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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 12, 2020 12:06 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Removing Confederate Monuments and Statues
The history of the United States is vast and includes multiple events that have defined who we are today. Although our history includes many victories, we also have a great deal of moments that induce shame. Perhaps the most prevalent are the periods before, during, and after the Civil War, the domestic conflict which revolved around the institution of slavery. Although the Union, which was emblematic of our ideals today, was ultimately victorious, multiple statues and monuments have since been erected that celebrate the Confederacy.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a majority of the seven-hundred Confederate monuments in public spaces were erected decades following General Robert E. Lee’s surrender. One large spike was during 1900 to 1920, a time where Jim Crow Laws were enacted to disenfranchise African Americans and a period where a strong revival of the Ku Klux Klan took place. Another large spike was in the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, the period of the modern Civil Rights movement. These spikes provide evidence that these Confederate monuments and statutes were erected in order to send hostile messages to African Americans. 
Even today, some monuments and statues exist that the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of Confederate monuments does not include, such as the 10-foot obelisk outside the Rupp House in Mechanicsburg, less than 10 miles from our State Capitol. This monument honors General Albert Jenkins and his Confederate troops for their hostile occupation of the West Shore where they forced John Rupp and his family to flee their own home.
It is clear that these individuals were on the wrong side of history and acted against the interest of the American people. The erection of monuments in their name has always been a blatant attempt to send hostile messages to African Americans and to those who have fought for them. For this reason, I am introducing a resolution calling for the immediate removal of all Confederate monuments and statues in Pennsylvania.
Please join in me in recognizing this painful, yet real issue and consider co-sponsoring this resolution. Let us send a clear message that the promotion of the Confederacy’s ideals, which comprises treason and traitors to this nation, are not welcome in our state.

Introduced as HR954