GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale says the efforts to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol are ‘animated’ by critical race theory ‘concepts’

Matt Rosendale
Rep. Matt Rosendale.

  • Rep. Matt Rosendale criticized the effort to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol complex.
  • Rosendale alleged that backers of the legislation are “animated” by critical race theory “concepts.”
  • The House on Tuesday passed legislation to take out the statues in a 285-120 vote.
  • Sign up for the 10 Things in Politics daily newsletter.

GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana on Tuesday blasted legislation that would remove Confederate statues from public display in the Capitol, decrying the effort as rooted in the “concepts” of critical race theory.

Rosendale, a freshman congressman who was one of 14 Republicans who voted against the formation of a federal holiday for Juneteenth, described the removal of certain statues as “attacks on American history.”

“The South lost, and our Union is strong today, and the great victory of our constitutional government in the Civil War over slavery and secession should be celebrated,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Democrats, animated by the Critical Race Theory concepts of structural racism, microaggressions, and a United States based solely on white supremacy, have chosen to remove statues that underscore the failures of our pre-1861 Constitution. Make no mistake, those who won the West and George Washington are next.”

The congressman noted that last year, the National Archives published a report “concluding that the Capitol Rotunda was an example of structural racism, a building that ‘lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color], women, and other communities.'”

He added: “Loyalty to the United States involves recognition of its history, bad and good, and the Left’s iconoclasm over the previous two years, aided and abetted by the Democratic party, is unwarranted and unwise.”

Despite Rosendale’s opposition, the bill on Tuesday easily passed the House in a 285-120 vote, with 218 Democrats and 67 Republicans backing the legislation.

The fate of the measure in the Senate is uncertain.

Read more: 7 ways Democratic strategists say Joe Biden should prepare for a deluge of GOP Hunter Biden investigations if Republicans retake Congress in 2022

Critical race theorists have examined how America’s history of racism continue to reverberate through laws and policies that exist today.

For months, Republicans have systematically targeted the discipline, alleging that its teachings divide Americans.

The politicization of critical race theory has set off a national debate over race and free speech, only a year after protests driven by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis galvanized millions to demand action against anti-Black racism in the United States.

The House bill that passed on Tuesday would remove a bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote the majority opinion in the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which said that Black people couldn’t be citizens. It would be replaced with a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the legendary civil rights attorney who became the first Black Supreme Court justice in United States history.

Last year, a similar measure also passed the House, but stalled in the Republican-led Senate.

Democrats now control the Senate, but since chamber is split 50-50, the party still needs to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill and avoid a legislative filibuster.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A group of Black Republicans are pressing the National Museum of African American History to properly ‘honor’ Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas
Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

  • A group of Black Republicans wants a Smithsonian museum to better reflect the legacy of Clarence Thomas.
  • The push was led by freshman GOP Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida.
  • “Black History transcends political correctness and partisanship,” Donalds wrote.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

A group of Black Republicans, led by freshman GOP Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, have asked the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) to “honor” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by updating an exhibit that they say currently “falls short” in reflecting his legacy.

The letter was reported by Fox News and also signed by figures including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the sole Black Republican in the upper chamber, along with Rep. Burgess Owens of Utah and Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James, among others.

“This museum is a national treasure for our nation’s fabric – this is especially true for me as a Black American and Republican,” Donalds wrote. “Black History transcends political correctness and partisanship. Overall, the NMAAHC honors its mission, but it is unfortunate to see pitfalls likely driven by irresponsible bias.”

The museum, which opened in September 2016 and has a permanent collection of over 36,000 artifacts, is a Smithsonian Institution museum.

Thomas, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, was nominated for the position by then-President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to replace the retiring legal trailblazer Thurgood Marshall, who was the first Black American to serve on the Supreme Court.

Read more: Trump tested the Constitution and shredded traditions. Biden and the Democrats have big plans of their own about what to do next.

When the museum first opened, Thomas was largely mentioned only in connection with the contentious 1991 confirmation battle that involved allegations of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, a former Thomas staffer.

Thomas strongly denied the allegations and described his confirmation process as “a high-tech lynching.”

He was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a narrow 52-48 margin.

In 2017, a more substantive exhibit about Thomas was presented at the museum, but several conservatives, including insist it is insufficient. Donalds said the tribute to Thomas paled in comparison to that of Marshall.

“As a Black man who has a profound respect for the contributions Justice Thomas has propitiated for generations to come, this museum must encapsulate his life as it does for hundreds of other monumental Black figures,” Donalds wrote, adding that the museum currently doesn’t reflect his “achievements and life compared to his counterpart, the Honorable Justice Thurgood Marshall.”

Donalds also said “Black history cannot and should not be political,” and urged the museum to offer an “unbiased assessment” of Black historical figures. 

“The American people deserve an unbiased assessment of the trailblazers in the Black community – it is time to honor Justice Thomas with this long-overdue documentation of his whole life and history and not the disingenuous effort displayed today,” Donalds wrote. 

Owens echoed a similar sentiment about the Thomas exhibit to Fox News.

“As one of the only two Black men to serve on our nation’s highest and most distinguished court, US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas deserves unbiased recognition from the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” he told the outlet, adding the museum should “appropriately honor the continued legacy of Justice Thomas.”

The museum released a statement to Artnet News regarding the matter.

“While all our exhibitions are based on rigorous research, they are still open to interpretation,” the statement reads. “Through scholarship, publications, and education, the museum will continue to explore the rich contributions and complexity of African Americans.”

Read the original article on Business Insider