Monday, June 29, 2020

Interior Secretary threatens to withhold funds from state and local governments unless they protect monuments

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt threatened Saturday to withhold funding from any state or local government that does not adequately protect its monuments, in line with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Friday. "The President said very clearly to these state and local leaders, some of whom have made a determination to let these things happen, that it is not a free lunch," Bernhardt said in an interview on Fox News. "We are going to examine all of our funding mechanisms to these communities and to the extent that we have the authority, we will take into account their failure to protect these monuments." Nationwide protests over the recent deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police and racial injustice in America have led to a re-examination of Confederate symbols and monuments in the US today. Protesters in some states have defaced or attempted to tear down statues, arguing that they are racist symbols of America's legacy of slavery, as the Trump administration has moved to preserve them. "Most of these monuments were placed with acts of Congress, with deliberation, with careful thought placed in them by artists and great commemorations to establish them," Bernhardt said on Fox News Saturday. "And they are not just simply torn down because some person thinks that that would be a good idea, to try and rip out our history. We're not going to allow it." Bernhardt said that National Park Service is required by law to "conserve these monuments for future generations."...MORE

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