Butterfield and Members of House Leadership and the Congressional Black Caucus Introduce Bill to Remove Statues of Defenders of Slavery from Capitol
WASHINGTON, DC – On July 13, 2020, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05), Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (CA-37), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (MS-02), and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) introduced H.R. 7573, a bill to replace the bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in the Old Supreme Court Chamber with one of Justice Thurgood Marshall and calls for the removal of other shameful reminders of slavery and segregation from the U.S. Capitol.
The bill would require states to reclaim and replace any statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection of individuals who volunteered for the armed services of the Confederacy during the Civil War. It would also specifically remove three statues – of John C. Calhoun, Charles B. Aycock, and John C. Clarke – from the collection because of those individuals’ role in defending slavery, segregation, and white supremacy. Yesterday, House Leader Hoyer also announced that the House will consider and vote on H.R. 7573 next week.
“A nation cannot rewrite its history, but we can and should be intentional of who we honor and what we celebrate. The United States of America has a dark history of slavery, segregation and systemic racism, but our present should reflect our progress and not our shameful past, said Butterfield. The dome of the U.S. Capitol is adorned with the Statue of Freedom for all to see, while the halls within still house statues honoring segregationists, proponents of slavery and white supremacists. Enough. While our nation continues to heal the wounds of the past, we must make the clear and unequivocal statement that there is no room in the People’s House for those who have perpetuated hate and division in the United States of America.
“I am proud to join in introducing this legislation and urge all of my colleagues to vote in favor of passing H.R. 7573 next week.”
To read the text of the bill, click here.