- The Washington Times - Friday, February 19, 2021

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting member of Congress, reintroduced a bill Friday that aims to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Albert Pike from the city.

Ms. Norton said in her introductory statement to Congress that Pike “represents the worst of the Confederacy.”

“Soldiers under his command were found to have mutilated the bodies of Union soldiers, and he was ultimately imprisoned after his fellow Confederate officers reported that he had been misappropriating funds,” she said. “Even those who do not want Confederate statues removed will have to justify according Pike any honor considering his dishonorable history.”

The Freemasons all-male fraternal organization, which Pike belonged to, donated the majority of funds used to erect the monument in 1901. 

After meeting with the organization, Ms. Norton said she wants the statue to be relocated from its current location near Judiciary Square.

“I oppose destroying Confederate statues, because I believe they should be moved to more appropriate settings, like museums, to avoid erasing an important part of history from which Americans must continue to learn,” she said.

The 28-foot-tall bronze statue was one of several that were toppled throughout the nation last summer during racial justice protests. It has since been restored at the request of former President Trump, who also signed an executive order to protect national monuments.

Ms. Norton first introduced the bill last year, but it failed in the 2020 legislative session.

It is the second in her “Black History Month bill series,” which seeks to remove racially divisive statues and memorials from the nation’s capital. On Thursday, she reintroduced a bill to remove the Emancipation Statue from Lincoln Park.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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