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Nancy Pelosi Calls For Removal Of Confederate Statues In U.S. Capitol

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.

"If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately." 

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. 

Trump tweeted about the statues on Thursday:

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.

Many statue supporters vocalized their dissent:

There are a dozen statues of Confederate figures at the Capitol:

Naturally, a petition is making the rounds:

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. 

H/T: New York Times, CBS News, Twitter