Bowser said Thursday her expectation of the report “was that it would not include any recommendations on federal buildings.”
“When I saw the final report and I could see immediately how its recommendations could be easily misconstrued or purposefully misconstrued, so we removed it,” she said at a press conference. Pressed by a reporter on the adjustment, Bowser acknowledged, “I think that the working group landed, like a lot of people do, with a difficult, how shall I say, a difficult reconciliation of all of those goals.”
The White House had cast the working group’s report as “ludicrous” on Tuesday.
“By publishing a plan that recommends potentially removing the Washington Monument, Christopher Columbus Statue, Andrew Jackson Statue, and Jefferson Memorial—among many other ludicrous recommendations—the radically liberal mayor of Washington, D.C., is repeating the same left-wing narrative used to incite dangerous riots: demolishing our history and destroying our great heritage,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
The DCFACES review was commissioned by Bowser after the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“In all instances we believe strongly that all District of Columbia owned public spaces, facilities and commemorative works should only honor those individuals who exemplified those values such as equity, opportunity and diversity that DC residents hold dear,” the committee’s report said.
The panel explained that its “decision-making prism focused on key disqualifying histories, including participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities and violation of the DC Human Right Act.”