Yesterday Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson offered a resolution to remove the Confederate flag, specifically the Mississippi state flag, from the U.S. Capitol. House Republicans delayed Thompson’s motion today. Also yesterday, Rep. John Lewis called for a re-evaluation of the statues in the U.S. Capitol. Many include confederate generals,segregationists and various other dubious characters.
Today, members of the Black Caucus introduced a resolution urging states to remove the confederate battle flag. The CBC introduced a resolution honoring the nine shooting victims of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Tomorrow many of the members will attend the funeral of SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney.
The other victims of the June 16, shooting during a bible study class were, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr., Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, and Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor.
“A hate crime of this nature must lead to effective legislation that will curtail similar incidences in the future,” said CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield in a statement late today.
“We acknowledge that demanding the removal of these hurtful images and symbols that represent decades of hatred and oppression is only the first step in addressing the racism plaguing our country, but we must also acknowledge that symbols matter,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).
“As the conscience of the Congress, we must exhibit an unyielding commitment to help this country solve its centuries old challenges with racism and prejudice. Today, we start by taking our nation’s conscience to task on the real meaning of a symbol entrenched in hatred, racism, and violent oppression,” Cleaver added in a statement.
The resolution calls for:
••• Immediate removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House;
••• Discontinuing sale of the Confederate flag merchandise by retailers;
••• Removal of the symbolic and/or actual references to the Confederacy in the seven states where they still remain; and
••• Banning use of the Confederate battle flag and its likeness on any governmental property, not excluding license plates.