tv U.S. House of Representatives Removal of Certain Statues and Busts from... CSPAN July 25, 2020 10:01am-11:01am EDT
through our social media feeds. by america'sed cable television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. >> services in honor of john lewis began this weekend and will continue through next week with memorials planned in d.c., alabama, and georgia. c-span's coverage begins today with the coverage -- in troy, alabama. on wednesday, the house voted to remove statues honoring confederate figures from the capital. bustuld also replace the of the author of the dred scott decision. it will be replaced by a bust of justice thurgood marshall. here is the debate eating up to the boat.
-- leading up to the vote. nized. mr. butterfield: thank you, mr. speaker. i bring this legislation to the floor today on behalf of the committee on house administration. i want to thank our chair, congresswoman zoe lofgren, for her leadership. i thank ranking member rodney davis for his friendship and leadership on our committee. thank you, mr. davis. i said this to you privately, thank you for the spirit in which you have approached this important but delicate issue. recognizing the issue of removing confederate statues from the capital has been simmering for years. since i recognize that, i'll now approach the issue today with the utmost respect for those who are opposed to the goal of the legislation. but, but i ask the dissenters to consider that america has been a divided nation since its founding. and it's past time for us to close this chapter of american history that remove statues that depict an era that caused
enormous pain to african-american citizens. mr. speaker, as you, i grew up in the rural segregated south. a commonplace where confederate flags and monuments on public property honoring confederate soldiers and the confederacy. many southern jurisdictions are now voluntarily removing these statues. president abraham lincoln won the 1860 general election by winning 18 of 29 states. the 11 states that lincoln failed to carry were slave-holding states. these states were fearful that lincoln would find a way to end slavery and deprive slavee ownes of their so-called property. 11 southern states, after lincoln was elected, 11 immediately seceded from the union. forming the confederate states of america. the c.s.a. elected its leadership, they printed a currency and stood up a military. at fort sump ter on april 12, 1861, the confederate states of america took military action
against the united states of america, for the following four years, more than 600,000 americans lost their lives on the battlefield. and i might say, including african-american soldiers who fought for the union. this was not a war between the states, it was a war against the united states of america by 11 southern states. when the union finally won the war, and both sides buried their dead, four million slaves were granted their freedom by the signing of the emancipation proclamation and passage of the 13th amendment. in 1864, each state was granted the privilege to donate two statutes of deceased person -- statues of deceased persons to be displayed in the capitol that depict the history of their state. these are known as the national statutory hall collection. approximately 10, approximately 10 of these statues depict men who volunteered to fight against the united states in the civil war. all of these statues were
donated many decades after the civil war. like many other statues around the country honoring members of the c.s.a., and particularly those erected in the south, these 10 statues were not donated and installed in the capitol until the 1900's, during the height of jim crow. many americans see these statues and the timing of their placement as a means to intimidate african-americans and to protect -- perpetuate the notion of white supremacy. we must not continue to honor these combatants by allowing their images to be on display in the capitol. the bill before us today also identifies several other statues for removal or replacement that are not part of the national statutory hall collection. including the bust of chief justice roger b. taney who authored the 1857 supreme court decision of dred scott versus -- vs. sanford that ruled that slaves could not be considered citizens and that congress did not have the ability to ban slavery. this opinion, mr. speaker, is
regarded as possibly the supreme court's worst decision of all time and the 7-2 decision was a major factor contributing to the war. . another bust is for vice president john breckenridge, 1857 to 1861. in 1860, mr. speaker, breckenridge ran for president on the southern democratic ticket and lost. during the civil war he served in the united states senate from kentucky but became a traitor and enlisted in the confederate military and he was assigned to the army of mississippi, stationed in jackson mississippi. achieving the rank of major general. he was expelled from the senate. jefferson davis then appointed him as secretary of war. after the war he fled the country for several years. so i ask my colleagues, i ask america, does this bust deserve to stand outside of the senate chamber? i would hope that your answer
