Jul 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Sen. Duckworth: "We should listen to the argument" on removing Washington statues
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "we should listen to the argument" for removing George Washington statues.
Why it matters: Statues of Confederate soldiers and historical figures who were slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests against racism and police brutality. President Trump has taken to defending the monuments — a stance highlighted by his Mount Rushmore speech on Friday.
What she's saying:
DANA BASH: "Senator, I know that you support change in the name of military bases named after Confederate leaders, but there are leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were slave owners. And some people are demanding their monuments come down, too. In your view, where does it end? Should statues, for example, of George Washington come down?"
DUCKWORTH: "Well, let me just say we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point. But right now we're in the middle of a global pandemic. And one of our countries that are opposed to us, Russia, has put a bounty on American troops' heads. What really struck me about this speech that the president gave at Mount Rushmore was that he spent more time worried about honoring dead Confederates than he did talking about the lives of our 130,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19, or by warning Russia off of the bounties they're putting on Americans' heads. His priorities are all wrong here. He should be talking about what we're going to do to overcome this pandemic. What are we going to do to push Russia back? Instead, he had no time for that. He spent all his time talking about dead traitors."
BASH: "That may be true, but George Washington, I don't think anybody would call him a traitor and there are moves by some to remove statues of him. Is that a good idea?"
DUCKWORTH: "I think we should listen to everybody. I think we should listen to the argument there, but remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty."