Hispanic lawmakers: Fire Trump appointees on Confederate base naming commission

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The Pentagon should sack Trump appointees from the commission set up to find new names for U.S. military bases honoring Confederate figures in favor of a people who “reflect the diversity of America, including at least one Latino,” members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

In their Jan. 29, 2020 letter, Reps. Joaquin Castro of Texas and Ruben Gallego of Arizona, both Democrats, urged Mr. Austin to remove four last-minute appointments made by former President Trump to the board that was mandated by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. 

“The letter seeks to ensure that Latino perspectives are included when discussing how to rename the bases in ways that reflect the diversity of the American military and the contributions of Latinos in uniform throughout our history,” they said. 

The four members of the board appointed by former Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller were Sean McLean, Joshua Whitehouse, Ann G. Johnston and Earl Matthews.

The signers of the letter accused Mr. Trump of inciting the crowds of his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2020. 

“The Confederacy was a shameful reminder of the danger that racism poses to our democracy,” they wrote. “Given the context of this attack on our democracy, the work of removing Confederate names from the Department of Defense cannot be trusted to appointees of a President who gave aid and comfort to the ideological heirs of the Confederacy.”

Latino perspectives must be a part of the effort to roll back the racism and bigotry that has so harmed our nation, they said in the letter.

“From Glorieta Pass to Khe Sahn to Normandy to Fallujah, Latino Americans have time and again proven their fighting skills, their courage, and their patriotism in defense of the Union,” they wrote.

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