to that question will be no. i ask my colleagues to answer the summons of our time by voting to remove all of these offensive statues from the capitol of the united states of america. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. and yield now, if it's appropriate, to the speaker of the house, the honorable nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. butterfield: is it appropriate to yield to the speaker out of turn? i yield to the speaker of the house. speaker pelosi: i thank the gentleman for yielding and his leadership in bringing us together today. along with our distinguished leader, mr. hoyer, our distinguished whip, mr. jim clyburn, c.b.c., congressional black caucus chair, karen bass, chairman bennie thompson, congresswoman barbara lee, and you, mr. butterfield, thank you for leading this critical effort, so important. mr. speaker, as our country
knows nearly two months after the murder of george floyd america remains gripped by anguish as racial injustice continues to kill hundreds of black americans and tear apart the soul of our country. last month inspired by the activism of the american people and led by the congressional black caucus, the house passed the george floyd justice in policing act to fundamentally transform the culture of policing to address systemic racism and curb police brutality, deliver accountability, and save lives. had the enth i privilege as speaker of the house, by my authority as speembing of the house, to remove four paintings of speakers of the house who are in the speaker's lobby, speaker's gallery there, to remove them because they had -- they were part of the confederacy. three of them before they came to the congress, and one of them came after his
participation in the confed acy. -- conconfederacy. it was long overdue. when we were looking at the statues, we found out about the paintings. on juneteenth we said goodbye to those four. we must maintain a drumbeat to ensure this moment of anguish continues to be transformed into action. that is why today the house is proud to pass legislation to remove from the u.s. capitol the 12 statues of confederate officials and four other statues honoring persons who similarly exemplify bigotry and hate. again thanks to leader hoyer, whip clyburn, c.b.c. chair karen bass, mr. chairman bennie thompson, congresswoman barbara lee, and chairman g.k. butterfield i thank them for leading this effort. as i have said before, the halls of congress are at the very heart of our democracy.
the statues in the capitol should embody our highest ideals as americans expressing who we are pane what we aspire to as a nation. monuments to men who advocate barbarism and racism are a grotesque affront to those ideals. their statues pay homage to hate not heritage. among the confederate statues in the capitol, can you believe this, are jefferson davis, and alexander stevens. president and vice president respectively of the confederacy . both of whom were charged with treason against america, mr. speaker. both were charged with treason against america and their statues are in the capitol. think of this about stevens, i hate to even use his words, but it may be important for people to know why the statues have to
go in clearer terms. the infamous words of stevens as clear today as they were in 1861 the aims of the confederacy. in his so-called cornerstone speech, stevens asserted that the prevailing idea relied upon by the framers included assumption of the equality of races. this was in error, says mr. stevens. instead, he laid out in blunt and simple terms the awful truth of the confederacy. he said, our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea. imagine exactly the opposite idea of equality of races. its foundations are laid in its cornerstone rests upon the great truths, these are his words, i hate to even use them, but we have to face this reality, the negro is not equal
to the white man. that slimb have i subordination to the spew pieror race is as natural and normal condition. he got a statue in the capitol of the united states. how can we seek to end the scourge of racism in america when we allow the worst perpetrators of this racism to be lauded in the halls of congress? this bill also removes the statue of john calhoun, the unapologetic leader of the senate proslavery faction who on the senate floor celebrate the slavery as a positive good. mr. clyburn, i know you support removing your south carolinian. on the floor he made this vial -- calhoun made this vial assertion that, quote, in view countries is so much left to the share of the laborer and so little exacted from him or more
kind attention paid to him in sickness or infirmives of age. what could he have been talking about? it removes in the old supreme court chamber the bust of justice roger tanny, this is the persistent leadership of . hoyer who has been on this case for a long time. justice tainy was the author of the dred scott ruling which mr. butterfield very clearly laid out as probably one of the worst decisions of the supreme court. ever. certainly a horrific stain on the history of our country and certainly on the supreme court. how fitting it is that the tane bust will be replaced with a bust of u.s. supreme court justice thurgood marshall, a towering champion of equality and justice in america. mr. clyburn, as well as mr.
