After last weekend's violence in Charlottesville gripped the nation, the debate over Confederate statues around the country has become a hot-button issue. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, urging Speaker Paul Ryan to act. "The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible," Pelosi said.
A spokesperson for Speaker Ryan claims that the Republican leader believes the removal of statues "are decisions for those states to make." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer didn't want to get sidetracked by the statue debate, saying Trump and Steve Bannon were "trying to divert attention away from the president’s refusal to unequivocally and full-throatedly denounce white supremacy, neo-Nazism and other forms of bigotry" by stoking the statue debate flames.
Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
...the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
According to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, 62 percent of Americans believe that statues of Confederate leaders should remain as historical symbols, including 44 percent of Democrats.
How do you feel about Robert Byrds statue? You know the KKK guy who was Hillary Clintons mentor?— Price (@price1000000) August 17, 2017
Last week it was OK ? Stop playing politics and worry about running the Govt.!— Henry Golis (@ParkLaneDrive) August 17, 2017
There are more confederate monuments/statues in the US Capitol than there are black senators.— Reggie Cunningham (@kidnoble) August 17, 2017
Let that sink in.
No clear answer has presented itself, although Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, has said that the statues could perhaps be moved to a private area in the Capitol, away from public view. This is surely not the last we'll hear about the statues, as the nation continues to grapple with its ever-growing divide.