Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signaled their willingness to discuss scrapping Confederate names on forts across the country, Army Col. Sunset Belinsky said Monday evening.
They are open to having a bi-partisan dialogue on the renaming bases, according to Belinsky. The Army has 10 posts named after Confederate generals across the south, including major installations at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.
McCarthy, a former Army Ranger, indicated his willingness to discuss the change after weeks of protests that have spread across the country following the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who pleaded for his life as a white police officer knelt on his neck.
The Army has resisted calls in the past to change names on the installations named after officers who rebelled and fought against the United States in the Civil War.
But times and attitudes are swiftly evolving as the nation heads into its second week of protests following Floyd’s death, calls for police reforms grow and locations across the country announce plans to take down or remove Confederate memorials.
McCarthy himself and the military as a whole became embroiled in controversy surrounding police and National Guard response to protesters last week in Washington, DC. McCarthy oversees National Guard units in Washington because it does not have a governor.