Culture

'Hamilton' Star Maybe Washington, Jefferson Statues Should Come Down

'Hamilton' Star Maybe Washington, Jefferson Statues Should Come Down”

President Donald Trump threw his hat into the Confederate monument debate happening in several cities across the country during an impromptu press conference Tuesday.

Trump continued, "George Washington was a slave owner - wasn't George Washington a slave owner?"

Moreover, Trump said, both left-wing and right-wing protesters deserved blame.

On Tuesday, Trump went ever further in his "many sides" argument, condemning the "alt-left" groups that were "very, very violent".

Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me.

"You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of - to them - a very, very important statue and the renaming of Robert E Lee Park to another name", the President said. "They were mostly built during times when Southern whites were engaged in vicious campaigns of subjugation against blacks, and during those campaigns the message sent by a statue of Robert E. Lee in front of a courthouse was loud and clear". "This is about men who organized a system of government to maintain a system of slavery and to destroy the American union".

"To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in our more prominent places - in honor - is an inaccurate recitation of our full past, is an affront to our present and it is a bad prescription for our future", Landrieu said.

In his comments, Trump lamented the push to take down Confederate statues.

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"So this week, it is Robert E. Lee". And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?

"Where are you going to stop it?' Gingrich said".

When you alter monuments, "you're not changing history", he said.

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.

First: Washington is celebrated in spite of his slave-holding while Lee is celebrated precisely because he fought to defend a slave-holding regime.

That's why Trump's equivalency between Confederate statues and one of George Washington misses the mark. "And I guarantee you, they are going to go to Washington, and they are going to demand that the Washington Monument be torn down". What do you think of Thomas Jefferson, do you like him? Are we going to take down the statue? Because he was a major slave owner. It's fine. You're changing history.

He noted that it was the 2015 murder of nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., by a white supremacist that led to the removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the statehouse.

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