Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke is vowing to fight the U.S. Army’s refusal to change streets named after Confederate generals at a New York base.
The names of the two streets receiving flak from Clarke are Stonewall Jackson Drive and General Lee Avenue, both of which are located at Fort Hamilton and received the names in the first place 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 by renaming the streets, earning Clarke’s ire.
“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,” Clarke said in a statement Monday. “For too many years, the United States has refused to reckon with that history. I commend the city of New Orleans for initiating this important and often difficult work. I will continue to petition the Department of the Army to contribute to that effort.”
After New Orleans removed monuments to Confederate figures, Clarke sent a letter to the Army in June asking for the Fort Hamilton street names to be changed.
The Army hasn’t budged, but says it understands 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.
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