ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger is calling for the names of two Confederate naval officers to be removed from buildings at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
In a news release, Ruppersberger, who recently became the chairman of the academy’s Board of Visitors, called on the Pentagon to also remove the names of Confederates at U.S. military bases.
At the academy, the superintendent’s residence is named after Franklin Buchanan, who joined the Confederate Navy. Maury Hall, which houses the weapons and systems engineering program, is named after Matthew Fontaine Maury, Ruppersberger’s office said.
“There has been discussion of renaming these buildings since at least 2017,” Ruppersberger said in the release. “As the new Chairman, the time for discussion is over. It’s time for action. Midshipman [sic] who have earned the privilege to study in one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions should not have to walk around campus and see buildings named for men who fought to uphold slavery and promote white supremacy.”
While military officials have said they’re open to renaming ten installations named for Confederate leaders, according to CBS News, President Donald Trump dismissed the idea in a series of tweets Wednesday.
“The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” Trump tweeted, adding the country’s history “will not be tampered with.”
…Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 10, 2020
In his statement, Ruppersberger said the idea isn’t about erasing history.
“We simply shouldn’t lift up traitors who fought against American values like equality and tolerance,” he said.