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Congresswoman Clarke Introduces Federal Legislation to Remove Confederate Monuments from Military Bases

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke announced today a plan to remove Confederate monuments from military bases, by introducing “Honoring Real Patriots Act of 2017,” which would require the Department of Defense to change the name of any military installation or other property under its control currently named for individuals who fought against the United States during the Civil War or supported the Confederacy’s war efforts.

The legislation follows requests by Congresswoman Clarke and her colleagues in the Brooklyn Congressional delegation that the Department of the Army change the names of two streets at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn that are now named for Confederate generals. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and other community leaders have since joined in calling for the name change. These requests have been refused by the Army.

“The time has come for the Army to remove from Fort Hamilton and other military installations the disgraced names of men who waged war against the United States to preserve the evil institution of slavery. Monuments to the Confederacy and its leaders have always represented white supremacy and a continuing attempt to deny the basic human rights of African Americans. As recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, have made perfectly clear, these monuments are nothing more than symbols of white supremacy and a pretext for the violent imposition of an evil ideology that should never have persisted into the Twenty-First Century. For hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents, as well as troops stationed at Fort Hamilton who are prepared to fight for this nation, the monuments are an insult. It is clear that these symbols remain an inspiration to some who espouse white supremacist ideology to perpetuate acts of terror and violence on peaceful, law-abiding citizens of our nation. Across the United States, cities and states are removing such monuments as an act of reconciliation and respect for people whose humanity has too often been denied. I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation and to dedicate themselves to the eradication of white supremacy, now and forever. The time for change is now.”