House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about protesters who toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore and threw it in the Inner Harbor at her weekly press conference on Thursday.
QUESTION: Madam Speaker, and this question is close to home for you. The City of Richmond is obviously in sync with your desire to get rid of Confederate statues, but in Baltimore, in Little Italy, the statue of Christopher Columbus was removed or taken down. And I wonder if you have anything to share about that. PELOSI:Well, I’m not a big you know I don’t even have my grandmother’s earrings. I’m not a big let’s see what we have in terms of monuments and this. I’m more interested in what people have accomplished. I think that it’s up to the communities to decide what statues they want to see, but I think that it’s very important that we take down any of the statues of people who committed treason against the United States of America as those statues exist in the Congress of the–the halls of Congress in the rotunda’s–not the rotunda I don’t think but in the statuary Hall and the rest for many some of them are. But I’m not one of those people who’s wedded to, oh, a statue to somebody someplace is an important thing. I don’t–again, if the community doesn’t want the statue there, the statute shouldn’t be there. I–that doesn’t diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage and the fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian, named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. So, I have that pride, but I don’t care that much about the statues QUESTION: Should not be done by–respectfully, shouldn’t be done by a Commission or the City Council, not a mob in the middle of the night throwing it into the harbor? PELOSI: People will do what they do. It’s a–it is–I do think that from a safety standpoint it would be a good idea to have it taken down at the community doesn’t want it. I don’t know that it has to be a Commission, but it just could be a community view. And sometimes, it’s something that’s been there–that view has been there for a while. But let’s just say I always say to young people who come–children who come to the capital when you look around, you see statues to people in Washington, monuments and the rest who–who we respect, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, you know heroes. They would want us to be talking about the future, your future. So, everything we do here is about you. It’s not necessarily–they would want it to be about looking forward, not looking back. So, let’s just think about what are the values, the vision, the perspective that we enshrine and how that benefits our children, rather than having a big fight about was somebody worth it. We know they are not worth it if they committed treason against the United States. Thank you all very much.