Rep. Yvette Clarke might want to tell it to the Marines. The Army isn’t taking orders from the Brooklyn Democrat, who demands that they change two street names at Fort Hamilton, located in her congressional district.
The specific names Clarke wants changed are Stonewall Jackson Drive and General Lee Avenue, both named after pivotal figures in the Confederate Army. The two received the honor of having streets named after them because Lee and Jackson spent time at the base before the start of the Civil War, The Hill reports.
So far, the Army has refused to bend to pressure to rename the streets, earning Clarke’s ire. On Monday she released a statement reading in part:
These monuments are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents and members of the armed forces stationed at Fort Hamilton whose ancestors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought to hold in slavery. For too many years, the United States has refused to reckon with that history.
If there’s anyone refusing “to reckon with that history” it’s Clarke, who is seeking to have that chapter expunged.
Her statement goes on to “commend the city of New Orleans for [the] important and often difficult work” it has undertaken in this area. In May, workers in the Big Easy dismantled a statue of Jefferson Davis that had stood for more than 100 years. What’s that quote about those who fail to learn from the past?
For Clarke’s part, she sent a letter to the Army in June asking for the Fort Hamilton street names to be changed. The Army hasn’t budged, though officials say they appreciate the “significance and sensitivity” of the matter. The Army also added that the streets were given Confederate names after the war “in the spirit of reconciliation.”
“After over a century, any effort to rename memorializations on Fort Hamilton would be controversial and divisive,” Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army Diane Randon responded to Clarke.
Efforts to eliminate Confederate symbols and monuments intensified after Dylan Roof killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015. Roof took numerous pictures of himself with the Confederate battle flag.
This report, by Jonah Bennett, was cross posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.