Trump decries removal of confederate statues as "foolish"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-17 23:55:45|Editor: yan
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WASHINGTON, Aug.17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday took to Twitter to decry the removal of confederate statues across the United States, saying the move was "foolish".

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," Trump said in the first of three consecutive tweets.

"You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson-who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!" Trump said, reiterating his previous remarks.

Trump first put the country's founders alongside confederate generals in a heated press conference Tuesday, saying a recent trend to remove confederate monuments would extend to Washington and Jefferson, who were also slave owners.

Similar rhetoric has been voiced by white nationalists groups, who said U.S. history is at stake.

"What are we going to name our capital city, Washington D.C, Huge Slaver?" Jared Taylor, editor of white nationalist group American Renaissance told CNN in an interview.

But the analogy has been rebuked by historians, saying that the most kind explanation of Trump's view was "ignorance".

"They accomplished something very important. Washington and Jefferson were central to the creation of a nation...Lee and Stonewall were not being honored for those types of accomplishments," Jim Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association told the Washington Post.

The debate over confederate statues was part of the fallout of the Charlottesville violence over the weekend, when white nationalist groups and anti-protesters clashed after the city council decided to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from the city.

A 32-year-old woman was rammed to death by a white nationalist with a car during the clash, sparking nation-wide furor.

Trump attracted further criticism by saying both the left and the right were to blame for the incident, prompting heavyweight Republicans and business executives to openly distance themselves from Trump's position.