Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday, July 9, slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over her comments about destruction of a Christopher Columbus statue in her native city of Baltimore.
“Shameful,” Cruz tweeted. “Speaker of the House stands with the mob.”
Shameful. Speaker of the House stands with the mob. https://t.co/C74sXY2cOh
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 10, 2020
The Columbus statue, which had stood near Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood for 36 years, was taken down and tossed into the city’s Inner Harbor by rioters on Saturday night. The destruction was part of ongoing vandalism targeting statues and monuments across the nation after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25 .
During a press conference on Thursday, Pelosi was asked whether she felt it was appropriate for mobs to topple statues instead of a commission or a city council, reported the Hill.
“People will do what they do,” Pelosi responded. “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. I don’t know that it has to be a commission, but it just could be a community view.”
Meanwhile, Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D) denounced the protesters who destroyed the statue, warning that the perpetrators, if identified, “will be brought to justice.”
“We support peaceful protest. This is not a peaceful protest,” Young said. “It is unacceptable.”
Young added that protesters cannot “erase history. You learn from it.” The statues, such as ones to the 15th-century Italian explorer, “should have something there to talk about what happened in the dark past.”
Pelosi, an Italian American, was born and raised in Baltimore. She said the Columbus statue being toppled did not “diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage and the fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian and named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. So I have that pride, but I don’t care that much about statues.”
Both Pelosi’s father and brother were elected mayor of Baltimore. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., worked from 1947 to 1959 and her brother Thomas D’Alesandro III led the city from 1967 to 1971. They were leading Italian Americans in the city, and helped pay for the Columbus statue, according to TheFederalist’s Ben Domenech.
Context: Baltimore is Pelosi’s hometown, where both her father and brother were elected mayor. They were leading Italian-Americans in the city, and members in Italian organizations that helped pay for the Columbus statue. https://t.co/cA47rw4WL0
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) July 10, 2020