De Blasio: Robert E Lee's 'name should be taken off everything in America, period'

De Blasio: Robert E Lee's 'name should be taken off everything in America, period'
© UPI Photo

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNYC to start painting Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower Thursday despite pushback from Trump House chairman blasts Trump's push to reopen schools as 'dangerous' CDC to issue more guidance on school openings amid Trump criticism MORE (D) on Thursday called for every tribute to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to be removed nationwide, saying that the figure's racist views have no place in U.S. society today. 

"Nothing should be named after Robert E. Lee at this point in history," de Blasio said during a press conference. "He was someone who was supposed to follow his oath to the United States of America and the U.S. military and didn’t, on top of his many other sins."

“His name should be taken off everything in America, period,” he added. 


The comments from the mayor arrived as the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody, reignites a debate over Confederate statutes and other monuments that many view as symbols of racism. Demonstrators in several cities in the South have toppled statues commemorating Lee and other Confederate leaders in recent days, and some local and state leaders have announced plans to remove them. 

Leaders of the Marines and Navy said earlier this month that they would begin barring displays of the Confederate flag on their installations. The Pentagon has also expressed an openness to renaming some of its Army bases that are named after Confederate leaders. 

The Fort Hamilton Army base in southern Brooklyn still has roads named after Lee and Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. De Blasio acknowledged that the city has no authority over U.S. Army property. But he said that his office would appeal to the military to change the street names. 

Lee served at Fort Hamilton in the 1840s as an Army engineer. Two plaques commemorating him in Brooklyn were previously removed in 2017, The New York Times noted.

New York Reps. Max RoseMax RoseAlarm grows over Americans stranded in Yemen amid pandemic Moderate House Democrats introduce bill aimed at stopping China from exploiting coronavirus pandemic Republican Nicole Malliotakis wins New York primary to challenge Max Rose MORE (D) and Yvette ClarkeYvette Diane ClarkeYvette Clarke wins NY House primary The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Wooing voters, Trump autographs Arizona border wall Bowman holds double-digit lead over Engel in NY primary MORE (D) also sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Key impeachment witness retires | Duckworth presses for information | Subpanel advances defense measure | Democrats press for end to military transgender ban 116 House Democrats push for end to transgender military ban following Supreme Court ruling Vindman, key impeachment witness, to retire from Army MORE on Thursday urging him to rename the roads. 


"It is impossible to disentangle these men’s identities as individuals from the cause they rebelled against our nation to defend," the two wrote. "U.S. military bases and property should be named after men and women who’ve served our nation with honor and distinction, not sought to tear it apart to uphold white supremacy."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE has repeatedly defended Confederate monuments as a key part of U.S. history. He said Wednesday that he "will not even consider" renaming Army bases that were named for Confederate military leaders, calling them "Magnificent and Fabled Installations."

At the moment, there are 10 Army bases named for Confederate military leaders, including one named for Lee in Virginia. An Army spokesman said Monday, before Trump's latest comments, that Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthyRyan McCarthyOvernight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding DOD mulling ban on Confederate flag at all US bases: reports 'Principal legacy' a useful concept in removing monuments and renaming bases and buildings MORE would be open to a "bipartisan discussion" on whether to rename the bases.