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At a campaign Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told the crowd he would change the name of Fort Liberty back to Fort Bragg. Speaking before the North Carolina Republican Party, DeSantis said he wants the name of the Fayetteville Army base “restored”.

“I look forward to, as President, restoring the name of Fort Bragg to our great military base,” DeSantis said.

“It’s an iconic name and an iconic base,” the newly announced presidential candidate told Republicans. “We’re not gonna let political correctness run amok.”

Department of Defense renamed Fort Bragg as part of their commitment to eliminate the names of Confederate Generals from military bases

According to AP News, several veterans present called removing Confederate names from military bases a “small but important step” in making the Army more welcoming to recruits of color.

Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commanding general of Fort Liberty, said “we were given a mission, we accomplished that mission and we made ourselves better”.

Braxton Bragg, the original namesake for the base, was a plantation owner and enslaver in Louisiana. In the 1860s, Bragg became in charge of rebel troops as a Confederate General during the Civil War.

Bragg, who fought to maintain his ability to enslave human beings, helped wage a war against the United States. His actions were, by definition, treasonous.

Mike Pence joins DeSantis in support of keeping enslaver Braxton Bragg’s name on the military base

DeSantis and others running for the Republican nomination, called stripping the name of Confederate enslavers from military bases “woke”.

Mike Pence, who also spoke before the North Carolina GOP, called the move one of “political correctness”. He too vowed to remove the name “Liberty” and replace it once again with “Bragg”.

Darren Hutchinson, a professor at Emory School of Law, tweeted his dismay with Republican pushback on the renaming.

“Not celebrating an enslaver is ‘political correctness’?” Hutchinson asked. “Nope. It’s being an informed and respectful citizen.”

In spite of the politicized backlash, DeSantis, Pence and others remain in the minority – even among service members. A 2020 poll shows just 36% of military personnel oppose renaming military bases currently named after Confederates.

For Retired Army Brigadier General Ty Seidule, renaming the base to Fort Liberty is an ode to the country it exists to protect.

“Liberty remains the greatest American value,” he said.

Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...