Nancy Pelosi says it is "the perfect time" to free Confederate statues from the Capitol

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that it was "the perfect time" to pack the 11 remaining Confederate statues displayed on Capitol Hill.

"The mood in public is everything," said Pelosi at her weekly press conference. "This is the perfect time for us to move these statues, because sometimes people might think," Oh, who cares, I never go there anyway, they all look the same to me, there are all these white men "- that I'm thinking, 'she said aside.

"On the other hand, the timing could be just right," she added.

The speaker planned a press release for Wednesday highlighting her work to remove the remaining Confederate statues from Capitol Hill immediately after President Trump announced his opposition to the removal of Confederate names from the nation's military bases.

"I want to tell you something Americans know that these names have to go," she said Thursday. "These names are white Supremacists who have said terrible things about our country."

"They listen to who they are and what they said, and then let the president argue why a base should be named for them," she continued. "He seems to be the only person who doesn't understand it."

House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that it was "the perfect time" to display the remaining 11 Confederate statues surrounding the packaging of the Capitol Hill complex. She said that during her first time as a speaker, she banished the Robert E. Lee statue to the Congress crypt

Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America

Confederate General Robert E. Lee

The Confederate statues on Capitol Hill include one by Jefferson Davis, which Mississippi is in the collection and is in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building. Jefferson was the President of the Confederate States of America during the civil war. Before the American Civil War, he ran a large cotton plantation in Mississippi that his brother Joseph gave him and owned up to 113 slaves

On Wednesday, Pelosi sent reporters a copy of a letter to the heads of the Joint Library Committee, which oversees the 100 statues in the National Statue Hall collection – Sen. Roy Blunt, the chairman, and a Missouri and Rep. Republican. Zoe Lofgren, vice chair of the committee and California Democrat.

Pelosi said on Thursday that she had received no response from Blunt.

"No, but I think he spoke publicly and said it was up to the states," she said. "It may be up to the states to send it here, but it is not up to the states where it could be."

She previously used this power to move a prominent Confederate statue.

"Let me just say that as a speaker, I did what I was authorized to do, to banish Robert E. Lee to the crypt," she said, speaking of her time as a speaker between 2007 and 2011.

"I could move things around, I couldn't take them out, it requires something else," she said, suggesting that the removal of the statues could require legislative correction.

In a statement on Thursday, Blunt quoted the law as it is currently being written.

"According to the law, each state decides which two statues it will send to the Capitol," he said. "As spokesman Pelosi undoubtedly knows, the law does not allow the architect of the Capitol or the Joint Congress Committee for the Library to remove a statue from the Capitol once it is received."

Blunt also pointed out that the states seemed to be moving towards the removal of the last Confederates.

"Several states have tried to replace statues and others seem to be going in the same direction," said Blunt. "This process is ongoing and encouraging."

General Robert E. Lee

General Robert E. Lee

Also on Capitol Hill is General Robert E. Lee, a gift from the Virginia Commonwealth. Robert E. Lee was an American and Confederate soldier who became known as the commander of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He commanded the Army of Northern Virginia from 1862 until its surrender in 1865. Lee married into one of the wealthiest slave-owner families in Virginia and, after the death of his father-in-law, said goodbye to the army to run the family estate. Documents show that he encouraged severe beatings for those who tried to escape

Commander Joseph Wheeler

Commander Joseph Wheeler

Commander Joseph Wheeler for the Confederate Army of Tennessee, left. He is known to have served as a general in the United States during the 1860s during the American Civil War as a cavalry general in the Confederate Army, and during the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War near the turn – Army has served the twentieth century

Uriah Milton Rose

Uriah Milton Rose

Attorney Uriah Milton Rose was an attorney who supported the Confederation. In 1917, the State of Arkansas donated a marble statue of Rose to the National Statuary Hall Collection of the United States Capitol. Rose was the only Arkansas delegate from the 75 lawyers who founded the American Bar Association in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1872. He was president from 1891 to 1892 and again from 1901 to 1902

Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton

Military officer Wade Hampton was a military officer of the Confederate States of America and a politician from South Carolina during the American Civil War. He came from a wealthy planter family and was shortly before the war one of the largest slave owners in the southeast and a state legislature. During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate Cavalry, where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant General. At the end of the reconstruction, with the withdrawal of federal troops from the state, Hampton was the leader of the redeemer who restored white rule. His campaign for the governor was marked by widespread violence by the Red Shirts, a paramilitary group that served the Democratic Party by disrupting elections and suppressing black and republican voices in the state