hoyer, have been working on this, and mr. hoyer's a marylander, i'm a baltimorian, as you know the airport in baltimore is named for thurgood marshall. one born and raised there i take pride in his leadership and service to the country. let us recall justice marshall's words spoken nearly 30 years ago as true today. justice marshall said, democracy cannot flourish amid fear. liberty cannot bloom amid hate. justice cannot take root among -- amidst rage. america must get to work and the chill climate which we live we must go prens the prevailing wind. we must descend from the indifference. we must descend from the apathy. we must descend from the fear and hatred of the mistrust. we must dedissent because
america can do better because america has no choice but to do bert. how much our great elijah cummings reflected the words of thurgood marshall to -- two baltimorians. the congress now has the sacred opportunity, obligation to do bert. to make meaningful change to ensure the halls of the u.s. capitol reflect the highest ideals as americans. mr. hoyer as our distinguished floor leader had this plan for a while you would work together and bring this composite bill to the floor at this time. little did we know when those plans were being made that at the same time we would be mourning the loss of our darling john lewis. the death in a family for us and the congress. but he knew that this was in the works. and he's up there looking down on us to make sure it happens in the most bipartisan way. i urge a strong bipartisan vote for the important step for justice. reconciliation and progress in america.
as far as our john lewis is concerned, thank you. thank you for bringing us to this place. may you rest in peace. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from -- mr. butterfield: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time it looks like i'm going to be here on the floor with many of our colleagues that are going to offer remarks on this legislation. so i will give my opening remarks after i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. mcclintock: thank you, mr. speaker. first and foremost the confederacy was a fundamental attack on our constitution and the founding principles of our nation and it should never be romanticized or honored. i have no problems with removing lawfully any monument that specifically honors this
rebellion. that's not what this bill does. rather it begins by removing the bust of roger tane from the old supreme court chamber. it is true he wrote the absolutely worst decision ever drendered by the supreme court, the dred scott desifplgts let's not forget he also plea sided over and joined in one of its better decisions, the amistad slave case. if we remove memorials to every person in this building who ever made a dad besignificance, his was the worst, well, this would be a barren place indeed. it's only the bad things in our history that we can use to measure all of the good things in our history. this bill also removes the statues of confederate sympathizers sent to the capitol by the states. that's not our decision. that is a decision that has always belonged to the individual states and several of them are already making these decisions. we should let them.
the only other is john c. breckenridge of kentucky who was honored not for his service to the confederacy but rather for his service as vice president of the united states. and granted, we have had some absolutely terrible vice presidents through our histry. i'm sure we will in the future. but if we are going to start down that road, we are going to be swapping out statues like trading cards at the whim of the moment. our nation's history should be made of sterner stuff. perhaps we would all be better advised to practice a little temporal humility and heed the wisdom of omar cayenne, the moving finger writes, having writ moves on. all piety nor wit can call it back to cancel half a line. nor all thy tears wash out a word of it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back. mr. davis: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. gentleman from north carolina. mr. butterfield: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my privilege to yield time now to the democratic whip, the gentleman from representing the sixth congressional district of south carolina, the state where the civil war began, mr. klee burn, who is a national -- mr. clyburn, who is a national expert on american history having been a former history classroom teacher, as i recall. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes gentleman from south carolina. mr. clyburn: i thank the speaker for yielding me the time and i thank my friend from north carolina nbling for -- north carolina for his leadership and management of this significant piece of legislation. i want to thank mr. davis and the other members on the side for their tremendous cooperation in trying to help more perfect union.
