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Congressman Mo Brooks Defends States' Right to Choose Who They Honor in U.S. Capitol's Statuary Collection

July 20, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC— Monday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) announced he will vote “No” this week on H.R. 7573, a Socialist Democrat bill to remove perceived “undesirable” statues from the U.S. Capitol. The U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Collection has 100 statues, 2 from each state. Alabama’s two statutes are Helen Keller and Joe Wheeler (the only Confederate general to later become a United States general; General Wheeler oversaw Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charge up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War). Alabama also has a third statute honoring Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks. Both the General Wheeler and Rosa Parks statutes are in places of prominence in the old House Chamber (now known as Statuary Hall). Helen Keller is prominently honored and displayed in the Capitol Visitor’s Center.

Congressman Brooks said, “The 1864 law establishing the National Statuary Collection provides that each state may ‘furnish statues…of deceased persons who have been citizens thereof, and illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services such as each State may deem to be worthy of this national commemoration.’ The 1864 law clearly defers to states the power to determine who they wish to honor. And that makes perfect sense. Just as it would be wrong for Alabama and other states to dictate to New York and California who they must honor, it is similarly wrong and repulsive for New York, California, or other states to dictate to Alabama who we must honor. Yet H.R. 7573 seeks to do exactly that by empowering other states to dictate to a single state who that state can, or cannot, honor.”

Brooks added, “George Orwell’s 1984 prophecy is fast becoming an American reality. Orwell wrote, ‘Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.’ Orwell warned that culture cancelling and historical revisionism are precursors to dictatorial government and the destruction of individual liberty and freedom by elitists who claim they know more than regular citizens and, hence, should be empowered to dictate what regular citizens can and cannot think or do. Ultimately, it’s all about political power in the hands of a dictatorial few coupled with the enslavement and loss of freedom and liberty by the masses, as depicted in yet another prophetic George Orwell book, Animal Farm.”

Brooks continued, “Sadly, Socialist Democrats in the U.S. House are actively embracing fascism, socialism, and revisionism. In their minds, historical figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson (all honored at Mount Rushmore) must be erased because each of these brave American leaders stood for liberty and freedom, the exact opposite of the socialism and fascism so many in Congress now mindlessly advocate as they seek to stifle competing views, political philosophies, and ways of life they disagree with and seek to destroy.”

Brooks concluded, ”I reject cancel culture, historical revisionism, socialism, and fascism. I support freedom and liberty. I support federalism and a state’s right to decide for itself who it should honor. As such, I will proudly vote 'No' on H.R. 7573. Alabama, not New Yorkers, Californians, or anyone else, should decide who we wish to honor in Alabama’s contribution to the National Statuary Collection. Socialist Democrat states should butt out!”