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Rep. Brent: House Republicans vote to protect the Confederate flag

Says symbols of racism, white supremacy, and treason have no place in Ohio
June 12, 2020
Juanita O. Brent News

While Ohioans were sleeping, House Democratic lawmakers were offering two amendments on the House floor late Thursday and early Friday that would have prohibited the sale, display, possession or distribution of Confederate memorabilia at county and independent fairs, following a similar rule instituted by the Ohio State Fair in 2015. The motions came during floor debate on House Bill 665, which made several other changes to laws on local and county fairs. The U.S. MarinesU.S. Navy and NASCAR recently announced similar bans on Confederate memorabilia. Republicans rejected the amendments largely along party lines, voting instead to protect the sale of the Confederate flag. 

“It was treacherous that the majority of the Ohio House Republican members voted against the passing of my amendment to prohibit the selling, display, and distribution of any confederate memorabilia. The Confederate flag is a symbol of treason against our country and oppression against all descendants of slaves, who are mostly African Americans. The civil unrest that is occurring in the streets requires us to take action, not give lip service. If we want all of our county and independent fairs to be welcoming spaces this symbol must be prohibited. I am looking forward to introducing a stand-alone bill outside of what was presented on the floor. I am tired of legislators protecting racists acts,” said Rep. Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland).

The amendments come amid continued demonstrations in dozens of cities and towns across Ohio where protesters have called for an end to police brutality, white supremacy and racism in the United States following the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

A second Democratic amendment would have cut state funding to county and independent fairs who allow the sale of Confederate memorabilia. Republicans tabled that amendment as well.

House Bill 665 passed the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.