- 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.
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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.
—Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) June 29, 2021
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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.