WASHINGTON - Congressional Black Caucus members have renewed demands that Confederate statues throughout the U.S. Capitol be removed following similar movements throughout the country.
Currently, there are 12 statues inside of the Capitol building of people who were part of the Confederate States of America and fought against the United States during Civil War, including Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Alexander Hamilton Stevenson.
Congressional Black Caucus members point out that there are only four statues of African Americans in comparison.
There are also statues of the founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, who were slave owners. President Donald Trump questioned on Tuesday where the line would be drawn if all Confederate statues were removed.
Trump’s argument was that if the country began removing Confederate statues then it should have to remove statues of slave owners, which is a position disputed by historians including Dr. Michael Fauntroy of Howard University.
Fauntroy said there is a clear and important difference between the founding fathers of the U.S. and southern rebels.
“Thomas Jefferson and George Washington helped to create a nation. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, on the other hand, tried to split a nation,” Fauntroy explained. “President Trump not really knowing history, perhaps as he should, got that wrong as he has many other things as it relates to this issue.”
Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond from Louisiana said he is only calling for the removal of Confederate statues from the Capitol, not statues of the founding fathers.
At a 2016 constitutional convention aiming to establish statehood for the District, officials decided that if statehood was granted the Washington name could be stripped and rechristened to the “Douglas Commonwealth” in honor of Frederick Douglas.