Donald Trump‘s refusal to change military bases named afterConfederategenerals continues to spark backlash, with a veterans group the latest to speak out.
VoteVets, a progressive veterans group often vocal against the current president, released a new video condemning Mr Trump’s position.
“Our new ad cuts to the chase, and pulls no punches: We’d never name bases after America’s enemies, likeOsama bin Laden. Why does Donald Trump so desperately want to keep the names of other racist enemies on our Army bases,” the group wrote on Twitter when sharing its latest ad.
At the start of the ad, the name “Camp Bin Laden” is introduced as a potential name for a military base.
“We wouldn’t name American military bases after enemies who attacked our country,” a narrator says in the ad, which shows an image of the al-Queda founder.
Pictures of the ten Confederate generals – includingRobert E Lee,Braxton Bragg, and John Gordon – are then shown one by one across the screen. Each of them have military bases named after them in Southern states.
Statues and military bases honouring these generals have come under fire in recent weeks amid protests and conversations about racism and police reform.
People have argued the military bases should be renamed because theConfederacysupported the continuation of slavery in the country.
But Mr Trump insists the bases should keep their names, claiming the are “part of a Great American Heritage” with a “history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom”.
The ad says the Confederate generals “took up arms against the United States and defended slavery”, and so should be renamed.
“Names that dishonour those who serve today,” the ad says. “And you can add someone else to that list. Donald Trump dishonours our service when he stopped the military from removing those Confederate names.”
VoteVeteran pushed for the military bases to be renamed after “American heroes” who served the country instead of fighting against it.
The ad then ends by reminding the public about when Mr Trump reportedly dodged the military draft for the Vietnam War by claiming he had an injury.
Defence secretary Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said on Monday they were “open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic” of removing Confederate names from the bases,Politicofirst reported.
Their openness starkly contrasted the president’s flat out refusal to rename the military bases.