CNN Commentator: George Washington And Thomas Jefferson Statues 'Need To Come Down'

21 August, 2017, 02:44 | Author: Ruben Patrick
  • The coded alt-right signal Donald Trump uses to defend white nationalists in Charlottesville

Political Analyst and Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief John Avlon who had referred to comparisons between Washington and Robert E. Lee as "idiotic" and stated that Confederates tried to claim Washington. So, will George Washington now lose his status?

"It's an idiotic comparison".

But what Rivera, Trump, and white nationalists fail to comprehend is that taking down statues and confederate symbols is about doing the right thing; it's not about erasing history. One user wrote in a tweet, "Trump's quote on George Washington was dead on". But there's nothing positive to balance that out at all with the Confederate leaders, who tried to break up the country for the sole objective of being allowed to go on owning black people. Not surprisingly, far more whites (57 per cent) disapprove of Lee statues being taken down than blacks (11 per cent). There were already Latinos. But he has also said the event, dubbed "Unite the Right", came to represent much more than that.

Coming back to the monuments debate, Bolduan asked Rye,"Is it about statues and monuments?"

For all the emotions, anger and fear engendered by the situation in Charlottesville, "You have got to say the fact we are having this conversation. American history is not all glorious", Rye said, responding to host Kate Bolduan's question, "Is it about statues and monuments?"

"I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?"

He added later, "George Washington was a slave owner". There were anti-slavery activists before that time, of course, but they were primarily devoted to measures such as ending the slave trade or limiting the expansion of slavery, as opposed to stamping it out completely. And we need to call slave owners out for what they are, whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not. Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, he wasn't protecting my freedoms.

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He concedes, however, that if "my ancestors had fought for the Confederacy, it's possible I would feel a little differently".

During a Monday protest in Durham, North Carolina, a woman toppled a Confederate statue, and authorities said on Tuesday she was arrested.

Lee, the great-great-grandson of the general also issued a statement along with Tracy Lee Crittenberger, his sister, condemning the "hateful words and violent actions of white supremacists, the KKK or neo-Nazis".

Trump appeared incredulous at the prospect of removing the statues, and implied that removing Confederate statues was akin to removing monuments for Washington and Jefferson, both men who championed the cause of liberty for the USA against the British while they also owned slaves. "We need to call it what it is". But I don't support ad hoc decisions to unceremoniously remove them.

Compare that with Robert E. Lee, who quit the U.S. Army to join the Confederates. We look at the institution of slavery, and it's absolutely horrendous.

John Avlon jumped in to warn Rye that she was playing right into "exactly the slippery slope argument" that Trump suggested. Recently, Fox News reported that Trump was considering pardoning Joe Arpaio, a man found guilty for failing to comply with a court order to end traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. The larger point is the perspective is key in American politics. I have no doubt about it, and you don't have any doubt about it either. "This is a great honor for me today", Trump said then.

"I've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned many different groups". Yet, George Washington, this same man who I believe was a hero, also pursued his runaway slave, Ona.


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