December 21, 2020

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on Removal of Robert E. Lee Statue from U.S. Capitol

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement on the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from the crypt of the U.S. Capitol:

“In 2017, in the wake of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, I introduced the Confederate Monument Removal Act with Rep. Bennie Thompson to remove all statues of those who voluntarily served the Confederacy from the Capitol building.

“The removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from the U.S. Capitol today is an important step in confronting our nation’s painful legacy of slavery, racism, and oppression. I applaud the replacement of this statue with one of Barbara Johns – a civil rights pioneer who, at the age of 16, played a key role in the desegregation of public schools.

“Statues honoring those who committed treason against our country to preserve the institution of slavery have no place in our society and certainly should not be enshrined in our government buildings.

“Our fight to remove symbols of hate and racism is far from over. I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure that these statues are never welcomed again in our Capitol or any place of honor.”

In July, the House passed H.R. 7573, a bill introduced by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) along with Congresswoman Lee, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (CA-37), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (MS-02), and Congressman. G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), that would require states to reclaim and replace any statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection of individuals who volunteered for the armed services of the Confederacy during the Civil War.