“Within the walls of a Smithsonian museum just like at the National Gallery of Art or the great memorials that dot this city, there is no us and them. There’s only us. And so my objection to the creation of a new Smithsonian museum or series of museums based on group identity, what Theodore Roosevelt called hyphenated Americanism, is not a matter of budgetary or legislative technicalities. It is a matter of national unity and cultural inclusion.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Thursday blocked legislation for the creation of a Smithsonian National Museum of the American Latino as well as legislation for the creation of a women’s history museum during a Senate hearing on the matter.
“If American Latino or women’s history are being under appropriated at the Museum of American History, that is a problem and that’s a problem we should address here. I’ll happily work … to correct those problems, even if it means more money, more exhibits, new floors, or wings. I understand what my colleagues are trying to do and why. I respect what they’re trying to do. I even share their interests in ensuring that these stories are told. But the last thing we need is to further divide an already divided nation within an array of separate but equal museums of hyphenated identity groups.”