House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statements over the defacing of Christopher Columbus statue in Maryland have sparked a new debate among the Republicans. Addressing a press conference in Maryland on Thursday, Pelosi reacted to the questions and said: "I was not the one who is wedded to the fact that 'Oh, a statue of somebody, someplace is an important thing." The very next statement she uttered was: "Again, if a community or the people don't want the statue to be there, it shouldn't be there."
Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young had strongly criticized the defacing of Columbus statue. Reacting to Pelosi's dismissive statement that indirectly supported the vandalism, Young asserted that he is not going to tolerate the destruction of the statue. "The city support peaceful protests or demonstrations, and what happened with Columbus' statue, was not peaceful. The protesters cannot erase the history, it is there to learn what happened in the dark past," the mayor added.
Republican Tim Burchett also criticized Pelosi over her statement and said: "There is a legal, civil process for putting up and removing statues. That is what makes us a democracy, not a violent anarchy."
Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, also tweeted: "While efforts towards peaceful change are welcome, there is no place in Maryland for lawlessness, vandalism, and destruction of public property."
Speaking who must remove such statues, if at all they represent discrimination of any sorts, Pelosi said: "People will do what they want to. From safety point of view, it is better that it is taken down – I don't know whether this has to be done by a commission, but if the community does not want it, it should not be there," she reiterated.
Also, the Speaker further said that the defacing of Columbus statue in Maryland did not affect her Italian heritage. "The act of protesters does not diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage. The fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian and named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. So I have that pride, but I don't care that much about statues. [sic]," she said.