Trump Laments Removal Of Confederate Statues: ‘Our Culture Is Being Ripped Apart’

On his Twitter account this morning, President Donald Trump defended “the beauty” of parks that contained Confederate statues, and suggested that removing those monuments would be to the detriment of those green spaces and city centers.

There are many arguable lines to what Trump said in his series of three tweets. For instance, he writes that it’s “[s]ad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump wrote.

Yet the statues to which he’s referring to — including Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, specifically — represent individuals who rebelled against our nation. They were also slave owners, and in the case of Lee specifically, a very brutal master to the individuals he owned.

Stonewall Jackson, meanwhile, is often revered in the south for helping his slaves learn to read, but even this history is shrouded with darker intentions, as historians generally agree he did so in order to teach his slaves the parts of the Bible that say slavery is acceptable.

In another line, Trump argues that we “can’t change history, but you can learn from it.” The president implies that these statues and monuments teach us valuable historical lessons, yet most of the statues do not mention the histories of these individuals, their slave owning past, or what good they contributed to history.

Indeed, one monument in Louisiana commemorates the Colfax Massacre, in which “three white men and 150 negroes were slain.” But rather than acknowledge the violent overthrow of democratic rule, the sign instead states, “This event on April 13, 1873 marked the end of carpetbag misrule in the South.”

Fifty of the 150 black individuals who were killed were murdered as prisoners in the evening, hours after they had surrendered.

Trump suggests that these statues and monuments contribute to the beauty of our local, state, and federal lands. But some may question whether they actually contribute to anything constructive at all, or if instead they commemorate a racist period in our nation’s history.

About the Author

Chris Walker
Chris Walker has been writing about political issues on a variety of sites for the past decade. He resides in Madison, Wisconsin. You can follow him on Twitter @thatchriswalker.