Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the refusal of the Department of the Army to consider renaming two streets at Fort Hamilton honoring Confederate generals, General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive. Congresswoman Clarke, joined by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, formally asked the department to rename the streets in June following the removal of monuments honoring Confederate generals in New Orleans.
“I am disappointed that the Department of the Army will not even consider renaming these streets honoring Confederate generals who waged war against the United States. The department claims that the streets were named ‘in the spirit of reconciliation’. But that ‘reconciliation’ was actually complicity by the North and the South to ignore the interests of African-Americans and enforce white supremacy, effectively denying the result of the Civil War for generations. We are still living with the failure of this nation to fully accept that result, as well as the post-Civil War amendments that were ratified to establish the freedom of women and men who had been held in bondage. The department describes any possible renaming of these streets as potentially ‘controversial’. Nonsense! These monuments are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents and members of the armed forces stationed at Fort Hamilton whose ancestors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought to hold in slavery. For too many years, the United States has refused to reckon with that history. I commend the City of New Orleans for initiating this important and often difficult work. I will continue to petition the Department of the Army to contribute to that effort.”