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The KKK plaque and Confederate symbols at prestigious West Point should be removed, the panel says

A congressional committee has said a bronze plaque of the Ku Klux Klan and relics of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee hanging at the prestigious West Point Military Academy should be removed.

The request from the Naming Commission, which is tasked with reviewing and altering military assets commemorating Confederate figures, was aired in a report released Monday by the agency.

In addition to West Point — the nation’s oldest and most respected service academy in upstate New York — the committee also focused on the US Naval Academy in Maryland in the report, calling for the renaming of several of the school’s facilities by next year.

However, the commission acknowledged that it would not call for the removal of the KKK decoration that adorns the entrance to Bartlett Hall Science Center as it is not associated with the rebel army and is therefore outside its jurisdiction.

A West Point spokesman said the academy is reviewing the recommendations and will implement any changes approved by the Department of Defense and the US Army, which are reviewing the report.

That sentiment has since sparked outrage across the country, with Americans demanding why the woke government agency can rescind names associated with their nation’s history but still doesn’t have the authority to pull an overtly racist artifact.

A congressional committee has requested that West Point leaders remove or rename all facilities associated with Confederate leaders, including Robert E. Lee

A congressional committee has requested that West Point leaders remove or rename all facilities associated with Confederate leaders, including Robert E. Lee

But the Congressional Naming Commission, charged with reviewing and altering military assets commemorating Confederate figures, would not require a bronze plaque paying homage to the Ku Klux Klan at one of the campus's entrances (pictured) due to be removed becomes its content unrelated to the Confederacy or the US Civil War

But the Congressional Naming Commission, charged with reviewing and altering military assets commemorating Confederate figures, would not require a bronze plaque paying homage to the Ku Klux Klan at one of the campus’s entrances (pictured) due to be removed becomes its content unrelated to the Confederacy or the US Civil War

Overall, the report saw seven DoD assets flagged for renaming to West Point. Five of them are named after Lee, who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War, as well as several other locations on the fabled campus.

Another three assets were flagged for rebranding at the Annapolis Naval Academy.

The committee that earlier this year pushed for the renaming of nine Army bases named after Confederate generals, which would cost an estimated $21 million, has yet to comment on the backlash.

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat who has backed a bill to remove anything resembling the Confederacy, said she will urge Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III to approve the naming commission’s recommendations.

“I support the report’s findings and will continue to work with the Naming Commission and the DOD to remove these damaging honorifics that perpetuate the legacy of Confederate leaders who killed thousands of American service members to preserve the institution of slavery.” ‘ Gillibrand said in a statement. “It’s a shame and it hurts our nation.”

US Rep. Sean Maloney, a Democrat whose district oversees West Point, told the New York Times that he has been pushing for renaming the academy’s facilities since 2020 and fully supports the latest recommendations.

“We cannot allow the bigotry of the past to continue and be celebrated in the same halls where our leaders of the future are being trained,” he said in a statement. “It’s important that the West Point campus and culture welcomes students of all backgrounds.”

After the report was released on Monday, several citizens expressed dislike for the agency’s dormant approach to KKK jewelry – and the fact that it has stayed that way for so long.

“It’s a no-brainer,” snapped a Twitter user at the commission’s half-hearted proposal when it came to the sign, which shows a hooded and caped man holding a rifle with the hate organization’s name prominently displayed underneath.

“That should have been dismantled years ago.”

Another netizen ridiculed the government agency’s inability to address what should be an easy fix because it’s entrenched in the channels of American bureaucracy.

“How many levels of command does it take to decide that a KKK plaque at West Point is fake and should just be removed as soon as possible?” the Observer wrote sarcastically.

The commission also requested the relocation or removal of a portrait of Lee in full Confederate garb that was prominently displayed in one of the academy's buildings

The commission also requested the relocation or removal of a portrait of Lee in full Confederate garb that was prominently displayed in one of the academy’s buildings

In addition to the seven DOD facilities marked for renaming at West Point -- including a barracks and a child development center -- an additional five buildings, streets, and gates were to be renamed, named after Lee and other Confederate leaders

In addition to the seven DOD facilities marked for renaming at West Point — including a barracks and a child development center — an additional five buildings, streets, and gates were to be renamed, named after Lee and other Confederate leaders

Another viewer explained that this case should be a no-brainer, although he’s usually opposed to bright government agencies renaming places and structures associated with eras in American history.

“You know, I’m usually against removing statues, plaques, etc. But in this case I would make an exception.

“Short reasoning,” the commenter continued, “most other people who have monuments or plaques have been complex and have done both good (or at least great) and bad things.”

He then explained, “KKK only stood for one thing.”

In addition to the seven DOD facilities marked for renaming at West Point — including a barracks and a child development center — an additional five buildings, streets, and gates were to be renamed, named after Lee and other Confederate leaders.

The three assets flagged at the Naval Academy, meanwhile, included an engineer’s building and the superintendent’s quarters.

Aside from these structures and assets, the commission also requested the relocation or removal of a portrait of Lee in full Confederate garb that was prominently displayed in one of the academy’s buildings.

The portrait of Lee, the commission wrote, is among the “paraphernalia” it has “unanimously” recommended for removal — as have several other portraits of “persons who voluntarily served under him,” which they claim they should be thrown away.

Also suggested for removal was an engraved quote from Lee, located near a prominent print of the West Point code of honor: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

West Point - the country's oldest military academy - is yet to comment on the proposed changes, which were leveled out on Monday

West Point – the country’s oldest military academy – is yet to comment on the proposed changes, which were leveled out on Monday

Another display depicting Lee and three other Confederate soldiers has been flagged for change.

“Lee’s armies were responsible for the deaths of more US soldiers than virtually any other enemy in our nation’s history,” the commission wrote in the report, referring to the 360,222 Union soldiers who died in the four-year conflict.

But when the issue of the Ku Klux Klan came up – a group responsible for the lynching of thousands of African Americans and other minorities since its inception in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War – the commission was much less open and questioned the DOD to create the rules for handling such assets.

“This marker does not fall within the remit of the Commission; However, there are clear links in the KKK to the Confederacy,” the commission wrote.

The proposals for both schools, they added, would cost taxpayers approximately $425,000.

The brazen claims are part of a broader effort by the commission to erase the names of Southerners who fought against the U.S. during the Civil War, beginning with the country’s many military bases, schools and other DOD assets.

Final recommendations from the commission, including cost estimates for the proposed costly tweaks, must be presented to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees by October 1st.

However, before they can be approved, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Congress must approve them before they can go into effect.

Before the October deadline, the eight-member panel is poised to release a third report of its final findings regarding the renaming of additional DOD assets that didn’t make the agency’s first two reports.

Their first report, released in May, urged the renaming of nine Army bases that pay homage to various Confederate generals. The move would cost an estimated $21 million, according to the commission.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11163279/KKK-plaque-Confederate-symbols-prestigious-West-Point-removed-panel-demands.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The KKK plaque and Confederate symbols at prestigious West Point should be removed, the panel says

Bradford Betz

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