House Votes To Remove Confederate Statues From U.S. Capitol
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve the bill to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol.
The legislation was approved in a 305-113 vote. All Democrats and 72 Republicans voted for it, while all of the “no” votes came from GOP lawmakers.
“Just imagine what it feels like as an African American to know that my ancestors built the Capitol, but yet there are monuments to the very people that enslaved my ancestors,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-California), the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, said ahead of the vote.
She added that “the presence of these statues represents an acceptance of white supremacy and racism.” Bass also noted that removing Confederate statues would honor Rep. John Lewis’ legacy, who passed away less than a week before the bill was approved.
“I think it’s so appropriate that we do this also in honor of Mr. Lewis. The main honor for Mr. Lewis, to me, is to get a signature on the Voting Rights Act. But this is also a way to honor his legacy because what he fought for every day is the exact opposite of these symbols,” Bass said.
The bill orders the removal of 11 statues honoring Confederate leaders displayed in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall collection. Most of the Confederate statues, which were contributed by southern states, have been on display since the Jim Crow era. The legislation will prohibit “persons who served as an officer or voluntarily with the Confederate States of America or of the military forces or government of a State while the State was in rebellion against the United States” from the display.