Monuments and memorials bearing the names of men who fought to preserve slavery and uphold white supremacy are facing a reckoning, as demonstrations against police brutality have erupted across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
The protests have also reignited a debate within the military community over 10 Army bases named after Confederate leaders, which as recently as February the service said it had no intention of changing, according to the military website Task & Purpose.
The service backtracked on that position, as a Pentagon official said Monday that Secretary of Defense Mark P. Esper and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy were “open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic” of removing Confederate names from the bases. The announcement, first reported by Politico, came as each of the services have started to contend with many longstanding practices and allegations of racial bias that have gone unaddressed.
The Pentagon official said Esper and McCarthy wanted Congress, the White House and other government officials to weigh in, according to CNN, shifting the responsibility onto lawmakers.
President Trump on Wednesday was quick to shut down any bipartisan discussions, tweeting, “my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.” [Continue reading…]