mr. speaker, several years ago i stood on this floor and i referred to this chamber, this great hall, as america's classroom. and it's in that spirit that i think of this building as america's school house. and what is taught in this building, what is experienced by the people who visit this ilding ought to be about the uplifting of this great nation. and what people see when they come here, who people see lauded , glorified and honored when they visit this building ought be people who are uplifting
to history and the human spirit. it is in that light that i recall the writings of one great writer who wrote that if we fail to learn the lessons of history, i think it was santiano, we are bound to repeat them. there are a lot of lessons to be learned from history. i study it every day. hardly a day goes by without spending some time looking at some facet of american history. we did not come to this floor with this legislation to get rid of that history. a lot of it we don't like. a lot of it we do like. and i think that what we need to do is discern between what should be honored and what should be relegated to the museums and to other places to
commemorate that history. that's not eradicating history. that is putting history in its proper place. and for those who did not do what i think they should have done, they've got a place in the history books. but it's not to be honored. and it's not to be glorified. it ought to be put in its proper perspective. so i don't have a problem with the fact that one of the statues in here, john c. calhoun, he was a historical figure. died in 1850, if my memory serves, 10 years before the war broke out. so we are talking about john c. calhoun as a confederate. we're talking about john c. calhoun as one of the nation's biggest proponents of slavery
and the relegation of human beings. and i want to thank my home tate of south carolina because the people of charleston, the mayor and the city council in charleston decided several weeks ago that john c. calhoun's tatue should be taken down and they did it. clemson university, calhoun, one of the great founders of that university, one of the original land grant schools, clemson university decided that they would take john c. calhoun's name off of their honors scholars. so in the state of south carolina, where he was from, sees that, why is it that we are going to laud him in this building? m asking my colleagues to do
for john c. calhoun what his home state is doing for him. putting him in his proper place. not a place of honor. they didn't tear down his statue , they very meticulously took it proper retire it to his place. mr. speaker, you and i spoke last night about one of the other gentlemen whose statue is in this building, wade hampton. wade hampton. he was not a confederate, but he was a perseverer. there were three wade hamptons. sr. and -- senior and the third. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. you yield an additional minute to the gentleman? mr. butterfield: i yield an additional minute to the gentleman from south carolina. mr. clyburn: thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: spat gentleman -- the gentleman is recognized. mr. clyburn: but wade hampton's history should not be glorified.
i don't know what my state's going to do about him, but what i would like to see us do here is put him in his proper place. so those two statues that are here representing the state of south carolina need to be removed from their places of honor and at some point i would hope the state would bring them back home and put them in their proper place. nd so, i'd like to say today that i'm not for destroying any statue. i'm not here for burning down any building. to here to ask my colleagues very properly and lawfully return these people to their proper place. put them where they can be
studied, put them where people will know exactly who and what they were. but do not honor them. do not glorify them. take them out of this great school house so that the people who visit here can be uplifted by what this country is all about. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina reserves. mr. butterfield: i reserve, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois. >> mr. speaker, it's an honor to follow whip clyburn and the historical context of being a history teacher. and also the historical context of serving in this institution and what it means. so thank you, whip clyburn. thank you for your leadership. thank you to my good friend, mr. butterfield, for your leadership on this issue. mr. davis: we're going to work together today to make sure that we send a message to the american people, that it's
republicans and democrats standing together. now, i have unique district in -- a unique district in central illinois. i'm from the land of lincoln. as a matter of fact, abe himself lives in my district. i represent lincoln's tomb. lincoln's home. the old state capitol where abraham lincoln delivered his ouse divided speech in 1858. it's in my congressional district. it was there where lincoln not only spoke out against slavery and specifically the dred scott decision, but stood unequivocally in support of a free country, famously saying, a house divided against itself cannot stand. i believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. i do not expect the union to be dissolved. i do not expect the house to fall. but i do expect it will cease to
be divided. it will become all one thing or all the other. lincoln and many others who stood for freedom are represented throughout this capitol. there are others that symbolize the opposite. while we cannot erase our past, and should do everything we can as whip clyburn just stated, we should do everything we can to learn from it instead, the statues in the u.s. capitol represent to visitors throughout the world what we stand for as a nation. i support this important discussion about which statues belong in the u.s. capitol and also the goal of this legislation. before we begin debating this piece of legislation, my friend, mr. butterfield, and i had a discussion, a discussion about the 13th amendment. and i invite all members of this institution to come to my district, to come to the abraham
lincoln presidential museum and library, where i can show you an original copy of the 13th amendment. ofo, one of the first copies the emancipation proclamation. this institution is not just an extended classroom. where lincoln lived, where lincoln is honored, the 13th district of illinois that i am truly blessed to represent, is also a living classroom of the good things in our nation's history. have to remember that the national statuary hall collection was created in 1864 to commemorate states and their contributions to this country. and many statues being discussed today were donated by states to the collection nearly 100 years
ago. and as my colleagues earlier have said, many states are already working to remove them. and while i support their removal, i believe the better route would have been to have some more hearings in the committee on house administration. but today, today is not about politics. today is about coming together as an institution and today is a day that i can say i proudly am blessed to be a member of congress. and our country right now, our country right now is facing a very difficult time. and abraham lincoln's spirit of unity -- and -- unity is desperately needed. a house divided against itself cannot stand. as leaders we need to come together to show there's much more that unites us as americans than divides us. and lead this country together, republicans and democrats, through this difficult time.
