If the Redskins have to change their name, the Senate should rename the Russell Senate Office Building
Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens on June 18 in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urged the Senate to change the name of the Russell Senate Office Building.
The building was named after Georgian Democrat Senator Richard Russell, Jr. who Mehrens noted “filibustered civil rights legislation, actively supported segregation, and even co-authored the Southern Manifesto against the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, Brown v. Board of Education.”
Mehrens was responding to a June 12 letter from Reid to Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen urging the team to change its name, and came as the U.S. Patent Office revoked the team’s trademarks in a ruling.
In his letter, Reid had stated, “during my time in the United States Senate, I have worked to right many of the injustices endured by Americans throughout the country” and to that end that he would “not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people.”
Keeping the name Russell Office Building, Mehrens countered in his letter, after “an avowed racist, Democrat segregationist, stands as a symbol ‘of the injustices endured by Americans’ of African-American descent in the segregated South by racist Democrat administrations and legislatures.”
“What could be more disparaging to Americans of African-American descent?” Mehrens asked.
Mehrens proposed that the building be renamed the Hiram Rhodes Revels Senate Office Building. Revels was the first black senator elected after the Civil War, in 1870, and a Republican, for the state of Mississippi.
“Renaming the building after Revels, a suggestion first made by Washington, D.C.-based talk show host Chris Plante, could be the first of many recompenses Democrat leaders such as yourself might undertake, particularly considering the Party’s historic support of both slavery and segregation policies, to scrub the Capitol clean of its racist, Democrat history,” Mehrens explained.
“The Russell Senate Office Building remains a stain on the honorable institution that is the Senate. We urge you to consider renaming it with the same haste you have urged the Redskins to change their name,” the Mehrens letter to Reid concluded.
It should be noted that unlike the name of the Redskins football franchise, the name of the Senate’s office building is actually something the Senate has control over. How about it, Reid?
Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.