The unfortunate violence carried out last weekend by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia has pressed lawmakers like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) try to garner political points with their constituents by calling for the removal of any and all symbols that represent the Confederacy.
Wasserman Schultz wants the statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith to be removed from the National Statuary Hall located in the U.S. Capitol.
Each state has two statues on display in the Capitol. Smith’s statue is one of two Florida Statues.
“While the events in Charlottesville represent our nation’s original sin, we know these hateful acts do not define who we are as a country…We must denounce white supremacy and domestic terrorism and stand up for love and compassion – not just with our words, but with our deeds.”
“Shamefully, a statue of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith currently represents the state of Florida in National Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol. Despite last year’s decision by the Florida legislature to remove the statue, Republican majorities in the Florida House and Senate have refused to hear legislation to select a replacement, leaving in a place of honor, a statue that symbolizes a painful, disgraceful legacy.
“It’s time to stop playing games. No family visiting our nation’s Capitol should have to explain to their child that the statue representing our state honors someone who fought for a philosophy built on hatred and oppression. Governor Scott and the Florida legislature must take immediate action by calling a one-day special session during their upcoming interim committee meetings to pass a bill with one of the three recommendations from the committee established by law: Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Mary McLeod Bethune or George Washington Jenkins. These three Floridians represent the best of the history of our state. The removal of the Confederate statue must be made an urgent priority.”
While most, if not all Americans denounce racism, regardless o whether it comes from Black Lives Matters or from white nationalists, removing a statue or flag from public land that represents a part of Americana only serves to strip our country of its true identity.
The Confederacy represents hate and racism to many. We get it, but it also represents where we were, and how far we have as a country.