Donald Trump slams removal of historic statues as Confederate figures come down

The US President predicts that monuments to George Washington could come down next – a claim historians say is “ridiculous”.

The far-right rally in Charlottesivlle was a protest against a statue’s removal
 By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter

Donald Trump has said US history and culture is being “ripped apart” by the removal of statues.

The President, whose intervention follows the planned removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville that sparked a violent far-right rally, said such actions were “foolish”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan rally in opposition to city proposals to remove or make changes to Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Image: KKK members waved Confederate flags at the Virginia protest

“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!

“Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

The Charlottesville statue is one of multiple memorials across the US – many depicting military figures who fought unionist troops in the American Civil War – planned for removal.

 
 
 
 

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. He fielded questions from reporters about his comments on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and white supremacists. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Both statues referred to in Mr Trump’s tweet were taken down overnight after the violence in Virginia.

Monuments to Robert E Lee, a commander of the Confederate army, and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, a Confederate general, were dismantled from the Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore.

Historians have suggested that while George Washington had some similarities to the two leaders, it was “ridiculous” to conflate him with them.

Of Robert E Lee, Professor Alice Fahs from the University of California said: “He’s not a founding father, and it’s as though Trump thinks he is. It’s really astonishing. It’s amazing.”

 

Historians said conflating Jefferson with Lee and Jackson was ‘ridiculous’

Gregory Downs, a history professor also of the University of California, said: “It is obvious that traitors in arms to the nation are not equivalent to those who created it.”

He added that statues of founding fathers, who despite being unionists were also slave owners, “force us to contemplate the centrality of slavery to the making of the nation”.

Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson has called for all Confederate status to be removed and described them as “unfinished business in our country”.

He told Sky News: “There are no Hitler statues in Germany today or neo-Nazi material flying around.

 

Rev Jesse Jackson: Trump’s approach ‘not working’

“These guys sought to secede from our union, maintain slavery and secession and segregation and sedition, and so these statues are coming down and they should come down.

“When you lose the war you vanquish your symbols. Their symbols should exist in a museum someplace.”

But the governor of Maine has rubbished such calls, saying dismantling Confederate statues would be “just like” removing a monument to 9/11 victims.

For this and More related articles from SkyNews: Visit: http://news.sky.com/trump

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The US President predicts that monuments to George Washington could come down next – a claim historians say is “ridiculous”.

The far-right rally in Charlottesivlle was a protest against a statue’s removal
 By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter

Donald Trump has said US history and culture is being “ripped apart” by the removal of statues.

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The President, whose intervention follows the planned removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville that sparked a violent far-right rally, said such actions were “foolish”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan rally in opposition to city proposals to remove or make changes to Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Image: KKK members waved Confederate flags at the Virginia protest

“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!

“Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

The Charlottesville statue is one of multiple memorials across the US – many depicting military figures who fought unionist troops in the American Civil War – planned for removal.

 
 
 
 

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. He fielded questions from reporters about his comments on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and white supremacists. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Both statues referred to in Mr Trump’s tweet were taken down overnight after the violence in Virginia.

Monuments to Robert E Lee, a commander of the Confederate army, and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, a Confederate general, were dismantled from the Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore.

Historians have suggested that while George Washington had some similarities to the two leaders, it was “ridiculous” to conflate him with them.

Of Robert E Lee, Professor Alice Fahs from the University of California said: “He’s not a founding father, and it’s as though Trump thinks he is. It’s really astonishing. It’s amazing.”

 

Historians said conflating Jefferson with Lee and Jackson was ‘ridiculous’

Gregory Downs, a history professor also of the University of California, said: “It is obvious that traitors in arms to the nation are not equivalent to those who created it.”

He added that statues of founding fathers, who despite being unionists were also slave owners, “force us to contemplate the centrality of slavery to the making of the nation”.

Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson has called for all Confederate status to be removed and described them as “unfinished business in our country”.

He told Sky News: “There are no Hitler statues in Germany today or neo-Nazi material flying around.

 

Rev Jesse Jackson: Trump’s approach ‘not working’

“These guys sought to secede from our union, maintain slavery and secession and segregation and sedition, and so these statues are coming down and they should come down.

“When you lose the war you vanquish your symbols. Their symbols should exist in a museum someplace.”

But the governor of Maine has rubbished such calls, saying dismantling Confederate statues would be “just like” removing a monument to 9/11 victims.

For this and More related articles from SkyNews: Visit: http://news.sky.com/trump