The president recently commented about the removal of Confederate monuments: "This week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself: 'Where does it stop?'"
This disregards the question of what was impelling the removal of these monuments from the public square: Nazis, the KKK and other racists are rallying to them, claiming them as an inspiration for their own evil causes. For example, in June 2015, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (now U.S. Ambassador to the UN) called for the Confederate flag to be removed from state property. She had previously been opposed to doing so. According to news accounts, Haley's change of heart came when police arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof after the Charleston church massacre and photos emerged of the blond bigot holding a Confederate flag.
Other Confederate monuments continue to act as rallying points and inspiration for racists, making them an embarrassment to the public and officialdom alike.
So, I would say that, unless Nazis and the KKK decide to hold up George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as idols or inspirations to their cause, the statues of these founding fathers will remain on public display, relatively free from controversy.
I'm not sure which former U.S. presidents the racists might turn to as inspiration, but I'm pretty sure they would flock in droves to any public statues of the current occupant of the White House.
— Kurt Foster, Colorado Springs
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