On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to remove all Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol as well as a bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney, the white supremacist lawmaker who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott ruling that said Black people aren’t U.S. citizens. Predictably, members of a certain party that wants desperately for everyone to know that Democrats started this slavery shit are also the ones who opposed the removal of statues commemorating slavers and soldiers who fought to preserve the institution of negroes in bondage.
In fact, H.R.3005 passed with a 285-120 vote with all Democrats voting in favor and all opposing votes being cast by Republicans, NPR reports. The bill would require the Capitol architect to identify and remove all statues representing a member of the Confederacy within 45 days of the resolution’s enactment, and all statues are to be returned to whichever state submitted them. Then said states can vote on a less racist replacement to be displayed at the Capitol.
I’m not sure what that would look like, but what i like to imagine is officials from a state like, say, Alabama, going to work one day to find their ode to MASA (Make America Slavery-friendly Again) statue on the front lawn of the state Capitol with a sign on it that reads “unwanted colonizer here. Please readopt and send a non-oppressor in his place. Thank you and be well.”
I mention Alabama specifically because a Republican representative for the state, Rep. Mo Brooks, went with a good old-fashioned states rights narrative in explaining why he voted against the measure, which he called a display of “cancel culture and historical revisionism.”
“I support federalism and a state’s right to decide for itself who it should honor,” Brooks wrote in a statement. “As such, I will proudly vote ‘No’ on H.R. 3005. Alabama, not New Yorkers, Californians, or anyone else, should decide who we wish to honor in Alabama’s contribution to the National Statuary Collection.”
Listen: For a reasonable person, “We’ll do what we want and what we want is to be represented by a niggra captor” is a strange hill to die on, but it isn’t surprising coming from someone who doesn’t even believe fighters for non-freedom are cancel-worthy.
And what’s with this “historical revisionism” nonsense? Only conservatives appear to believe that statues are the actual tellers of history. History books and historians teach history, not visual aids. It’s like—tell me you don’t read books with no pictures without telling me you don’t read books with no pictures.
But at least Brooks was willing to admit he just doesn’t want the statues removed instead of dancing around the issue like other opposing Republicans did.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., used his debate time Wednesday to condemn critical race theory, a scholarly approach to studying American institutions through the lens of race and racism that has been rebranded by many Republicans as a stand-in for any conversation about race or the role racism continues to play in American society. McCarthy said he supports the removal of Confederate statues and repeatedly noted that the racist lawmakers and leaders they depict were then members of the Democratic Party.
Other Republican lawmakers noted their support for the removal of statues but also their frustration over the legislative process.
“My opposition to this bill isn’t because of the goal that we’re trying to achieve, but it’s the way that the majority continues to skirt procedure in this body,” said Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga. “For the second consecutive Congress, this bill was rushed to the floor without a hearing or a markup in the Committee on House Administration.”
Not a single body:
Republicans: “CRITICAL RACE THEORY MUST DIE DIE DIE!!!”
Imagine discussing something related to legalized institutional racism and still debating that studies on how race affects law and other institutions should be condemned.
Then you have Loudermilk (I don’t have time to make fun of a loud-and-wrong white man’s name being “Loudermilk”) who thinks Congress needs to have a meeting about a meeting about the possibility of removing racist statues before just voting to remove the damn things.
Let’s just cleanse our palates of all that salty white nonsense by ending with a quote from Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) on the matter.
“My ancestors built this building,” Bass said on the House floor, NPR reports. “Imagine how they would feel, knowing that more than 100 years after slavery was abolished in this country, we still paid homage to the very people that betrayed this country in order to keep my ancestors enslaved.”