Home » Like the Confederacy, Republicans lose vote to restore racist monument

Like the Confederacy, Republicans lose vote to restore racist monument

The House voted Thursday to reject an amendment to restore a racist Confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery. The statue depicted a Black “mammy” holding a Confederate soldier’s baby and a Black enslaved person following a Confederate soldier into battle.

In a 230 to 192 vote, only 24 Republicans joined Democrats in opposition to the monument.

The Reconciliation Memorial, also called the “New South” monument, was erected in 1914 by famed white supremacist President Woodrow Wilson. An independent commission recommended the statue for removal in 2022. In December 2023, the Army, which operates Arlington National Cemetery, informed Congress that it intended to remove the statue.

Of the 192 Republicans who voted in support of restoring the racist monument, at least three of them are freshman members in precariously purple districts of New York. Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito of New York’s 4th congressional district, who’s facing a tough challenge with Democrat Laura Gillen, will have to answer for pictures he took at the Capitol with disgraced former Rep. George Santos. 

Rep. Marc Molinaro of  New York’s 19th Congressional District is facing a rematch against Democrat Josh Riley. Molinaro eked out the seat in 2022. And in April, Air Force veteran Sarah Klee Hood announced she would be challenging Republican Rep. Brandon Williams for the seat he barely won in New York’s 22nd congressional district. I suspect the challengers in these races will make sure to point out that New York was on the side of the Union during the Civil War.

The amendment was brought by Georgia gun shop owner-turned-congressman Andrew Clyde. This was not Clyde’s first time being racist about memorials. In 2022, Clyde led House Republicans in blocking a “routine measure” to name a federal courthouse in Florida after its first Black state supreme court justice, Joseph W. Hatchett.

Thursday’s House vote shows an increase in GOP support for white supremacist symbology since 2021 when only 120 Republicans voted against removing Confederate statues from the Capitol. I guess that’s what the GOP would call progress?

Hopium Chronicles’ Simon Rosenberg joins Markos to discuss the “red wave-ification” of the economy and how prepared Democrats are for November. There is still work to do but we have a better candidate—and we have the edge.

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June 2024