Trump Invokes General Lee, Who Refutes Trump’s Racist Smokescreen

Amidst his rambling, resignation-worthy reversion to racist absurdity yesterday, Donald Trump ran interference for the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other white-supremacists rallying futilely around Confederate monuments. In his Monday press skirmish, Trump claimed that removing statutes of Robert E. Lee would slip us down the slope to knocking down half of Mount Rushmore and contended that decisions about statues of Robert E. Lee should be left “local town, community or the federal government depending on where it is located.”

If it were up to Robert E. Lee, those statues wouldn’t exist:

Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox
We should’ve included a line on monuments….

But Lee himself never wanted such monuments built.

“I think it wiser,” the retired military leader wrote about a proposed Gettysburg memorial in 1869, “…not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

…”As regards the erection of such a monument as is contemplated,” Lee wrote of an 1866 proposal, “my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; [and] of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour” [Lisa DesJardins, “Robert E. Lee Opposed Confederate Monuments,” PBS NewsHour, 2017.08.15].

Even the general in whose name Trumpist white supremacists cloak their racist agenda as preservation of history felt that preserving that history in public stone was counterproductive.

43 Responses to Trump Invokes General Lee, Who Refutes Trump’s Racist Smokescreen

  1. Bob Newland

    I’m for knockin’ down ALL of Mt. Rushmore.

  2. mike from iowa

    DC has about three times as many statues of confederates as there are of Blacks.

  3. A former Democrat had this to say about racism and white supremacy in the United States. We used to have statesmen here, now we have Nazi propaganda machines.

  4. Stace Nelson

    I have mixed feelings about these Confederate statutes Democrats erected to celebrate their history. On one hand they represent the vile racism that was so pervasive in Democrats of that era that they would rather be traitors to the Union than allow blacks to be free. On the other hand it is important to remember that vile history so that future generations are not fooled by efforts to rewrite the horrific history of how Democrats used their Party up until the ’70’s to oppress and terrorize minorities In America.

    Even now they trample the corpses of aborted babies in goose step with the unholy racist eugenics ideas they inspired the NAZIs to emulate, even as they now push propaganda that evil alliance to those evil Hitler Socialists now belongs to the historic enemies of Socialists and baby killers, the GOP.

    Curious how these modern day baby killing fascists will further destroy the evidence of their history? Book burnings? How will they ferret out the data of their evil history on the WWW?

    What will the future statutes from the growing civil war be of? Antifa & NAZI fascists hand in hand once again holding corpses of aborted “pro-choice” (or is it Democrat Margaret Swanger’s preferred choice) minority babies on high as they stand atop the ruins of civil war statues of their racist heritage?

    NAZIs, Confederates, Communists, Socialists, Fascists, Antifa… “A rose by any other name..”

    If you didn’t want to keep 170 years of the Democratic Party’s ugly racists history and cooperation with NAZIs alive? Why did you keep the name & old racists in your party till they died..

    It is impossible to have an honest discussion about racism in America without those facts about the Democratic Party’s 170 years of horrific crimes against humanity being included.

    Trying to erase that history, as feelings and propaganda are pushed claiming POTUS Trump is a Nazi, even as you attempt to cover up the real ties to white supremacy, NAZIs, and fascists of the Democratic Party!? That ain’t gonna cut it.

  5. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.


    When it comes to race, Democrats have evolved, but sadly under the leadership of President Trump Republicans are obviously devolving…

    As far as your discussion on abortion, apparently, you see a woman as merely a political state, but when I look at a woman, I don’t see the state of Mississippi for instance, rather I see a person with “unalienable rights.” Abortion is a moral issue. It is not a political issue. But if you must insist upon a political answer to it, then the legislature which decides this issue should be the legislative body of a woman and her doctor and not a legislature filled primarily with men….

    On an other note, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that Lee requested that the Confederate flag not be put on his coffin upon his death…. How telling is that?

  6. True that Mr. Clauseen. While the world is progressing, the republicans are going back to the wheel and wondering how the hell it functions. trump has got to go. The CEO councils have now disbanded. The military has rebuked him and now Nelson can only say that statutes are the fault of Democrats? Nelson, sober the hell up. Go to German sometime and see all the statues of Hitler (there are none) get real dude. Do your damn job as an elected official and denounce this Nazi in our white house.

  7. Oh for goodness sakes, Stace. Do you really expect us to believe that your Party shares no fault in today’s racism problem? I truly believe you suffer from some kind of mental illness the more you lash out on Cory’s blog. Most of us on here have respected your fight in Pierre in dealing with the GOP corruption problem. Please continue to fight that instead of sounding like a fool and ranting on about the history of democrats.

