9 Republican members of Congress voted against naming a Winston-Salem, North Carolina post office for the late poet Maya Angelou, with one of them saying it was because she was a “communist sympathizer.”
The members included Rep. Mo Brooks (AL), Rep. Ken Buck (CO), Rep. Michael Burgess (TX), Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC), Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI), Rep. Andy Harris (MD), Rep. Alex Mooney (WV), Rep. Thomas Massie (KY), Rep. Alex Mooney (WV), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS). Rep. Don Young (AK) voted present.
Statements on the Vote
Here’s a statement from the office my Congressman, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland:
Congressman Harris voted against the Maya Angelou post office naming because she was a communist sympathizer. His parents escaped communism and he feels that he cannot vote to name a post office in the United States in honor of someone who supported the communist Castro revolution in Cuba.
Another statement, this one from Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, who represents my hometown:
While Dr. Angelou made terrific contributions to both literature and civil rights, her vocal support of the communist regime in Cuba gave me pause when deciding whether to name a taxpayer funded building after her. As Chair of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere with jurisdiction over Cuba, I have heard the personal testimonies of families who have suffered great human rights abuses under the oppressive Castro regime. When thinking of all the Cuban-American families who have suffered and continue to suffer under the communist government of Cuba, I felt compelled to oppose the legislation.