Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to acting Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy on Wednesday requesting the removal of the names of a pair of Confederate generals from streets on Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn.
The street names in question represent Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, both of whom were stationed at the base in the 1840s before becoming central figures in the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Cuomo's note follows the Army's denial of the same request by local community leaders and legislators on August 7 and is in direct response to the violent events that took place at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.
The letter comes the same day that a plaque honoring Lee near the fort was removed by local religious leaders. Statues of Lee, who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, have caused a great deal of controversy across the country over the past year. The planned removal of a statue commemorating the general prompted the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, which left one counter-protester dead. The removal of another statue of Lee in New Orleans in May also drew protests from white supremacy groups.
“Symbols of slavery and racism have no place in New York,” Cuomo said in the letter. “Renaming these streets will send a clear message that in New York, we stand against intolerance and racism, whether it be insidious and hidden or obvious and intentional.”