On Thursday, apparently bristling after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had said she should condemn protesters who knocked down the Golden Gate Park statue of St. Junipero Serra in her own district in San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi snapped, “I’m trying to save the world from coronavirus,” in remarks she reportedly made to the Washington Examiner.
Pelosi continued, “I have no interest in McCarthy, who hasn’t had the faintest idea of our dynamic in our district,” the Examiner added.
McCarthy had stated on Wednesday, “Given that today is the Feast Day of Saint Junipero Serra, her condemnation of mob violence would be especially timely. Today should be a day for celebration. Instead, we’ve recently seen a violent leftwing mob tear down the statue of St. Serra in Speaker Pelosi’s district in San Francisco, California.”
Last week, in an interview with The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, Pelosi stated of statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson: “Subject everything to scrutiny and make a decision.”
Costa asked, “Beyond the Confederate statutes and paintings in the Capitol, which you’ve taken the lead on addressing in Congress, should art depicting slave owners, including our nation’s founding fathers, come down in the country?”
Pelosi initially seemed to negate the idea of removing statues and/or monuments to the founding fathers, answering, “Are you talking about the patriarch of our country, George Washington? The author of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson? No, I don’t think they should come down.”
After opining that paintings of members of the Confederacy who served as House Speaker should come down, she continued, “I do think that in the Capitol, where we have statutes of the President of the Confederacy, the Vice President of the Confederacy, along with what they said about people in our country, I think they should come out. But it’s not about one issue of at the time did they own slaves. It’s about what did they do about it.”
Costa pressed, “So then to follow up, what’s your message to some activists who say the founding fathers, there needs to be a reckoning of some sort, whether it’s tearing down their images or just having a conversation? How should this nation handle the issue of slave owners in our founding fathers moving ahead?”
Pelosi replied, “I would say rather than tearing down and defacing, why don’t we just have a review? Have a review in terms of let’s take it down safely so that we’re not hurting anybody when the statue comes down or costing more money to get rid of it or get rid of the defacing of something that might not–maybe shouldn’t have been.”
She added, “But I think that this–I’m all for it. Let’s review this. Why are we glorifying the sins of the past? That doesn’t mean that because Thomas Jefferson or George Washington or others were slave owners that we should undermine what they did for our country. These Confederates–Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens–they committed treason against the United States in the name of slavery. I think that’s a different story. But you know what? Subject everything to scrutiny and make a decision, but I do think we should do it in a safer way rather than a more dangerous way.”
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