7 Things: More monuments to fall, Sessions rejects calls to defund law enforcement, NASCAR to return to Talladega and more …
7. Military bases aren’t changing their names
- Confederate monuments across the country have been coming down, and some groups have turned their attention to military bases with Confederate names, but President Donald Trump has said that these bases will keep their names.
- These bases include Fort Rucker in Alabama, as well as Forts Bragg, Lee, Hood, Gordon, Benning, A.P. Hill, Picket, Polk and Camp Beauregard. Trump said that his “Administration will not even consider the renaming of these magnificent and fabled military installations. Our history as the greatest nation in the world will not be tampered with. Respect our military!”
6. Trump’s approval rating has dropped
- A new Gallup poll was conducted from May 28 until June 4, which was just after George Floyd’s death, and it shows that President Donald Trump’s approval rating has fallen 10 points to 39%.
- Trump’s approval rating is at the lowest among Republicans since September 2018, but it’s still at 85%, while it’s dropped to 39% with independents and 5% with Democrats. Trump’s job approval on the coronavirus pandemic is 58% disapprove and 42% approve.
5. Huntsville could be the largest Alabama city in two years
- Based on data collected and estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Huntsville has continued to grow in population every year, having the largest growth of any city from 2010-2019, and now Huntsville is set to become the largest city within two years.
- After passing Montgomery last year, Huntsville is currently the second-largest city in Alabama, but the largest city, Birmingham, has been losing population for seven out of the last nine years, seeing a total of 1.3% population decrease. Birmingham now has less people than any time within the last 100 years.
4. HPD is going before the City Council
- After tear gas was used at protests in downtown Huntsville, Mayor Tommy Battle has asked that Police Chief Mark McMurray “provide an after-action review of recent protest events that led to the use of tear gas and pepper spray by City police,” according to a press release.
- The meeting with Huntsville police and the City Council will take place on June 18, which will be a separate meeting from the Huntsville Police Advisory Council after-action review that’s being suggested by Councilwoman Frances Akridge Thursday and will be voted on June 25.
3. NASCAR is bringing some fans back in Alabama
- They can’t bring Confederate flags, but on June 21, 5,000 people will be allowed to attend the Gieco 500 NASCAR Cup Series at the Talladega Superspeedway, as announced by NASCAR. Governor Kay Ivey said she’s “excited to see our NASCAR fans have a chance to attend the upcoming race at Talladega Superspeedway.”
- The number of 5,000 attendees was chosen so that people can still socially distance, and “there will be limited motorhome/5th-wheel camping spots available outside the track high atop the Alabama Gang Superstretch,” according to a release from Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Communications Russell Branham.
2. Sessions won’t be supporting defunding the police
- Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox Business Network with Maria Bartiromo and discussed the calls to defund police departments, saying the “whole thing is dangerous for our country.” He added, “Our police forces are critical to America, if we don’t support them we’ll see bad things happen.”
- Sessions was asked about his interactions with U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Twitter on the subject, where he referenced Omar marrying her brother as a way to help him gain citizenship, but then got back on topic and said that if you start decreasing police presence then “the criminal element increases.” He added, “You’ll see death to good, innocent people. It is like night following day.”
1. More monuments likely coming down
- The Madison County Commission has voted to remove the Confederate monument outside of the Madison County Courthouse in downtown Huntsville; the vote was unanimous after all seven commissioners spoke in favor of removing the monument, with Chairman Dale Strong saying removal is “fair and works for the people of all of Madison County.”
- Commissioner JesHenry Malone said that taking the monument down makes Madison County “more inclusive.” Commissioner Phil Riddick commented that they “want to do it legally,” and they will now seek a waiver from the review committee, which will then have 90 days to make a decision. The City of Huntsville is working with the county commission to “find a suitable home for the monument in an appropriate historical context.”