PBS Poll Says Majority of Americans Favor Leaving Confederate Monuments in Place

Pauline Gross
August 19, 2017

A great-great-grandson of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson said Thursday that the monument to the legendary Confederate general and others in Virginia's capital city were constructed as symbols of white supremacy and should be taken down.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our lovely statues and monuments", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The online postings come after days of the president whipsawing back and forth on his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., that led to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer after a man who had attended the white supremacist rally drove his auto into a crowd of counterprotesters.

"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our lovely statues and monuments", he said in a series of tweets.

"I absolutely disagree with this sanitization of history", Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, told WVHU radio on Tuesday.

During the demonstration, a white supremacist allegedly drove his vehicle into a crowd, killing 32-year-old counterprotester Heather Heyer. It's possible Trump will further comment when he visits Phoenix on Tuesday for a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign.

Shrugging off a barrage of bipartisan criticism, Trump waded back into the charged racial debate over monuments to the pro-slavery Civil War South with a volley of early morning tweets.

"But on the other hand, if you have it in the Smithsonian where people can see it and it can be properly interpreted, it's a valuable teaching tool".

"The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible", Pelosi said.

"I know the curator of the Museum of the Confederacy [in Virginia] wouldn't be thrilled with the idea that 7,000 monuments would be postmarked to him", says Eleanor Jones Harvey, a senior curator at the Smithsonian who recently put together an exhibition of Civil War art.

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See: Trump accuses Graham of "disgusting lie" about Charlottesville comments.

"You can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next. So foolish!" Trump said.

"The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" he continued.

For many, the monuments to which Trump is referring serve as a somber reminder of America's racist past.

The mayor said he was disappointed that U.S. President Donald Trump didn't take a stronger stand against the hate groups that were involved in the rally.

According to an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll, which was conducted among 1,125 US citizens by phone August 14-15, the overwhelming majority - 62 percent - want the monuments to remain while a much smaller share of Americans - 27 percent - want them removed.

The poll appeared to lend support to Trump's controversial stance on the issue.

"The people of SC showed that we were united when we passed a bill that removed the Confederate flag from in front of the State House", said state Sen.

"The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is", he said. "They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!" he raged on Twitter, lashing out at Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for concluding that Trump has drawn a moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists, and the slain protester.

Heather Heyer, 32, was the woman killed by the suspected white nationalist in Charlottesville.

Other reports by GizPress

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