President Donald Trump ruled out renaming US military bases that are named for Confederate leaders even as NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races and Democrats sought the removal from Capitol Hill of statues of people representing the pro-slavery South in the 1860s Civil War.
Names of these army bases, statutes of confederate generals and other reminders of America’s repugnant past when women, men, and children could be bought, sold and owned, have been among top demands of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the top organisation representing African Americans.
With Americans more conscious about race issues in the wake of the death of African American George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, Trump drew a line in favor of keeping the names of 10 military bases from Virginia to Texas that are named for Confederate military leaders.
Trump’s announcement via tweet basically slapped down those Pentagon officials open to discussing the issue, which has emerged as a way of achieving racial reconciliation.
In the past few days, officials have said that the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, was open to having a bipartisan conversation about renaming the Army bases named for Confederate leaders.