When he’s not boasting about how he’d totally run into a mass shooting situation unarmed and generally being a national embarrassment, the President occasionally stumbles into making a good point.
After Charlottesville, Trump took to twitter (of course) to defend statues of Confederate generals, and wondered if activists will move on to demanding the removal of monuments to people who didn’t take up arms against their country:
…in a burst of tweets on Thursday he renewed his criticism of efforts to remove memorials and tributes to the Civil War Confederacy.
“Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish,” Mr Trump tweeted.
“Challenge accepted,” declared some activists in California:
After two days, reaction to Wednesday’s Arcata City Council decision to remove the statue of President William McKinley from the Arcata Plaza features both celebration and dissent. The council had the choice to authorize the statue’s removal or to let Arcata voters make the call. At the urging of Councilmember Paul Pitino and dozens of speakers that night, the council gave McKinley his marching papers.
Statue opponents have since taken rhetorical victory laps on social media, while statue supporters are claiming that pro-statue opinion wasn’t given a chance to be heard, and that this resulted in the council making a decision that had widely been expected to be put before the voting public.
The Arcata City Council voted 4–1 to delete McKinley, along with the plaque designating the Jacoby Building as a historic landmark, after lengthy public testimony condemning the statue as a symbol of racism, repression, genocide, imperialism and of being an ongoing, government-sponsored insult to indigenous people. Speakers offered a mix of history, humor and caustic criticism in support of statue removal.
City Councilmember Michael Winkler, the sole elected official to support a ballot measure instead of a council decision on the matter, claims Mayor Sofia Pereira allowed a “disruptive, intolerant” mob to dominate the public process (see below). Winkler further likens the anti-McKinley forces’ comportment to that of the Tea Party and President Donald Trump.
…McKinley served in the Union Army during the Civil War, gaining a field promotion for battling the Confederacy. He later became America’s 25th commander in chief.
Sterling attended Wednesday’s meeting, and shared the view that the council’s decision was taken without benefit of democratic process. He objected to the sole pro-statue speaker, citizen Owen Moore, being repeatedly interrupted and jeered into silence by the crowd.
Sterling said one of the anti-statue activists made a “racist” remark about Moore, objectifying him as a “white guy.” When Sterling objected, the activist tried to physically fight him in Council Chamber. At that, Sterling decided not to speak. Other McKinley statue supporters in attendance apparently made the same decision, leaving without incurring the wrath of the crowd by offering an unpopular view.
If you think the United States’ very existence is an unredeemable sin, I guess it stands to reason that you’d draw no distinction between someone who fought to break up the country and someone who fought to preserve it.
Here in Halifax, while I’m sympathetic to calls for the Cornwallis statue’s removal (I support moving it to the Citadel), I am under no illusions about it ending with him. My money’s on the next target being the Churchill statue in front of the old library.