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McCarthy Remarks at Unveiling of Chief Standing Bear Statue

Sep 18, 2019
Press Release


Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy honored Ponca Chief Standing Bear at the unveiling of his statue at the United States Capitol. Chief Standing Bear’s statue will be one of two representing the State of Nebraska. McCarthy also honored the sculptor of the statue, Benjamin Victor, who grew up in Bakersfield, attended Foothill High School, and adds his third statue to the collection in the Capitol.  

Highlights are below or watch the full speech here.



When Chief Standing Bear spoke before a judge, he said “this ‘hand is not the color of yours, but if I prick it, the blood will flow, and I shall feel pain…The blood is of the same color as yours. God made me, and I am a man.’

“Chief Standing Bear was speaking the language of America. He was not fighting for special privileges. Instead, he asked that he be afforded his rights as a human being --- the same rights others enjoy.

“Whose words does that remind you of?

“Does it remind you of Martin Luther King [Jr.], does it remind you of Pericles? Because Pericles, once said, “what you leave behind is not what is engraved in monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

“Clearly, Chief Standing Bear impacted the lives of many in [his] own time. But because of Benjamin Victor, he will also impact the lives of many in our time.

“Benjamin has not been introduced today, but Benjamin sits right over here. He is a special man…this is his third statue that sits in this hall. 

“He was the youngest sculptor to ever have one, and he’s the only living sculptor with the most.

“He has a unique ability to capture things that we only dream to imagine – to tell the story…The reason I know of Benjamin is because he grew up in Bakersfield, California, where I represent. He went to Foothill High School.

“He has the largest bronze statue that stands in [California] today, reflecting the men and women of the oil fields of the early 20th Century.

“There was another famous thing that happened on this very day, on September 18, 1793, 226 years ago today. You know what took place, they laid the cornerstone – George Washington did – in this very building, it was our Founding Fathers.

“And with this statue of Chief Standing Bear, we are building on their solid foundation.

“We definitely are forming a more perfect union.”