President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to condemn the removal of memorials dedicated to Confederate leaders in the Civil War.
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” he tweeted Thursday morning. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
He continued, “Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!
A woman died and several more people were left injured on Saturday when a pre-planned “Unite the Right” rally erupted into violence, with white supremacist protesters clashing with counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The weekend’s confrontation evolved from escalating tensions over Charlottesville’s proposed removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a public park.
In the aftermath, the city of Baltimore has voted to remove a statue of Chief Justice Roger Taney, the author of the Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and helped precipitate the Civil War.
Officials in Baltimore also quietly removed four confederate monuments throughout the city on Tuesday night, CBS Baltimore reported.
Police arrested a 22-year-old activist who helped tear down a Confederate statue in North Carolina on Monday. CBS News reported Takiyah Thompson tied a rope around the neck of a statue of an armed Confederate soldier before she, along with a cheering crowd, pulled it to the ground.
She was arrested on Tuesday and has been charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, felony participation in riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 and felony inciting others to riot, jail records show.
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Demonstrators on Monday chanted “No KKK! No fascist USA” in front of the old Durham County courthouse before pulling down the statue, which depicted a Confederate soldier atop an engraved pedestal that read, “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.’ ”
The 15-foot monument, which was constructed in 1924, also featured a Confederate flag.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper spoke out against the act in a tweet on Monday, writing, “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments #durham – RC.”