McConnell renews call to remove Jefferson Davis statue from KY Capitol Rotunda
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Senator Mitch McConnell is standing by his call to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis from the state Capitol Rotunda.
McConnell was among the first to call for the statue's removal following the massacre at the historic Emanuel AME Church in S. Carolina.
But at the same time, he says does not want to sweep history under the rug.
“I don't think we ought to airbrush history. The Civil War did happen. In fact, one of my ancestors fought for the Confederacy,” McConnell told WDRB News.
But McConnell did begin the push to remove the statue of the former confederate president, after images surfaced of the South Carolina shooting suspect Dylann Roof, holding a confederate flag.
“It just seems to me that Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln are not equal in stature, which is not to say that Jefferson Davis wasn't an important person in American history. He was. But I think there's a way to remember history in a quite less prominent fashion,” he said.
McConnell believes the statue belongs in the Kentucky History Museum or at the state historic site in Todd County where Davis was born.
Right now, the state Historic Properties Advisory Commission is collecting public comment on its website as to the future of the statue.
WDRB News asked McConnell who he thinks should replace Davis in the Rotunda.
“I don't know that they need to replace Davis. Alben Barkley is in there, Henry Clay is in there, Abraham Lincoln is in there. I'm not interested in replacement so much as I am making sure that people who are in there make sense,” said McConnell.
But McConnell says there's another effort to remove an historical figure that does not make sense. He's opposing the Treasury Department's plan to remove Alexander Hamilton from the $10 bill to make way for a woman.
“Which is not to say that some woman or women in American history should not be honored. But the last person who ought to be removed from currency is the person who basically founded the American banking system, and created the financial system for the United States, Alexander Hamilton,” he said.
But some in the national media are pointing out that McConnell himself proposed putting Ronald Reagan on the $10 bill after his death in 2004.
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