  8. Speaking of Abe Lincoln, he didn’t give a rats ass about signing orders to have three dozen starving Dakota Indians getting hung in Mankato, the largest mass execution in US history. Also gave sweetheart deals to his buddies in Washington with the building of the Railroads. Read up on so-called honest Abe, pubs.

  9. Abe Lincoln – Indian killer. Read deeper into the history of ‘pubs, Stace.

  10. mike from iowa

    So Sad Nelson ejaculated- .” On one hand they represent the vile racism that was so pervasive in Democrats of that era that they would rather be traitors to the Union than allow blacks to be free”

    Actually, the cause of the war was Northern Aggression done by Northern Aggressor Nelson and buds. Afterwards, they raped the people and the land all for their own profit- just like today’s Agressive Northern wingnuts.

  11. Porter Lansing

    Confederate statues in Baltimore were removed from their bases overnight by city contractors, who used heavy machinery to load them onto flat bed trucks and haul them away — an abrupt end to more than a year of indecision on what to do with the memorials. Mayor Catherine Pugh made the decision.

  12. Stace,

    Does your lunacy know no bounds? It’s your type of rhetorical nonsense that is so typical of neo-cons across the country that Bobby Jindal must have been alluding to when he proclaimed that the Republican Party has to stop being the party of the stupid:

    Additionally, your revisionist history doesn’t bolster your credibility either. The “solid south”, i.e. the racist southern Democrats who vehemently opposed the civil rights bill in 1964 essentially made a wholesale switch to the Republican Party after LBJ signed the Bill. Those southern Democrats have since morphed into the modern-day Republican Party wherein exclusion of all people (with a token few exceptions) who do not fit the description of a WASP still seems to be a time honored tradition.

    You are a State Senator. Try to act the part.

  13. Very few confederate soldiers were overtly racist, and the Civil War wasn’t the simple good-versus-evil caricature that many modern commentators suggest. The conflict involved legitimate issues of states’ rights, and there were plenty of good and evil men on … wait for it … both sides.

  14. Kurt, you forgot to parrot the other dingaling Nelson and say that what the confederates were doing is blah blah blah abortion. There, helped you out.

    Confederate traitors hung captured black union soldiers and murdered them on the spot. No they were not racist at all, they were murderers trying to keep their status quo. Pick up a book on history teacher man and read the damn thing. Read about Andersonville prison and tell me that hey, they were just a bunch of good old boys. Honestly Kurt, pull up your pants, your swastika is showing.

  15. Bob I suspect you could find some Native agreement on that position. But wouldn’t dynamite only increase the desecration?

  16. Hey, Stace—I’m glad you agree the Confederate monuments represent racism and were erected with racist intent. The racism of past politicians on top of the treason of Confederates should give us double reason to remove these monuments from the public square, right?

    By the way, Stace, I don’t care if Democrats or Republicans put the Confederate flag on the Gettysburg SD Police uniform patches. Instead of pointing fingers, I’m willing to settle for seeing the racist traitor flag removed from that official uniform. Robert E. Lee appears to be with me; how about you?

  17. mike from iowa

    Must see. Anti-Fascists trying to disrupt a large gathering of white supremacists.

  18. Bob Newland

    Jesus H. Christ, Kurt! What evidence could possibly lead you to say, “Very few confederate soldiers were overtly racist?”

    Hell, I’d venture to say that half or more of the Union soldiers were probably overtly racist. They were still that way during WWII.

    Cory, I suggest we just close the Mt Rushmore Memorial buildings and let nature take its course.

  19. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Why do we need to take down Mt. Rushmore? Mt. Rushmore symbolizes political leaders in time and place, that speak to the progression of our history, its evolution. Confederate generals merely symbolize a diversion and an attempt at the devolution of our history, which we should not honor with public grandeur….

    But I do think that Mt. Rushmore should be replaced with the Crazy Horse Memorial, however, when it comes to our state license plates. Or, the two images should be alternated, with vehicle owners not having a say as to which one they get…. But in the totality of recent events, I realize that this is merely a very small suggestion….

  20. Kurt, we are all sinners. God has no favorites in war or politics.

    But Confederate monuments were put up largely, as Stace appears to agree, by racists responding to civil rights movements. Plus, every Confederate soldier was a traitor to the Constitution and the United States of America. Thus, Confederate monuments represent racism and treason and should be removed from all public grounds.

