Pelosi Refuses to Condemn Leftists Thugs Who Toppled Columbus Statue
Democrat House speaker says 'people will do what they do' - WATCH
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has refused to condemn the leftist thugs who toppled and rolled a Christopher Columbus statue into Baltimore's Inner Harbor last weekend.
"If the community doesn't want the statue there, the statue shouldn't be there," Pelosi, who is from Baltimore, told reporters during a rambling response on Thursday.
When asked whether radical protesters should be given a free pass to tear down America's historic monuments, Pelosi responded: "People will do what they do."
"It's up to the communities to decide what statues they want to see," Pelosi said, adding that the destruction of the Columbus statue "doesn't diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage."
"I think that it's very important that we take down any of the statues of people who committed treason against the United States of America," Pelosi argued.
"I do think that from a safety standpoint, it would be a good idea to have it taken down if the community doesn't want it," she added.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, however, had harsh words for the protesters who destroyed the statue near Little Italy over the Fourth of July, saying he wouldn't tolerate the destruction of property.
Young said the toppling was unacceptable and that the perpetrators, if identified, "will be brought to justice," the Baltimore Sun reported.
Pelosi, an Italian American, was born and raised in Baltimore.
Her father, Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., was mayor of Baltimore from 1947 to 1959 and her brother Thomas D'Alesandro III also led the city from 1967 to 1971.
When asked by reporters who should decide which statues are toppled, Pelosi said she doesn't believe "it has to be a commission."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pounced on Pelosi's comments as another example of Democrats defending the "radical left-wing mob."
"Her job is to write laws. Instead, she encourages mobs to break them," McCarthy said.
"She is complicit with criminal activity, plain and simple."
Pelosi has spearheaded an effort to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol but has drawn a distinction between targeting those who committed treason against the United States and past presidents who owned enslaved people.
Pelosi said Thursday she's most concerned about looking forward and she's not wedded to physical monuments and tokens of the past.
"I don't even have my grandmother's earrings," Pelosi told the media.
"I'm not a big 'let's see what we have in terms of monuments' and this," she added in her fumbling response.
Former President Ronald Reagan helped unveil the Columbus statue in Baltimore in 1984.
Rioters Saturday night pulled down the monument and then tossed it into the city’s Inner Harbor.
The statue had stood at the entrance to the city’s Little Italy neighborhood for 36 years, FOX 45 of Baltimore reported.
The attack came hours after rioters in Connecticut beheaded a Columbus statue there.
The Baltimore demonstrators had threatened to remove the statue for weeks, according to the station.
The destruction came after a Little Italy group hired private, unarmed security personnel to guard the statue around the clock – but it was unclear if anyone was trying to guard it Saturday, FOX 45 reported.
Video posted to social media showed people pulling chains that had been tied around the statue, with one black-clad rioter giving the statue a final push as a crowd cheered.
The toppling of the Columbus statue continued a wave of vandalism targeting statues and monuments across the nation after George Floyd's death – mostly targeting historical figures who critics now regard as "racists."
Statues vandalized or destroyed in other cities have included those of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two American founding fathers who owned slaves.
While many Italian-Americans regard Columbus as personifying their history and heritage in the Western hemisphere, others see Columbus as a conqueror who brought death and oppression to the indigenous population after he first arrived in 1492.