Over the past few days, a large amount of focus has been placed on Confederate statues and monuments and whether or not they should be taken down. Of course, this issue has jumped back into the national conversation due to the violence in Charlottesville, which occurred during a rally held by white nationalists protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.
During a CNN segment this afternoon, CNN host Brooke Baldwin got into it with her guest over this issue when he accused her of not knowing enough about the subject to conduct an interview with him. And, oh yeah, the guest also claimed that Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln had a decent amount in common.
Bill Starnes, representing the North Carolina chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, joined Baldwin to defend Confederate monuments by claiming they had nothing to do with slavery. And why was that? Because, based on his 17 years of research, he had come to the conclusion that Confederate soldiers “were not fighting to perpetuate the institution of slavery.”
Baldwin pointed out that the consensus among historians that the Civil War was indeed about the preservation of slavery and not states’ rights, noting a Harvard professor had written about historians being united on that front.
“I’m not trying to rewrite history,” Starnes countered. “The professor there needs to actually study some history before he opens his mouth and says something that stupid.”
After asking Baldwin to find him proof of a bill between 1850 and 1861 that showed Congress was working to end slavery, and the CNN anchor saying she couldn’t check that off the top of her head, Starnes then lectured Baldwin, telling her she should have looked at them before doing the interview.
“Hang on, sir. Hang on, sir,” Baldwin exclaimed. “With all due respect, as a fellow Southerner, with all due respect, I did do my homework and I did cite this so please sir don’t tell me to do homework.”
She then tried to shift the conversation to how African-Americans may feel attending schools named after Lee, stating that it could be comparable to a Jewish student going to a Hitler-named school.
“Well, facts are one thing, and feelings are another, and the truth on this, the pure fact is, Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler have a lot more in common than Robert E. Lee and Adolf Hitler,” Starnes retorted, going on to rattle off all the atrocities Lincoln he said were Lincoln’s responsibility.
Baldwin responded with this:
“Abraham Lincoln, anti-slavery, as a result of that, states wanted to secede. I don’t think we want to compare Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln.”
And with that, a clearly perturbed Baldwin ended the interview.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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