|Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) brought forth legislation to require all Department of Defense (DOD) property that is named after Confederate leaders to be renamed within one year. With heightened awareness about and desire for change around racism in America, Clarke’s legislation, The Honoring Real Patriots Act, was reintroduced from her 2017 legislation of the same name–this time with 30 original cosponsors.|
Clarke said: “The response across the country to George Floyd’s murder is evidence that this nation wants racial justice. Our country is at a crossroads to move forward from our racist, troubling past by making actual changes, which is why I’ve taken legislative action in introducing the Honoring Real Patriots Act to rename property that’s been glamorizing Confederate leaders. Instead, we must memorialize the true Patriots, those brave men and women who fought for our country, not against it.”
The Honoring Real Patriots Act would require any military installation or other property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DOD) that has been named after any individual who took up arms against the United States during the American Civil War or any individual or entity that supported such efforts to be changed within one year.
Military bases, streets and buildings are examples of property that would be required to be renamed. Future property would also be required to abide by this naming convention.
In response to the military publicly stating their openness about changing base names, Donald Trump tweeted his support of and commitment to maintaining military bases named after Confederate generals.
Clarke responded: “America is in crisis. Black people are dying at disproportionately higher rates from COVID than other races, meanwhile racism and police brutality continues to plague our Black community. Instead of properly leading and managing this country through crisis and addressing the actual problems here, America’s Bigot-in-Chief chooses to spend his time as a keyboard warrior romanticizing America’s racist history. When you live in the la-la land of Donald Trump it’s no wonder he sees fit to propel a racist rhetoric in both action and words because he continues to want to white wash America and finds comfort in the white supremacy and racism in which our country was founded.”
The Honoring Real Patriots Act, was reintroduced by Clarke in an effort to renew discussions and action surrounding racial issues. Clarke was joined by Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), André Carson (IN-07), David Cicilline (RI-01), Diana DeGette (CO-01) Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL) Jared Huffman (CA-02), Joe Kennedy III (MA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Andy Kim (NJ-03) Al Lawson (FL-05), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Sean Maloney (NY-18), Jim McGovern (MA-2), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Grace Meng (NY-06), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), David Price (NC-04), Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Max Rose (NY-11), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) as original cosponsors of this legislation.