Two streets at South Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton army base honor Confederate generals: General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive. And despite protests, the Army is keeping them.
After New Orleans removed Confederate memorials, Brooklyn’s Democratic Members of Congress called on the Army to do the same. Last week, just days before neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, the Department of the Army responded, saying that renaming the streets would be “controversial and divisive.” Now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is joining the chorus, calling on the Army to reverse its decision.
Those street names have also become an issue in the City Council race for the area. Justin Brannan and Rev. Khader El-Yateem, two of the frontrunners for the Bay Ridge seat (currently held by Vinny Gentile), called for renaming the streets.
They’ve accomplished something, however. The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island removed a plaque honoring Robert E. Lee. The plaque was attached to a tree outside the now-closed St. John’s Episcopal Church, also known as the Church of the Generals due to its proximity to Fort Hamilton. And Bronx Community College removed busts of Lee and Jackson from their Hall of Fame for Great Americans.