and i hope this legislation today, the bipartisanship that we'll see, is a shining example to the rest of the country that we can do it together. and i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. butterfield: thank you, mr. speaker. and let me thank the gentleman from illinois. i am just delighted that you mentioned that your home state, the state of illinois, was in fact the home of abraham lincoln. i am a student of history and love to read that portion of our history and i recall that many people believe that it was emancipation proclamation on january 1 of 1863 that legally ended slavery in america. the emancipation proclamation, as great as it was, was an executive order. it was the 13th amendment, as you mentioned, that legally ended slavery in america. thereby freeing four million
slaves, most of whom lived in the south. and you should know, mr. speaker, and to my friend from illinois, that it was on january 31, 1865, a few days after lincoln's re-election, that this body, this body, the house of representatives, passed the 13th amendment to the constitution, it required the ratification of 27 states, and your home state, mr. davis, was the first state on february 1, 1865, to ratify the 13th amendment. my state of north carolina was the 26th state. and the state of georgia was the final state to ratify the 13th amendment on december 6, 1865. this time, mr. speaker, i'm delighted to yield time to the majority leader of this house, the gentleman from the state of maryland, which is the home of both chief justice taney and the associate justice, the first african-american associate justice of the u.s. supreme court, the honorable thurgood marshall. i yield one minute to the
gentleman from maryland. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from north carolina, the former justice of the north carolina supreme court, for yielding. i'm glad that i was on the floor to hear the remarks of the ranking member, mr. davis. i'm going to bring up a quote. i won't get it soon enough to read right now, but i'll read it. david brooks wrote a column in the new york times", we were facing five crises in america. one, of course, the pandemic. he said the second crisis was the crisis of confronting racism and the history of racism and slavery and segregation in our country. and the observation he made was post-george floyd on the riveted
recognition of our past. and the recognition of our present. the w we need to improve treatment and the reality of equality in america. i think brooks' observation will be proved today on the floor, mr. davis, as we come together. not in partisan disagreement, but in a unity of purpose, recognizing that our conscience, and the conscience of america, has been pricked by also the event of the loss of john lewis. who all his life fought for
equality. mr. speaker, the capitol build something a sacred space for our american democratcy. it is where we write our laws, inaugurate our presidents, and say a somber farewell to great americans who earned our respect. like dwight eisenhower, other presidents. rosa parks. mr. speaker, we cannot erase the difficult history and painful truth that this temple to liberty was built using the labor of enslaved people. but we can, mr. speaker, do everything in our power to ensure that how we use the capitol today reflects our commitment to equality and justice for all. for too long we have greeted visitors from here and abroad with the statues of those who
denigrated these values by championing sedition, slavery, segregation, and inequality. as a marylander, i have always been uncomfortable that the old supreme court chamber prominently displays a bust of former chief justice roger brook taney, who was from the district, the county across the river from my house, calvert county. tauny -- taney, of course, was the son of slave holders. and the author of the 19 -- excuse me 1857 dred scott ruling that upheld slavery and said, african-americans could not be citizens. this was a man, mr. speaker, in his zeal to protect the interests of slave holders and uphold thecies tesm white
supremacy wrote an opinion that twisted the very meaning of america's founding. after quoting the declaration independence, we hold these truths to beself evident that all men are created equal, taney wrote these, the general words above quoted would seem, would seem to embrace the whole human family. and if they were used in a similar instrument at this day, meaning 1857, would be so understood. but he went on to say, the enslaved african-american race were not intended to be included. and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration. of course neither did women.
