According to Roll Call, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has called for the removal of 11 statues from the Capitol, each representing a Confederate leader.
While the nation’s capital serves as the backdrop for historical markers and monuments from throughout the nation’s history, the House leader has determined that these statues should no longer stand among them based on the figures they represent.
Dozens of statues stand along the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall, including those dedicated to former presidents Gerald Ford and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Pelosi has targeted those specifically related to the Confederacy, including statues of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, and Alexander Stephens, his vice president.
“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,” she said, according to Roll Call.
Her request came the same day that NASCAR confirmed it would be banning the Confederate flag from all events in response to a recommendation from driver Bubba Wallace.
“Props to NASCAR and everybody involved,” Wallace said upon learning of the organization’s decision, according to CBS News. “It creates doors and allows the community to come together as one.”
“The power to select”
Not all drivers were in agreement, though, and Ray Ciccarelli announced on Facebook that he would be quitting over the change.
“I could care less about the Confederate flag,” he wrote, according to CBS Sports. “But there are people that do and it doesn’t make them a racist.”
A number of state leaders have come out in favor of removing Confederate statues on their soil, and some protesters have targeted such monuments to destroy or deface in recent days. As for Pelosi’s call, however, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said it is not the legislative branch’s decision to make.
Each state is allowed to select two statues to be displayed in the hall, and McCarthy advised that it is state leaders who “have the power to select who to come forward.”
President Donald Trump has spoken out in favor of the “heritage” he says the Confederacy represents for many Americans. As public sentiment shifts, it remains to be seen whether that stance will fare well among voters — or if the issue has any bearing on the election at all.