The Mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser had established the committee called The District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions (DCFACES) group and asked them for their recommendations with identifying statues and memorials in the nation’s capital that are “inconsistent with DC values and in some way encouraged the oppression of African Americans and other communities of color or contributed to our long history of systemic racism.”
DCFACES had recommended that seven monuments, including the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and a statue of Christopher Columbus, should be “removed, renamed or contextualized.” The list of historical figures they identified also included former presidents , James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson as well as key American figures like Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin and George Mason, inventor of the telephone Alexander Graham Bell and composer of the national anthem Francis Scott Key.
The committee also wants a change in the names of some 50 city schools and parks named after controversial historical figures who “encouraged the oppression of African Americans and other communities of color or contributed to our long history of systemic racism.”
Bowser who is a Democrat and an African American, on Wednesday asked the committee studying the fate of its monuments to clarify and refine their recommendations to focus on local DC, so no one attempts to confuse the Working Group’s focus on contextualizing, not removing, important monuments and memorials in DC,” a spokeswoman said.
The White House late Tuesday had slammed what it called “ludicrous recommendations,” accusing the Democratic mayor of “repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots and demolishing our history and destroying our great heritage.”
“By publishing a plan that recommends potentially removing the Washington Monument, Christopher Columbus Statue, Andrew Jackson Statue, and Jefferson Memorial—among many other ludicrous recommendations—the radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C., is repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots: demolishing our history and destroying our great heritage,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our Nation’s capital is rightly filled with countless markers, memorials, and statues to honor and respect the men and women who built this country,” she added.
U.S. Secretary of Interior, David Bernhardt, echoed McEnany’s statement taking to twitter Tuesday to say, “Not on my watch. Never going to happen.”