in short, mr. speaker, taney argued that in his day, in 1857, people of african-american descent had ome to be seen as human beings , but because our founders in 1776 did not view them as such, black people could never truly be citizens of the united states. what he was saying, mr. speaker, that black lives did ot matter. so, mr. speaker, when we hear that phrase today that black lives matter, it is fundamental to what america is and has become. nd sadly roger brook taney respected in his time, the attorney general of my state,
the attorney general of the united states, the acting secretary of treasury could not from the imself alse premises of the past. and abraham lincoln was, as mr. davis pointed out, outranged -- outraged at the decision he wrote, arguably as my friend, the justice said earlier today, arguably the worst case in the history of the supreme court of the united states. in short, taney argued, people of african-american descent had come to be seen as human beings but because our founders did not view them as such, black people could never truly be citizens of our country. think of that. the blindness and schizophrenia of 1987 repeated 80 years later
in 1857. one of the great facets of america is we can grow, we can change, we can accommodate to better knowledge, better insight, better inchloroquine igs as -- inclinations. the past, taney argued, bound those in the presence to follow the errors of their forebearers in perpetuity. let us reject that premise out of handless of more perfect ion will -- hand lest a more perfect union will never be attainable. allow us the space to grow as individuals, as states and as a country so that we may see our faults and correct them not repeat them. in maryland we have grappled with that difficult history of
our state with regard to slavery and the civil war. while our state did not secede from the union, many marylanders sympathized with slavery in the south and fought for the confederacy. mr. speaker, i represent what was the largest slave holding area of the state of maryland. we grew tobacco. some cotton, but mainly tobacco. early maryland was built on the profits of slavery. and it sent individuals like taney to serve in america's early institutions. indeed, in his infamous opinion he drew on his home state's ban on interracial marriage as justification for his views. one of the ironies, mr. speaker, is i was elect to the maryland state senate in 1966, and one of my first votes in january of 1967 as a maryland state senator at the age of 27
was to vote to repeal the of course my state t the supreme court had ruled on it before that, but we still had not repealed it. 110 years after dred scott, maryland today like other states where slavery and segregation had a long history is not the same place that it was when taney wrote his opinion, nor the states today the same places they were when many of the statues and busts of confederates and segregationists were sent here to our capitol during a period of intense and racially charged exceptionalism. in recent years maryland made the courageous and correct
choice to remove a statue of taney from the grounds of the statehouse in indianapolis. i strongly supported that -- in annapolis, i strongly supported that decision as did our republican governor mr. hogan and democratic legislature. removing a statue as my dear friend of over half a century, mr. clyburn, observed on this floor, does not erase history. that act by itself will not make right what was so terribly wrong in the past, but the statues we choose to set in place of honor are a reflection of the present not the past. they show our fellow americans and foreign visitors what our values are today and our decision to remove stassues of seditionist, white supreme cysts, segregationists, and replace them with defenders of justice and equality shows that as a country we are able, capable of critical introspection and growth. that is our strength. that is the glory of america. working towards a more perfect union.
