A Law that will fight hate
Congressman Adriano Espaillat (New York) and Rep. Dwight Evans of Pennsylvania have introduced a bill that will fight the resurgence of racial hatred in the United States.
Following the violent events in Virginia, two political representatives introduced last Thursday a Law Against Hate, which requires the reduction of federal funding for monuments to slavery or white supremacy.
“The Confederate Battle Flag is one of the most controversial symbols from U.S. history, signifying a representation of racism, slavery, the oppression of African Americans, and one of the darkest periods of our country’s past,” said Rep. Adriano Espaillat. “We entered a new chapter in American history following the violence and death that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the hands of torch-bearing white supremacists following the city’s decision to remove symbols of its Confederate lineage.”
The debate over Confederate symbols has spread throughout the country since the events of Friday, Aug. 11, when far-right groups opposed the withdrawal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee, who fought in the civil war in favor of the Confederacy supporting slavery. Following the emergence of counter-demonstration groups such as the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the most violent episodes of racism since the Civil Rights fight was unleashed.
“American history includes the history of African-Americans. The suffering our ancestors faced and their survival is well documented throughout history, however, Confederate symbols, such as the Confederate Battle Flag, were used during the Jim Crow era to display dominance and intimidate African-Americans. These hateful symbols are a constant reminder of what our ancestors endured. No federal funding should be utilized for any Confederate symbol on Federal public lands. If we want our nation to heal and move forward, we must remove these abhorrent symbols at once,” said Rep. Dwight Evans.
According to the article published on the Espaillat page on the website of the House of Representatives, there are still 1,503 Confederation symbols in public spaces, including 109 public schools named after important Confederates; more than 700 monuments and statues on public property throughout the country, and 17 military bases named after Confederate military leaders.
“We recognize these symbols for what they are and for the abhorrence they represent, still today. Charlottesville serves as a reminder that we can make a difference, and my bill would cut funding and the lifeblood from any Confederate symbol on Federal public land, once and for all, to prevent the hateful violent legacy of the Confederacy from continuing to rear its ugly hate. We defeated the Confederacy once, and we must be willing to defeat it once again, now and forever, as the tribute to the legacy we leave behind for the next generation,” concluded Espaillat.
Nationwide, several communities have been organized to push for the withdrawal of several statues, including places like North Carolina and Florida, Maryland, California and New York, as TIME magazine reported.