The Washington Post posted what they deemed to be an “exclusive” piece by writer Gillian Brockell about how many slave owners and Confederate figures are detected in different featured artwork at the U.S. Capitol.
The piece, published Tuesday, highlighted that almost 1 out of 3 paintings and sculptures found in the building depicted a person who owned slaves, possibly owned slaves, or fought for the Confederacy.
“When the 118th Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3, its members will walk the halls of a building whose paintings and statues pay homage to 141 enslavers,” wrote Brockell. “As part of a year-long investigation into Congress’s relationship with slavery, The Washington Post analyzed more than 400 artworks in the U.S. Capitol building, from the Crypt to the ceiling of the Capitol Rotunda, and found that one-third honor enslavers or Confederates. Another six honor possible enslavers — people whose slaveholding status is in dispute.”
The article, titled, Art at Capitol honors 141 enslavers and 13 Confederates. Who are they?, was shared by the Washington Post’s official Twitter account Wednesday.
Exclusive: A Washington Post investigation of more than 400 artworks in the U.S. Capitol building found that nearly one-third honor enslavers or Confederates. https://t.co/VTLeBgfpG0
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 28, 2022
Brockell complained that “none of the works are accompanied by any acknowledgment that their subjects enslaved people.”
“Just as governments and institutions across the country struggle with the complex and contradictory legacies of celebrated historical figures with troubling racial records, so too does any effort to catalog the role of the Capitol artworks’ subjects in the institution of slavery,” she continued.
Brockell has been known to discuss race-related topics in the past, as seen in an interview she appeared for with MSNBC about a year ago:
The Post’s attempt to bill a report based on publicly available information as an “exclusive” story drew ridicule across social media.
“lololol i sorta love that an article based entirely on publicly available information and pacing around the capitol with a notepad is being promoting as ‘exclusive’, as if archeologists opened king tut’s tomb for the first time and granted them special access,” joked Washington Examiner writer Becket Adams.
lololol i sorta love that an article based entirely on publicly available information and pacing around the capitol with a notepad is being promoting as "exclusive", as if archeologists opened king tut's tomb for the first time and granted them special access. https://t.co/DGvRWb399J
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) December 28, 2022
“Remember. These are supposedly our intellectual superiors,” RedState writer Bonchie reportedly said.
Director Phil Magness, who heads the American Institute for Economic Research, reacted to the story by rhetorically asking “Remember that time just 5 years ago when the Washington Post assured us that various statue removal movements were not going to be a slippery slope to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson?”
This question by Magness was in reference to the anti-statue movement occurring in the United States since 2017, according to American Greatness.
As the outlet reported:
Magness was referencing the anti-monument movement that has been ongoing in the United States since 2017, after a peaceful protest in Charlottesville, Virginia was attacked by Antifa and other far-left agitators, resulting in the accidental death of an Antifa rioter. As the protest was over the preservation of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Left soon began targeting other Confederate monuments around the country, with many local authorities pressured into removing statues before they were destroyed by rioters. The movement was greatly accelerated in 2020 amidst the Black Lives Matter riots, with domestic terrorists quickly targeting other statues beyond the Confederacy, including statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.