that's why i introduced this along with representative lee, whip clyburn, chairwoman bass, chairman thompson who sits in the chair today. that itself is a historic demonstration of the change that we have wrought. not only could a black man from mississippi be a member of the congress, but he could preside over the congress. he matters. his life matters. and taney was wrong. because of the 21st century, we must not be roger brook taney's america anymore. nor can we be jim crow's. our bill removes the bust of chief justice taney from the old supreme court chamber and replaces it with a bust of thurgood marshall, a son of baltimore. and the irony is the taney
statue was on the east front of the capitol, mr. speaker. if you turned around and you five hrough the capitol years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years, if you went about 500 feet and walked out on the west front you walked into thurgood marshall park. as you would today. he was our first african-american justice. how appropriate is that we hopor him in place of roger brook taney. thurgood marshall is the face of our maryland in 2020 not roger taney. second, our bill no longer allows states to display statues in the capitol of individuals who voluntarily served the confederacy against our union during the civil war. t me just say as an aside,
none of us are perfect. our founders weren't perfect. but what our founders did was create a union. the statues we are removing ried to destroy a union. third, there are three specific statues in the collection of individuals who did not serve in the confederacy but whose careers were built on the perpetuation of white supremacy and segregation. our bill would require those statues to be removed and replaced as well. as my friend jim clyburn said, not destroifment nobody tear down statues, to remove them, es, to destroy them, no. they do not reflect the diversity and inclusivity of our nation today more comport with our values as a nation that has reached a greater understanding of the principles
enshrined in the declaration of independence that all are reated equal, and humankind, taney admitted in 1857, would have been the understanding of that phrase. there are still, sadly, a lot of people in our country in 2020 who do not understand our diversity is our strength. or recognize clearly that black lives matter. taney forcefully argued they did not. he was willfully wrong. they do. they must. i believe that most americans are deeply distressed by racial injustice and want to see the progress of the civil rights movement continue. they want our nation and our democracy to grow and mature and become more perfect. part of that process is making it clear through our symbols and public displays of honor what our country stands for and as importantly what it must
never stand for again. so, mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us. not as an expression of partisan opinion but an expression of america's values. to our citizens and to the world, we do not glorify racism and bigotry and exclusion in the temple to liberty and in the land of the free. i hope our colleagues will join in making possible, making sure that all americans, no matter her race, can come to this capitol and know they have an equal share in a government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina reserves. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: i'd like to offer two minutes to my good friend from the state of michigan, representative mitchell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. mr. mitchell: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, ranking member davis. i wasn't planning to speak on this. it's an honor to speak after mr. hoyer. i heard mr. clyburn speak eloquently regarding the removal of statues. stassues including that of the former chief justice taney. a statue honoring him for we all agree was the most dreadful decision the supreme court has ever made in the history of this country. not based upon the law but sed upon his feelings that african-americans weren't eople. speaking today not so much to convince anybody in this
chamber, but i'm speaking about history and i'm speaking about my children. my children and my grandchildren, that they need to remember the history of this nation. the history of this nation is so fraught with racial division, with hatred, and the only way to overcome that is to recognize that, acknowledge it for what it is. so i support this resolution. and i support mr. clyburn said, to remove statues such as that of mr. taney, lawfully remove them, not tear them down. not destroy them. return them back to the states and places from which they came and to study, to put them in the study of the rhys -- history of this nation. it should not be lost. tearing it down does not do justice for the history of this nation and what our young people must understand. mr. speaker, that you've gone through in your life, mr. lewis did, and others.
we can't simply ignore it and say because we tore down statues or burned things it's suddenly gone. no. it's part of our history. in order to move on beyond them because as many said to not acknowledge, to recognize, to understand our history, there's a very real risk of reliving it and my god, we can't continue to do that i support the resolution and removal of statues. i yield back my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from illinois reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. butterfield: i'm pleased to yield to the honorable barbara lee, one and a half minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one and a half minutes. ms. lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. let me first thank the gentleman for yielding and for your tremendous leadership and constantly reminding thousands
of act cat -- accurate accounting of united states history. let me thank our speaker, our majority leader, chairwoman bass, chairman bennie thompson and of course congressman butterfield for moving this legislation forward with the urgency it requires. i rise in strong support of h.r. 7573 which will remove shameful reminders of slavery and segregation from the united states capitol. in 2017, in wake of the white nationalist rally in charlottesville, i introduced the confederate monument removal act to remove all statues of people who voluntarily served the confederacy from the capitol building. thank you for including this in the current bill. venerating those who took up up arms against the united states to preserve slavery is an affront to the human dignity of all americans. these painful symbols of bigotry and racism have no place in public spaces. certainly they should not be enshrined in the united states
capitol. it's past time for congress to stop glorifying the men who were traitors and committed treason against the united states in a concerted effort to keep african-americans in chains. the movement to honor confederate soldiers was a deliberate act to rewrite the very history of the united states and humanize act december sined to dehumanize african-americans. they are symbols of hatred and defiance of federal authority and should not be held in a place of honor in the united states capitol. in this moment, the horrors of systemic racism are front and center. mr. butterfield: 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. ms. lee: let me conclude by saying this. in this moment, the horrors of systemic racism are front and center and the manifestations are before the public each and every tai. the removal of confederate statues from the united states capitol is an important step in
dismantling the systems that hold us back. as the descendant of enslaved americans from galveston, texas, , an enslaved human being, i thank you nor bill and i ask for an aye vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from north carolina reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: at this point in time, mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. butterfield: may i inquire, mr. speaker, how much time each side has. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina has 13 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from illinois has 21 minutes. mr. butterfield: at this time it's my pleasure to yield time to a member of the house committee on administration, a great constitutional scholar from the state of maryland, my friend, mr. raskin.
