ATLANTA, Ga. - The following statement on Amendment 628 in the U.S. House of Representatives is by Heidi Beirich, Director of the Intelligence Project for SPLC Action Fund:
"The U.S. House of Representatives this week adopted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that bars the Pentagon from naming military assets – defined as any base, installation, facility, aircraft, ship, equipment, or any other property controlled by the Department of Defense – after anything related to the Confederacy going forward.
The approval of Amendment 628 is an important milestone in our nation’s efforts to put the darkest parts of our history into the appropriate context.
Army installations across the South have been ironically named “in the spirit of reconciliation between North and South” for known slaveholders – including one believed to be a Ku Klux Klan founder in Georgia. A naval ship celebrating a Lost Cause battle and its defeated generals was commissioned as recently as 1989.
Whether on land, in the air, or at sea, these living representations of white supremacy do not belong on U.S. military assets, whose purpose is to protect and defend all Americans. Confederate symbols do not celebrate heritage, they reinforce a culture and political movement motivated by hate and bigotry.
The House’s passage of Amendment 628 is an important step toward ensuring that all of our nation’s history is represented fairly and accurately."