The Vice President of the Confederates Alexander Hamilton Stephens was a Confederate politician who served as Vice President of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865 and later as the 50th Governor of Georgia from 1882 until his death in 1883. He was a member of the State Democratic Party of the United States House of Representatives before becoming governor


Jefferson Davis – Mississippi

James Zachariah George – Mississippi

Wade Hampton – South Carolina

John E. Kenna – West Virginia

Gene. Robert E. Lee – Virginia

Uriah Milton Rose – Arkansas

Edmund Kirby Smith – Florida

Alexander Stephens – Georgia

Zebulon Vance – North Carolina

Joseph Wheeler – Alabama

Edward Douglass White – Louisiana

The Confederates, Pelosi said, "committed treason against the United States."

The statue collection includes General Robert E. Lee, a gift from Virginia, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a contribution from Mississippi, and Alexander Hamilton Stephens, a statue from Georgia.

In addition, Mississippi has a statue of Confederate James Zachariah George, Alabama has Joseph Wheeler, South Carolina has a statue of Wade Hampton, North Carolina has a statue of Zebulon Vance, West Virginia has John E. Kenna, Louisiana has gifted Edward Douglass White and Arkansas a statue of Uriah Milton Rose, a lawyer who campaigned for the Confederacy.

The statue of Edmund Kirby Smith, a general of the Confederate Army, should already be replaced.

Most Confederates in the collection are shown in uniform.

Pelosi's demand comes in the midst of a wave of anti-racism protests across America and the world that have already demolished several statues symbolizing racist oppression.

In her letter, Pelosi quoted Stephens & # 39; "cornerstone speech" in which the Vice President of the Confederation said that "assuming racial equality" was "erroneously" made.

& # 39; Our new government is based on exactly the opposite idea; his foundations have been laid, his foundation stone rests on the great truth that the Negro is not like the white man; This subordination of slavery to the superior race is its natural and normal state, ”Stephens said in the speech, Pelosi reminded the legislature.

She argued that the statues displayed on Capitol Hill "should embody our highest ideals as Americans."

"Monuments to men who advocate cruelty and barbarism in order to achieve such a clearly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals," said Pelosi. "Your statues are a tribute to hate, not heritage."

"They have to be removed," she argued.

"Although I believe that we must never forget our history so that we do not repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for the violent bigotry of the Confederate men in the sacred halls of the United States Capitol or in any location celebrate honor across the country. & # 39;

The urge to get rid of the Confederate symbols came after the murder of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis, by a white cop on Memorial Day.



Edward Douglass White was an American politician and lawyer from Louisiana. He was a United States Senator and the ninth Chief Justice of the United States. He served at the United States Supreme Court from 1894 to 1921. After the war, White won the Louisiana Senate election and served on the Louisiana Supreme Court. As a member of the Democratic Party, White represented Louisiana in the United States Senate from 1891 to 1894.

John E. Kenna

John E. Kenna

John E. Kenna was an American politician who was a senator from West Virginia from 1883 until his death. He rose from the Attorney General's Office of Kanawha County in 1872 to Secretary of Justice of the County Circuit in 1875 and the House of Representatives in 1876. During his stay, he campaigned for railway legislation and for the support of slack water navigation to help the coal, wood and salt industries in his state

Zebulon Baird Vance

Zebulon Baird Vance

Zebulon Baird Vance, a Confederate military officer in the American Civil War, the 37th and 43rd governors of North Carolina. was a Confederate military officer in the American Civil War, the 37th and 43rd governors of North Carolina and a United States senator. As a prolific writer, Vance became one of the most influential southern leaders of the Civil War and Postbellum era. As the leader of the "New South", Vance advocated the rapid modernization of the southern economy, the expansion of the railways, school construction and reconciliation with the north

James Zachariah George

James Zachariah George

James Zachariah George was one of the strongest statesmen of white domination in Mississippi in the reconstruction era. He was an American lawyer, writer, US politician, confederate politician and military officer. He was known as Mississippis & # 39; Great Commoner & # 39;

Edmund Kirby Smith

Edmund Kirby Smith

Edmund Kirby Smith was born into a wealthy slave family in St. Augustine. He was a US Army career officer who fought in the Mexican-American War. He later joined the Confederate Army in the Civil War and was promoted to general in the first months of the war. He was notable for commanding the Trans-Mississippi division after the Vicksburg fall to the United States

Who was Jefferson Finis Davis, President of the Confederate State of America?

