Two Hispanic Congressmen want Trump loyalists removed from Army base renaming group

Two Hispanic Congressmen want Trump loyalists removed from Army base renaming group
Demopolis, Alabama/USA-June 5, 2020: Marengo County Confederate monument erected in 1910 during the height of Jim Crow Laws in the South. This once had a statue of a Confederate soldier on top. Shutterstock/ JNix
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Two Hispanic congressmen are taking the initiative to request that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin remove any Trump loyalists from the Confederate renaming panel.

On Friday, Jan. 29, Reps. Joaquin Castro and Ruben Gallego (D) penned a letter to Austin as they expressed their concerns about the current members of the panel. The Democratic lawmakers also explained their stance.

Since the commission is in place to "identify Confederate monuments for removal and to issue recommendations on how to rename the bases," the congressmen are not confident that Trump-era commissioners, who appear to have very little interest in diversity and inclusion, possess the capacity needed to forward the commission's agenda, according to Axios.

"Considering Congress' clear intention, we urge you to remove all four commissioners appointed by then-Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller," the congressman wrote to Austin.

The letter continued, "These commissioners were appointed in the midst of a presidential transition by nonSenate confirmed Acting Secretary of Defense who himself was installed by a President who vetoed the (National Defense Authorization Act) NDAA in part due to opposition to renaming bases named after traitors and who incited his followers to stage an insurrection at the Capitol. The image of the Confederate battle flag within the U.S. Capitol building is not one which can be forgotten or ever allowed again."

Citing the series of disturbing events that led to the U.S. Capitol riots, the lawmakers argued that Trump loyalists may undermine the integrity and legitimacy of the commission's efforts.

"Given the context of this attack on our democracy, the work of removing Confederate names from the Department of Defense cannot be trusted to appointees of a President who gave aid and comfort to the ideological heirs of the Confederacy," they wrote, adding, "We, therefore, urge you to remove these commissioners who will undermine the legitimacy of the renaming commission at best and sabotage the process from within at worst."

The lawmakers concluded their letter with a request. They added, "We ask you to appoint a diverse slate of new commissioners, including at least one Latino, out of respect for Latino Americans' rich history of U.S. military service. Latino perspectives must be a part of the effort to roll back the racism and bigotry that has so harmed our nation."

A total of 18 lawmakers expressed support for the request by signing the letter.

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