said Wednesday.
‘She added that the presence of the statues in the Capitol represents “an acceptance of white supremacy and racism, something we are fighting day in and day out to dismantle.”‘
Congress votes to remove Confederate statues, bust of chief justice, from Capitol.
The bill would replace former Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's bust with one of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall: @NBCNews https://t.co/EwS23BXT8t
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) July 22, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube