CNN’s Angela Rye: Statues of Washington, Jefferson and Lee ‘All Need to Come Down’


It’s happening just as Donald Trump predicted. He said in a press conference Monday that if a confederate statue of Robert E. Lee comes down, what’s next? Statues of George Washington because he was a slave owner? Well that is exactly what CNN political analyst Angela Rye thinks should happen.

CNN anchor Kate Bolduan started off her panel asking about the comparison between Washington and Lee, to which Daily Beast‘s Editor-in-Chief John Avalon said is an “idiotic comparison” before going on his historical rant on how Washington “devoted his life trying to unite our nation,” but Lee didn’t.

Boldeun then turned the subject to the confederate statues and read Trump’s tweet from Thursday morning on the “beauty” of the confederate statues, saying we “can’t change history.” Boldeun also noted her earlier spat with GOP Senator candidate Corey Stewart on the subject.

It was Rye’s response to her question that stole the show though.

“The heart of the problem is the way many of us were taught American history. American history is not all glorious. I love John to death, I couldn’t disagree more about George Washington. George Washington was a slave owner. We need to call slave owners out for what they are. Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not. He wasn’t protecting my freedom. I wasn’t someone – my ancestors weren’t deemed human beings to him. To me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue or a Thomas Jefferson statue or a Robert E. Lee statue, they all need to come down…I’m calling out white supremacy for what it is. And sometimes, what it is, John, are blind spots. Sometimes what it is, is not acknowledging this country was built upon a very violent past that resulted in the death and the raping and the killing of my ancestors. I’m not going to allow us to say it’s okay for Robert E. Lee but not a George Washington. We need to call it what it is.”

Rye stressed the importance of teaching history more accurately. “We definitely need to learn about it so we don’t repeat it because we’re very close to repeating it right now,” she said.

John Avlon jumped in to warn Rye that she was playing right into “exactly the slippery slope argument” that Trump suggested.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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