In the wake of nationwide demonstrations following the police killing of George Floyd, President Trump has ignored calls by activists to rename U.S. military bases that honor Confederate generals. “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with,” Trump tweeted to his millions of followers.
A growing chorus of civil rights activists and military officials have called on Trump to rename installations such as Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, saying they wrongfully glorify leaders who committed treason to defend slavery in the United States.
Last Monday, a Pentagon official said that Defense Secretary Mark P. Esper and Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy were “open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic” of removing Confederate names from the bases. But writing on Twitter, Trump dismissed the suggestion saying: “my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”
David H. Petraeus, a retired general and former C.I.A. director, is among those who have argued that Fort Bragg should be renamed. Writing in The Atlantic, Patraeus said that not only was Bragg an undistinguished military commander, but that he and other Confederates also committed treason and the “Army should not brook any celebration of those who betrayed their country.”