President Joe Biden gave socialist activist Cesar Chavez, who opposed illegal immigrants and used slurs against them, a prominent place in the Oval Office behind the Resolute Desk amid pictures of his family.
A bust of Chavez was one of several changes Biden made to the decor of the Oval Office, according to The Washington Post.
Chavez was an American socialist labor leader who helped found the United Farm Workers union in the 1960s, which sought better working conditions for agricultural workers. He called illegal immigrants “wetbacks” and opposed illegal immigration from Mexico because he believed it had a detrimental effect on strikes.
“As long as we have a poor country bordering California, it’s going to be very difficult to win strikes,” Chavez said during an interview in 1972.
Other busts Biden has added to the room include Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Daniel Webster. He removed a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which the United Kingdom had given to former President George W. Bush and was reinstalled by former President Donald Trump.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not seem offended by the removal of the Churchill bust, his spokesperson telling CNN: “The Oval Office is the President’s private office, and it’s up to the President to decorate it as he wishes. We’re in no doubt about the importance President Biden places on the UK-US relationship, and the Prime Minister looks forward to having that close relationship with him.”
Biden also removed Trump’s flags commemorating each branch of the military, leaving instead an American flag and one featuring the presidential seal. He kept former President Donald Trump’s golden curtains but replaced his golden rug with the dark blue version used by former President Bill Clinton.
Biden Oval Office vs. Trump Oval Office pic.twitter.com/4plAURP1Y4
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) January 20, 2021
Directly across from the Resolute Desk, above the fireplace, is a large portrait of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which is flanked with paintings of Alexander Hamilton as well as former Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.
A quick redesign of the Oval Office for President Biden:
– Busts of MLK and RFK flank a fireplace in the office.
– Large portrait of FDR
– Paintings of Jefferson and Hamilton
– Clinton’s draps and blue rug @AnnieLinskey with the details:https://t.co/ipK3g5OtDZ pic.twitter.com/1NzNhFHWyE
— Matt Viser (@mviser) January 20, 2021
Another major change Biden made to the Oval Office was removing a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson, who, despite being the first Democratic president, is widely criticized for having signed the Native American Removal Act in 1830.
As The Daily Wire reported:
President Joe Biden removed a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson from the Oval Office as part of his White House redecoration.
Biden replaced the painting of the seventh president, with whom former President Donald Trump often identified because of his populist platform, with a portrait of Benjamin Franklin.
A few months after becoming president, Trump visited The Hermitage, Jackson’s homestead in Nashville, Tennessee, where he laid a wreath at his predecessor’s tomb and honored his legacy with a speech.
Jackson even played a role in the unrest that afflicted Washington, D.C., and other cities in the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer. Rioters attempted to topple a statue of Jackson in Lafayette Park, just across from the White House.
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