Jefferson Finis Davis, the first and only President of the Confederate States, served from 1861 to 1865. He was a slave and plantation owner, a Kentucky-born politician and soldier who grew up in Mississippi.

He graduated from his military academy in 1828 and served briefly in the Black Hawk War in 1832 before returning to his plantation.

Davis later became a Congressman and Senator before officially retiring from the U.S. Senate on January 21, 1861 after Mississippi left the Union.

A month later, he was elected provisional President of the Confederation.

Historians say that his poor leadership skills may have played a role in the Confederacy defeat, saying that he was a weak leader compared to President of the Union, President Abraham Lincoln.

He was captured and accused of treason in 1865 and incarcerated at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. However, he was released after two years without going to trial.

The following protests against "Black Lives Matter" have again paid attention to issues such as the statues of Capitol Hill, the flag of the Confederate at certain events, and the renaming of 10 bases of the US Army that are currently named after Confederate leaders .

President Trump said on Wednesday that the U.S. bases would not be renamed under his supervision.

Democrats had previously tried to remove the Statuary Hall statues after the Charlottesville protests in August 2017, in which KKK members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists fought counter-protesters, one of whom was killed.

The Republicans then replied that the choice of statues was left up to each state.

When Lofgren saw the letter, she said that she agreed with Pelosi that the Joint Committee and the Capitol architect "should appropriately remove these symbols of cruelty and bigotry from the Capitol halls".

"The Capitol is owned by the American people and cannot serve as a place of honor for the hatred and racism that tears apart our nation's tissue, the very poison that these statues embody," said Lofgren.

The long debate over Confederate statues has returned to the limelight this month during the huge anti-racism movement after George Floyd's death.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer knelt on his head for almost nine minutes while arresting him.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced plans to dismantle a Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond last week, although a judge blocked the proposal.

Elsewhere, Christopher Columbus' statues have also become a target for demonstrators who claim that he triggered centuries of Native American genocide.

A Columbus statue was torn down with ropes, set on fire, and rolled into a lake in a park in Richmond on Tuesday evening.

Another Columbus memorial was beheaded in Boston in a waterfront park near the city's north end.

However, Donald Trump says his government won't even consider changing the name of one of the U.S. Army's 10 bases, which are named after Confederate leaders.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he was open to discussing such changes after Floyd's funeral.

But Trump weighed in on Wednesday night and said, “These monumental and very powerful bases have become part of a great American heritage and a story of winning, victory and freedom.

The United States trained and deployed our HEROES in these sacred areas and won two world wars. So my administration won't even consider renaming these great and fabulous military facilities. & # 39;

Nancy Pelosi's Confederate statue letter in full

Dear Chairman Blunt and Vice Chairman Lofgren:

The Joint Library Committee is legally responsible for managing the collection of the National Statue Hall, including the authority to determine the placement of the statues. Currently, 11 statues depicting Confederate soldiers and officers are on display as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol. Among these eleven are Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens, President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America, both of whom have been charged with treason against the United States.

Stephen's infamous words make the Confederation's goals as clear today as they were in 1861. In his "cornerstone speech" Stephens claimed that the "prevailing ideas" upon which the Framer was based included "the assumption of race equality". That was a mistake. & # 39; Instead, he made the confederation's terrible truth clear and simple: “Our new government is based on exactly the opposite idea; his foundations have been laid, his foundation stone rests on the great truth that the Negro is not like the white man; This subordination of slavery to the superior race is its natural and normal state. & # 39;

As I said, the congress halls are at the heart of our democracy. The statues in the Capitol were meant to embody our highest ideals as Americans and to express who we are and who we want to be as a nation. Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a clearly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. Her statues are a tribute to hate, not heritage. They have to be removed.

While I believe that we must never forget our history so that we do not repeat it, I also believe that there is no room to celebrate the violent bigotry of the Confederate men in the sacred halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country.

Let us set a good example. To that end, I request the Joint Library Committee to instruct the Capitol architect to take immediate steps to remove these 11 statues from the United States Capitol exhibit.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this request.

Sincerely yours,


Speaker of the house