A Washington, DC, committee commissioned by Mayor Muriel Bowser has recommended renaming a slate of government building, parks and public schools after determining their namesakes – including some Founding Fathers – have ties to “slavery, systemic racism and other biases.”
The DCFACES review, which began after the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, identified a number of past US presidents, including Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, as figures who should not have public buildings or parks named for them.
“In all instances we believe strongly that all District of Columbia owned public spaces, facilities and commemorative works should only honor those individuals who exemplified those values such as equity, opportunity and diversity that DC residents hold dear,” the committee’s report said.
The panel explained that its “decision-making prism focused on key disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Right Act.”
Bowser said in a tweet Tuesday afternoon that she looked forward “to reviewing and advancing their recommendations.”
The White House, however, was quick to cast the review as full of “ludicrous recommendations.” President Donald Trump has leaned into a mantle of protecting monuments and statutes – including those honoring Confederate icons – as a major part of his reelection platform.
“By publishing a plan that recommends potentially removing the Washington Monument, Christopher Columbus Statue, Andrew Jackson Statue, and Jefferson Memorial—among many other ludicrous recommendations—the radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C., is repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots: demolishing our history and destroying our great heritage,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
“Our Nation’s capital is rightly filled with countless markers, memorials, and statues to honor and respect the men and women who built this country. President Donald J. Trump believes these places should be preserved, not torn down; respected, not hated; and passed on for generations to come.”
She added: “As long as President Trump is in the White House, the mayor’s irresponsible recommendations will go absolutely nowhere.”
Trump and Bowser have repeatedly clashed over issues of racial unrest and protests in the nation’s capital.
In June, Bowser had the city paint “BLACK LIVES MATTER” in big yellow letters on two blocks of 16th Street Northwest, a central axis that leads southward straight to the White House.
Additionally, the mayor renamed the area in front of Lafayette Square, steps from the White House, “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”