Actor and activist Wendell Pierce ripped President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, who offered Fox News viewers his own historical analysis of what led to the Civil War, attributing it to a “lack of an ability to compromise” rather than the Confederacy’s insistence on keeping the institution of slavery.
“But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand,” Kelly said during an interview on the debut edition of Laura Ingraham’s new Fox News show Monday night.
The White House Chief of Staff also offered praise for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
When he was asked about a Virginia church’s decision to remove a plaque honoring Lee, Kelly said, “I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man.”
“He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days,” Kelly continued. “Now it’s different today.”
Kelly’s comments about Lee overlook the fact that the general was a traitor who presided over an army that enslaved free blacks during its invasion of Pennsylvania, treated them as property, and forced them to the South. As The Atlantic detailed in “The Myth of the Kindly General Lee,” during the Civil War, Lee — an unrepentant white supremacist — commanded soldiers who massacred black Union troops at the Battle of the Crater in 1864.
In response to Kelly’s remarks, Pierce tweeted: “While they raped my Grandmother,lynched my Uncle,broke up my family to lost history, you find honor & compromise in that, you racist, prick?”
While they raped my Grandmother,lynched my Uncle,broke up my family to lost history, you find honor & compromise in that, you racist, prick? https://t.co/bOihrwd67N
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) October 31, 2017