President Donald Trump has announced that he ‘will not even consider‘ renaming US military bases that were named after leaders of the Confederacy.
‘These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom,‘ Trump tweeted. ‘The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars,’ the president continued.
‘Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,’ Trump said.
DailyMail report: The ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests that have taken place all across the nation in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death have renewed discussions on the appropriateness of memorializing Confederate figures.
Currently 10 Army bases are named after Confederate leaders.
Southern states that joined the Confederacy during the Civil War-era did so in order to keep their status as slave states.
On Monday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told Politico that he was ‘open‘ to renaming these 10 facilities.
Politico reported that Defense Secretary Mark Esper – who has been at odds with Trump over how to deal with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations – also supported the discussion.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany opened up her Wednesday briefing reading a statement from Trump that mirrored his tweets, which he had pushed out minutes before she took to the podium.
McEnany was asked if the president supported the Navy’s move to ban Confederate flags from flying at its bases and on ships.
She said she wasn’t sure of his position on that.
‘He does, as I noted at the top of the briefing, fervently stand against the renaming of our forts,’ McEnany answered.
McEnany said that the ‘great American fortresses‘ were important because they respresented the last places war dead spent time in the U.S. before fighting in battles in ‘Europe and Afghanistan and Iraq.’
‘And to suggest that these forts are somehow inherently racist and their names need to be changed is a complete disrespect to the men and women,’ she argued. ‘For the last bit of American land that they saw before they went overseas and lost their lives were these forts.‘
McEnany was also asked if the president would veto a bill from Congress that changed the name of a base frmo a Confederate general to a Union general, the side that won the Civil War, and represents the modern-day United States.
‘The president will not be signing legislation that will be renaming American forts,’ she said.
A reporter then pointed to an op-ed writtten by Gen. David Petraeus, who had argued that bases shouldn’t be named after people who fought against the United States.
Petraeus also pointed out that many of the Confederates honored, like Gen. Braxton Bragg, were notoriously bad at their jobs.
‘Fort Bragg is known for the heroes within it,‘ McEnany responded.
The president has long sided with the ‘heritage‘ argument to keep Confederate monuments and memorials erected.
This is how he got in hot water in August 2017, standing up for demonstrators – made up of neo-Nazis, KKK members and other white supremacists – in Charlottesville, Virginia, who wanted the city’s Robert E. Lee statue to remain.
‘You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,’ Trump told reporters referencing, first, the Unite To Right protesters, and then the counter-protesters who came out.
One of the counter-protesters, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, had been moved down on the streets of Charlottesville by a neo-Nazi, who is now serving a life-long prison term.
‘You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue,’ Trump said of the Lee monument.
The president then compared Lee to George Washington, the coutnry’s first president who led the Revolutionary War troops – but who was also a slave-owner.
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