Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), along with Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), announced Tuesday that they were preparing to introduce a bill to remove the name of Francis G. Newlands, a late US senator with racist views, from Chevy Chase Circle.
Newlands’ name is displayed on the fountain and a plaque in the circle, which is located partly in the District and partly in Maryland.
“I have long called for removing statues to Confederates and segregationists and placing them in museums to help give a more complete history of our country,” Norton said about the bill.
“However, there is no redeeming value in preserving an honorific to an avowed and unreconstructed racist. This plaque and fountain tell no story. They are meant only to honor Francis Newlands, a segregationist who argued that voting rights won for African Americans as a result of the Civil War should be repealed. Newlands belongs in the dustbins of history, not preserved on a traffic circle that symbolizes the unity between the nation’s capital and the state of Maryland,” the congresswoman continued.
Raskin also described Newlands as “a segregationist and white supremacist,” adding that it’s long past time for the former Nevada senator’s name and the plaque honoring him at Chevy Chase Circle to be retired.
According to Raskin, Newlands has received more honor and attention than he deserved, and it would be easy to agree on a “more appropriate person to honor,” at that location.