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Trump Defends Confederate Monuments, Says They Can't Be 'Comparably Replaced'

21 August 2017, 09:12 | Hattie Nash

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump's much-criticized response to the events in Charlottesville also changed Ravi Perry's mind.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., reacted Thursday to President Trump's tweets that the removal of Confederate statues around the country is foolish and would damage the nation's history and culture. "And if they choose to take those statues down, fine", Robert E. Lee V, 54, of Washington DC, told CNN. "So foolish!" He added that "the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"

On one hand, the removal of hundreds of Confederate and related statues bears a troubling resemblance to efforts by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin or the Islamic State to selectively erase inconvenient history.

But there continues to be uproar from white supremacists, and broader reaches of American society, who believe that statues of confederate figures, such as Lee and Stonewall Jackson, should remain in place - sentiments which were echoed by Donald Trump.

Just about 200 days into his term, the USA leader crossed a red line in saying there was "blame on both sides" for the melee, which began when a rally by white supremacists over the removal of a Confederate statue turned violent, as they clashed with counter-protesters.

As counter-protesters marched in the city, a vehicle ploughed into them, killing activist Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

Denise Morrison, chief executive of Campbell Soup, declared she was leaving Trump's manufacturing council, saying, "The president should have been - and still needs to be - unambiguous" in denouncing white supremacists.

The historian predicted that the accelerated efforts of cities to remove confederate symbols, including Baltimore and NY, would lead to more deaths at the hands of far-right extremists. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., "These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism". I certainly don't think all Trump supporters are neo-Nazis, Klansman or members of other hate groups.

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Trump initially stated that there was violence "on many sides", as NPR has reported.

Of Democrats, he said, "I want them to talk about racism every day". If the country fails this time, I am not convinced we will have another chance.

Jackson's descendants say that while they've learned that Jackson was loving to his family and had taught Sunday school to slaves in Lexington, Virginia, they ultimately "cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy", they wrote.

Graham said Wednesday that Trump "took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency" between the marching white supremacists and the people who had been demonstrating against them. "For the sake of our Nation - as our President - please fix this", Graham said.

"Look the alt-right, the neo-Nazis, and all the other groups, who said they are going to be in Boston, and doing other tours around the country - this is a very serious issue in our history". My favorite example is the only Confederate memorial in Chicago, a 30-foot-high marker in the city's Oak Woods Cemetery on the mass grave of more than 4,000 Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Douglas, a prisoner of war camp on the city's South Side lakefront.

'We are writing to say that we understand justice very differently from our grandfather's grandfather, and we wish to make it clear his statue does not represent us, ' they added.

Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville led to the disbanding of two CEO advisory panels on Wednesday as a growing number of chief executives from major US companies pulled out in protest against Trump's response.

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