Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday she has ordered four portraits of former House speakers who served in the confederacy of Speakers who served in the confederacy to be removed from the U.S. Capitol.
According to Politico, Pelosi has said that she didn’t even know their portraits were on display in the Capitol until she was informed of them while taking inventory in the Capitol of Confederate statues which she is also trying to have removed.
“Tomorrow, Juneteenth, the clerk will oversee the removal of those Confederate speakers from the House,” Pelosi announced at a press conference at the Capitol. “There’s no room in the
hallowed halls of this democracy, this temple of democracy, to memorialize people who embody violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.”
Pelosi sent a letter to the House Clerk Cheryl Johnson requesting the removal of the four previous House Speakers to honor Juneteenth, which is observed June 19 and commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.
Pelosi’s letter stated: “To appropriately observe Juneteenth this year, I write today to request the immediate removal of the portraits in the U.S. Capitol of four previous Speakers who served in the Confederacy: Robert Hunter of Virginia (1839-1841), Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849-1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857-1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia (1891-1895).”
“We cannot honor men such as James Orr, who swore on the House Floor to ‘preserve and perpetuate’ slavery in order to ‘enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,’ or Robert Hunter, who served at nearly every level of the Confederacy, including in the Confederate Provincial Congress, as Confederate Secretary of State, in the Confederate Senate and in the Confederate Army,” Pelosi’s letter continues.
“The portraits of these men are symbols that set back our nation’s work to confront and combat bigotry.”
While what these men stood for is certainly not something worth celebrating, Pelosi’s reckless destruction of our nation’s history is something that dooms us to repeat it, and her actions scream virtue signaling more so than a desire to make lasting change.
It’s also worth noting that all four of these men were Democrats.
Pelosi continued in her letter taking advantage of the racial divide as Democrats do so very well: “Very sadly, this day comes during a moment of extraordinary national anguish, as we grieve for the hundreds of black Americans killed by racial injustice and police brutality, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others,” she wrote.
In recent weeks, the statues across the nation have come under siege, with many being vandalized or removed following the death of George Floyd as protestors claim to fight for racial justice while looting, vandalizing, and killing.
There are still a number of statues of men with connection to the confederacy on display in the capitol. North Carolina sent a statue of Zebulon Vance to be displayed, Florida sent a statue of Edmund Kirby Smith, the last Confederate general to surrender, Alabama sent a statue of Confederate cavalryman Joseph Wheeler, South Carolina sent a statue of Wade Hampton, Georgia sent a statue of Confederate vice president Alexander Stephens. In 1931, Mississippi chose both Confederate president Jefferson Davis and Confederate colonel James Z. Georg, according to The Washington Post.