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The KKK plaque on the science building at West Point should be rethought

In a new report, a Congressional panel said that West Point, a well-known military school in upstate New York, should think about taking down a plaque that honors the Ku Klux Klan.

At the entrance of the Bartlett Hall Science Center is a bronze plaque with the name of a hate group and a picture of a man in a hood and cape holding a gun. A report from the so-called Naming Commission, which came out on Monday, says that.

The commission's job is to make suggestions about how to change the names of Confederate monuments on military land. The report said that it couldn't say for sure that the KKK symbol should be taken down because it has nothing to do with the rebel army.

A Klansman brandishes a gun in the KKK plaque.
The undated KKK plaque greets visitors to the Bartlett Hall Science Center, the panel said.
The Naming Comission

But it said, "There are clear ties between the KKK and the Confederacy," and it asked the Department of Defense to "create a standard requirement for getting rid of such assets."

After the Civil War, the white supremacist group tried to stop the progress of Reconstruction in the South by terrorizing and killing black people and other minorities. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that by the 1920s, it had four million members and real political power.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee is pictured.
The commission called for tributes to Confederate General Robert E. Lee to be scrubbed.
Corbis via Getty Images

The commission did tell West Point to change the names of a dozen buildings, roads, and gates that were named after General Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders. It also said that portraits of Lee and "individuals who voluntarily served" under him should be thrown away.

The group said that a roll call at Cullum Hall at the Orange County military academy that listed the names of graduates who fought for secession may stay the same because it wasn't meant to be a memorial.

The changes would cost taxpayers about $425,000. Just moving the monuments and inscriptions at Reconciliation Plaza would cost $300,000.

A picture of West Point on the water.
West Point is pictured overlooking the west bank of the Hudson River.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Post asked West Point for a comment, but they didn't answer right away.

The commission also told the military to change the names of a few things at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.


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