Dems slam ‘shameful’ House Republicans who voted to revive ‘mammy’ statue in Arlington | EUROtoday

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Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the highest Democrat within the House, reprimanded 192 of his Republican colleagues who voted in favor of restoring a Confederate statue, depicting a Black “mammy,” in Arlington National Cemetary — calling the choice “shameful.”

“What is this rationale?” Jeffries stated in a information convention on Friday. “In a time where America is facing a dangerous world with challenges all across the globe, to decide you want to restore a confederate monument to Arlington National Cemetary.”

On Thursday night, the group of House Republicans, led by Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, voted to revive the Reconciliation Monument as a part of an modification to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act. But the measure finally failed with a 192-230 vote.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, speaks at his weekly news conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 14, 2024
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, speaks at his weekly information convention, on the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 14, 2024 (AP)

The statue, which was taken down in December, was commemorative of the Confederacy and encompasses a Black “mammy” holding the kid of a white officer. Black “mammies” have been stereotypical portrayals of enslaved girls within the American South who have been depicted as blissful and dependable to white households.

“What exactly is the confederate tradition that extreme MAGA republicans, in 2024, are upholding and you want to use the National Defense Authorization Act to turn back the clock on progress that has been made,” Jeffries stated on Friday.

He added, “Is it slavery, rape, kidnap, Jim Crow, lynching, racial oppression or all of the above?”

Jeffries specifically referred to as out his Republican colleagues from New York — Anthony D’Esposito, Marc Molinaro and Brandon Williams — for voting in favor of the modification.

“In the United States of America, it’s shameful,” Jeffries stated.

The Confederate statue in Arlington was certainly one of many across the nation that have been re-evaluated after a nationwide push to take away or rename monuments that commemorate the Confederacy.

The National Museum of African American History & Culture says that the presence of Confederate statues highlights “the honor and virtue of the Confederacy” and frames the South’s wrestle as one “against a federal government infringing on its rights” whereas ignoring the important thing function that the difficulty of slavery performed.

“What’s lost in this story is what the south was also fighting for: the protection of a true, white America,” the museum says.

Workers dismantle the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery December 20, 2023, in Arlington, Virginia
Workers dismantle the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery December 20, 2023, in Arlington, Virginia (AFP by way of Getty Images)

In response to Jeffries, Clyde launched a press release saying it “pains” him “to see the fabric of our nation unraveling and the history of our country crumbling by the day.”

“Many founding principles and symbols that make the United States the greatest country in the world have been demonized to sow discord for nefarious political gain,” he informed the Atlanta Journal-Constituion.

Clyde referred to as the elimination of the Reconciliation Monument a “powerful example of this deliberate division.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, of Virginia, denounced his Republican colleagues’ try to carry onto a “humilating portrayal” of enslaved folks.

“Today is not the 1920s, it’s not the 1950s, so it’s so disheartening to see a lost cause amendment come before the House in the year 2024,” Beyer stated.

He added, “An enslaved woman is depicted as a mammy. She is holding the infant child of a white officer, and an enslaved man is following his owner to war. It is very difficult to see how the humiliating portrayal of a slave woman and a slave man represents reconciliation.”