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Sen. Mike Lee is wrong to think Latino, women’s museums will ‘divide us’

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Sen. Mike Lee is wrong to think Latino, women’s museums will ‘divide us’ 1

Elections-wise, 2020 was the year of the woman: first female vice president and a record number of women elected to Congress — all in the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passage, guaranteeing women’s right to vote. How’s about Sen. Mike Lee taking notice?

The Utah Republican just single-handedly blocked Senate passage of legislation to create two new Smithsonian museums, one dedicated to Women’s History and another to the American Latino.

House passage came last year, and the Senate was set to follow when Lee objected, claiming it would “further divide an already divided nation.” No one wants that — but how exactly would these institutions divide?

As New York’s own Rep. Carolyn Maloney noted, the Smithsonian already has several sub-museums. If the Air & Space and the African-American History and Culture museums don’t harm us, how will these?

It’s really no different from, say, the Met having a gallery for Asian art, one for Impressionist, etc.: Different units join together to tell a larger story. None is denigrating the others, just deepening our understanding.

That’s why this legislation has enormous bipartisan support. Lee should reconsider — and his colleagues, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ought to push him hard to do so.

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