jamie raskin. two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is ecognized for two minutes. mr. raskin: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you, mr. butterfield for your exemplary leadership here. it's a proud day for maryland as we replace the bust of rogerer brook taney with the bust of thurgood marshall. ne marylander wrote in an said hundreds of pages of constitution law the -- how the constitution is and forever must be a white man's compact that african-americans have no rights that white people have to respect. and the other, thurgood marshall, whose bust will replace that of justice taney argued shelly vs. kramer, became the first african-american associate justice of the supreme court. he made equal production come
alive in our country. i was delighted to hear the gentleman from illinois' remarks but i was amazed to hear another colleague in the minority defending the bust of john c. breckenridge on the grounds that we don't honor him for his service as secretary of war in the confederacy but we rather honor him for what he did before that in his prior service as the united states senator and vice president of the united states. that's just pressure ebt. think about that breckenridge was serving as u.s. senator from kentucky when he defected to the union, signed up to become their secretary of war and betrayed the union and they still have his bust outside of the united states senate saying vice president on it despite the fact that on december 4, 1861, he was convicted of treason by the senate and stripped of all of his titles including senator, president of the senate, and vice president. so we may as well put up a statue of benedict arnold to honor him for his service to the
continental army before he defected to the british side and led british troops against america. so let's go all the way here. if there are statues of traitors and racist white supremacist supporters of the confederacy up in the capitol, then we need to get rid of them. this is our opportunity to remake the social contract as represented by the symbolism in this great house. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from -- mr. davis: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. mr. butterfield: i'm deliked to yield time to the gentleman from massachusetts, i would say that before he speaks that the history that i have read over the years suggests to me that on january 31, 1865, when the 13th amendment was passed by this body, this chamber, mr. kennedy, the gallery was full of white
abolitionist women from the commonwealth of massachusetts ho waved handkerchiefs and cheered for a prolonged period of time cheering the 13th amendment. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. kennedy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kennedy: mr. speaker, thank you. mr. chairman, thank you. 155 years ago, senators from my state of massachusetts knew that a bust of roger taney deserved no home in our government's highest institution. yet here we are in 2020 and the bust of a man who tried to codify and protect our original sin remains only a few hundred feet away. statues honoring traitors willing to destroy our nation so that they could own black men, women, and children litter our capitol. and somehow we still need to have this debate. let me be clear. dismantling the symbols that
glorify white supremacy is a bare minimum but dismantling those symbols is no substitute for dismantling the system those men created. it cannot be the end or the best we can offer the millions who took to our streets demanding justice. it cannot be the end of our work. it should be considered the beginning of that work. it should have been done 150 years ago. the senate noo needs to pass the george floyd justice in policing act. we need to destroy white supremacy that exists everywhere from our education system, incarceration, juvenile justice system, our financial institutions and our economy. that's where we need to be working. that's the beginning. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois. mr. davis: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. -- butterfield:
>> we are going to leave this house today on the removal of certain statues from the u.s. capitol to bring you live coverage of the memorial service for representative john lewis. the house passed the measure 305-113. president trump has said he would veto the measure if it comes to it, but right now, it has a veto-proof majority in the house. you can watch the full debate on c-span.org. alabama, forroy, the public memorial service of the late congressman john lewis. of one of ourrts trustees, mr. lamar higgins, in bringing all of us together in this
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