  21. Bob, I appreciate your eco-friendly approach to responding to the injustice of white colonialism… even if I don’t agree with closing the monument. Keep it open, but divert every penny beyond operating expenses to supporting Native American education, economic development, and environmental projects. I’d suggest diverting revenue from Mount Rushmore to help complete Crazy Horse, but those folks will never take public dollars. :-)

  22. MFI — DC has one confederate statue, General Pike, aside from the two or so in the capital’s statuary hall, that the mayor is focusing on taking down. The confederate statues in the capital are there by choice of the corresponding state. We have one incredible memorial honoring a civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. And a recently opened museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I think DC is walking in the right direction.

  23. Roger Cornelius

    Yesterday I read a fascinating article on Trump and whataboutism that now would include Nelson, for the life of me I can’t remember the publication.
    Trump and his supporters have been employing the use of whataboutism for sometime now, but it has just recently been noticed.
    Nelson uses whataboutisms to steer the conversation away from the Nazi and white supremacist violence by referring to the 160 years of history of the Democratic party and abortion.
    Trump used it again yesterday with his ‘whatabout the alt-left’.
    Others around the internet are using it with asking “what about Black Lives Matter, what about Obama and his racially dividing the country” in lieu of discussion of current events we have become a nation of whataboutism.
    Trump and Nelson use whataboutisms as a shield to protect their own racial hatred and anti-Semitism.
    Nelson can live in the history of 160 years ago if he chooses, that does not change a single damn thing about what happened this weekend.
    I am a firm believer in knowing your history, but it has to be honest history and not revisionist history written by racists and bigots and spouted by Nelson.

  24. Thanks, Jim, for the positive news from DC!

    We mustn’t fall for the whataboutism, Roger. We must stick doggedly to our statements and make clear that their million whatabouts have zero bearing on the facts that matter right here, right now.

    And once we’ve established our facts and the Trump defenders’ inability to refute them, we can turn to them and say, “On top of all that, if we can get rid of Nazis, the KKK, an other Aryan crud, ‘both sides’ of the violence will disappear, because conscientious Americans like the Redneck Revolt won’t have to take to the streets and use force to protect fellow citizens from Nazi violence.

  25. Bob Newland writes to me:

    What evidence could possibly lead you to say, “Very few confederate soldiers were overtly racist?” … I’d venture to say that half or more of the Union soldiers were probably overtly racist. They were still that way during WWII.

    You seem to be applying a broader definition of overt racism than I’d intended, Bob. Maybe my statement could be reworded this way: “Most Confederate soldiers were no more overtly racist than Union soldiers, or than American soldiers during World War II.”

    Some of them obviously were, but the Civil War involved other legitimate issues, and it wasn’t the simple good-versus-evil caricature that many modern commentators suggest.

  26. bearcreekbat

    Roger, perhaps this is the “Whataboutism” article yoy were referencing. I saw it too.

  27. Keep tugging on those pants Kurt, that swastika is still visible.

  28. Nazi cries when he finds out there is a warrant out for him for the brutal attack on a man. This crybaby was armed and threatening while beating this Black man senseless. But it does my heart some good to see him for what he is, a bully just like his leader, trump, peeing his pants like terrorist he is.

  29. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Come to think of it, there is a statute of George Washington in London, which stands outside of the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square. But that is how it is suppose to work, when you win a war. And the stipulations for the statute were probably buried somewhere in the Treaty of Paris too (jk)…. ;-)

    I guess only in America do the losers get statutes, or should we see them as merely participation awards instead?…

  30. Roger Cornelius

    Thanks for finding the article and posting it here, it is quite intriguing and is a perfect fit for Trump, particularly how it relates to Russia and Putin.

  31. Porter Lansing

    There’s a statue in front of Talley’s that could come down. :0)

  32. Roger, this from bear’s link is fascinating to me. “He’s also resorted, weirdly enough, to the inverse. In a February interview, Bill O’Reilly challenged Trump on his support for Putin, calling him “a killer.” “There are a lot of killers,” retorted Trump. “You think our country’s so innocent?” In a Foreign Policy column, Jake Sullivan explained what he was doing: “The American president is taking Putin’s ‘what about you’ tactic and turning it into ‘what about us?’” It’s a free-for-all of multidirectional moral equivalency. If we can do it, Russia can; if Hillary can, so can I. It justifies anything Trump or his allies might want to do, somehow or another.”

    trump defends Putin in a most amazing way as only someone who has colluded with him would do. Not only is trump a white supremacist , he is an immature Nazi from the 4th grade. So much for saying private military schools make a better person out of you. More credence the going public school rather than voucher or private school. Look what we got with Thune, guy will not stand up and denounce trump even though his father fought against that sort of hate in World War II. In Thune’s case, the apple fell a long long way from the tree.

