A Republican senator has said a proposal to remove Confederate names from U.S. military bases is unfair on the South. John Kennedy told the press that a legislative amendment wasn’t the way to solve the problem.
The Louisiana Republican was criticizing an amendment from Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. If passed, Warren’s idea would remove the names of Confederate leaders from military installations.
“I think history will show that in the 18th century, in the 19th century, and well into the 20th century, there were many non-Confederate generals, soldiers and others, in both the South and the North who practiced racial discrimination, Antisemitism and misogyny,” Kennedy told journalists.
“I don’t think we ought to just pick on the South,” he said.
There are a number of military bases in the South with names related to the Confederacy. This is hardly surprising, since the self-declared nation consisted of southern states.
Senator Kennedy’s home state of Louisiana was part of the Confederacy and has installations that would be affected by Warren’s amendment.
“Senator Warren’s amendment, in my opinion, picks on the South unfairly,” he said.
Kennedy said he will put forward an alternative proposal “to rename every military installation in the country after a medal of honor winner.”
This plan would also see military bases lose their Confederate names. The issue has become a contentious matter of debate within the Republican Party as protests against racial injustice continue.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media