Congressman Steven Horsford Calls for the Removal of Confederate Monuments from Public Lands
Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) joined his colleagues in the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands for a legislative hearing on the removal of Confederate statues for public spaces.
“Historic sites play a unique role in telling our nation’s history and therefore, should represent the inclusive narratives, imagery, and ideals of all Americans,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “The removal of symbols that idolize hate and bigotry in our country is long overdue and provides us an opportunity to highlight those whose valuable contributions built the fabric of our nation.”
The hearing discussed three bills that would prompt removal of Confederate statues and monuments from federal property. The bills are:
- H.R. 970 (Rep. Anthony Brown), To direct the Secretary of the Interior to develop a plan for the removal of the monument to Robert E. Lee at the Antietam National Battlefield, and for other purposes. “Robert E. Lee Statue Removal Act.”
- H.R. 4135 (Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton), To direct the Secretary of the Interior to remove the statue to the memory and in honor of Albert Pike erected near Judiciary Square in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 7550 (Rep. A. Donald McEachin), To direct the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to inventory Confederate commemorative works on certain Federal lands, and for other purposes. “Confederate Commemorative Works Inventory and Joint Resource Study Act.”
The Congressman’s prepared remarks and line of questioning are available below:
- Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.
- As we mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, one of my personal heroes, a champion for equality, we must too remember the sacrifice and legacy he and so many other Americans made in fighting for our civil rights and freedoms.
- When discussing the removal of Confederate Monuments, Congressman Lewis described these efforts as “the beginning of a movement that will help us move toward the realization that we’re one people, we’re one nation and we have to be sensitive to our own history.”
- Just this week, we in the House of Representatives are honoring this movement in the Nation’s capital, by voting on historic legislation that will remove the statues of defenders of the horrific system of slavery, segregation, and racism from the U.S. Capitol building.
- I am proud of the work our Chairman and my colleagues are doing to demonstrate that our public lands and parks belong to all Americans.
- This is an opportunity to shine our light on stories of great individuals who have NOT stood for hate, or oppression, or against our union….
- But rather those who reflect our ideas and whose valuable contributions built the fabric of our nation.
- Dr. Coleman, thank you for being here and for the important work you do to inform us of our own history.
- QUESTION: For those who may not understand these symbols, or the impact that they have, can you share with us some stories or experiences that you’ve heard working on this issue? What do these statues mean to Americans, and particularly black Americans, when they are held in places of honor?
- Mayor Landrieu, thank you for your testimony and your continued work to remove inappropriate memorials to the Confederacy across the United States. For many Americans, this debate is about history, and preserving our past. They see the removal of these statutes as a radical act to remove history.
- QUESTION: If you had the opportunity to speak to someone holding those views on this issue, what would you say to them? What words would you leave them with?
Video of the Congressman’s testimony can be watched and downloaded here.