Poll: Majority of Americans oppose changing military bases named after Confederate leaders

A confederate statue that once stood in a Memphis, Tennessee public park
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Protesters attend a rally protesting against the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest Park in front of a statue bearing his likeness August 13, 2005 in Memphis, Tennessee. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Civil War General who led troops against the north. Forrest was originally buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis. In 1905 Confederate veterans arranged…

A majority of Americans oppose changing the names of military bases named after Confederate military leaders, according to a new ABC News-Ipsos poll released Friday. 

Fifty-six percent of Americans oppose changing the names of military bases named after Confederates and 42 percent of those surveyed support the move, according to the poll. 

Among black Americans, 67 percent of those surveyed are in favor of renaming Confederate bases, while 32 percent of white Americans and 54 percent of Hispanic Americans support the move. 

In addition, an even larger plurality of Americans — 73 percent — do not support the federal government paying a form of reparations to black Americans who are the descendants of slaves. Only 26 percent of Americans support a form of reparations for black Americans. 

Nearly three-quarters of black Americans, 72 percent, support reparations payments, in stark contrast to 14 percent of white Americans and Hispanic Americans who agree.  

The Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to a defense spending bill sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) that would require the Pentagon to remove the names of Confederate military leaders within three years. 

The military has said that it is open to making these changes, though President Trump has railed against any such move. 

It is unclear whether the Warren measure will remain in the final bill, which must be agreed by the full House and Senate. 

Historic racial inequalities in the United States have come to the forefront of the national debate since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked weeks of protests across the country. 

The ABC News-Ipsos poll was conducted June 17-18, surveying 727 adults. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 points. 

Tags Confederate base names Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren George Floyd protests

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