  33. Roger Cornelius

    I caught those comments too and it led me to question precisely why Trump is so beholden to Putin and cannot remain loyal to the America that gave him so such. I’m glad you took the time to read the link, it is foretelling.
    Trump demands loyalty from his White House staff, but not from himself

  34. Roger Cornelius

    In a CNN interview Robert E. Lee V, the great great grandson of Robert E. Lee agrees that the statue of great great grandfather should come down.
    Saying that that Lee family does not agree with the sentiments of today’s white supremacists beliefs.
    Later in Lee’s life had reversed many of his political positions and as a result had his citizenship restored and pardoned by Republican President Gerald Ford.

  35. “free-for-all of multidirectional moral equivalency”—excellent statement, Jerry, of the moral relativism and nihilism to which the party of Trump leads us. Republicans couldn’t offer a solid moral reason to vote for Trump, so they had to resort to the specious moral equivalency that allowed them to do what they wanted instead of what was right.

  36. Thanks for that heads-up, Roger! Here’s a key quote from that Lee interview:

    “Eventually, someone is going to have to make a decision, and if that’s the local lawmaker, so be it. But we have to be able to have that conversation without all of the hatred and the violence. And if they choose to take those statues down, fine,” Robert E. Lee V, 54, of Washington DC, told CNN’s Polo Sandoval.

    “Maybe it’s appropriate to have them in museums or to put them in some sort of historical context in that regard,” he added [Polo Sandoval and Darran Simon, “Robert E. Lee’s Great-Great Grandson OK with Confederate Statues Coming Down,” CNN, 2017.08.16].

    And from the Lee family:

    In a statement, the Lee family said the life of the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia “was about duty, honor and country.”

    “At the end of the Civil War, he implored the nation to come together to heal our wounds and to move forward to become a more unified nation,” the statement said. “He never would have tolerated the hateful words and violent actions of white supremacists, the KKK, or neo-Nazis” [Sandoval and Simon, 2017.08.16]

    It’s not quite an absolute disavowal of monuments to the Confederate general, but it is a sufficient rejection of the resistance to taking them down and of the hate and violence that is the real motive of the neo-Nazis who rally around such monuments.

  37. Cut Sen. Nelson some slack. He just read the summary page on that new Dinesh Dsousa book they’re hawking at Sam’s club. He knows that the Democrastic Party disavowed the racists over 40 years ago and they flocked to the GOP Party that continues to cultivate their support today by pandering to their prejudices.

    It should surprise nobody that Trump and the GOP Party are sticking up for confederate monuments General Lee didn’t want or need. They’re also pushing for tax cuts for Warren Buffett that he doesn’t want or need. The GOP party needs the billionaires’ money and the racists votes to win. It’s payback time.

  38. Porter Lansing

    PANTS ON FIRE ALERT!! Dinesh D’SOUSA is a verified charleton.

  39. Kind of funny actually that Sen. Nelson gets his information from brousing a book at Sam’s Club and not buying or reading it.

  40. Even the relatives of Stonewall Jackson know they want to be on the right side of history, as they call for the removal of the losers’ statues.

  41. mike from iowa

    Jim in DC- I saw a statement that said there were three times as many confederate statues as blacks. I copied and pasted it immediately w/o checking where it came from and I can’t re-locate it, yet. Thanks for the correction and welcome to the Free Press. Hang on to your hat cuz it gets rough at times. :)

  42. Thanks, John! The opening words of Jack and Warren Christian’s open letter:

    We are native Richmonders and also the great, great grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too [Jack and Warren Christian, “The Monuments Must Go,” Slate, 2017.08.16].

    Racism and white supremacy—it doesn’t get more direct than that.

  43. Trump’s America (I feel like I am outside looking in): Huffington Post reports:

    “Despite the fallout from the Charlottesville, Virginia attack, President Donald Trump’s approval rating miraculously rose this past week, according to a national pollconducted by Quinnipiac University.

    Trump had earned himself a 33 percent approval rating two weeks ago, his lowest grade since the inauguration. This week, Quinnipiac’s survey showed that Trump had a 39 percent approval rating. The national telephone poll was done from Aug. 9 through Aug. 15, during the height of the Charlottesville controversy.

    A stunning 81 percent of Republican respondents expressed approval for the president, while 94 percent of Democrats signaled they disapproved of the job he was doing. A slim majority of independent respondents indicated they also disapproved of Trump.”