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The Guardians of Democracy

MLK’s Daughter Rips Kelly’s ‘Irresponsible & Dangerous’ Attempt To Make Slavery ‘Sound Courageous’

NEWS

MLK’s Daughter Rips Kelly’s ‘Irresponsible & Dangerous’ Attempt To Make Slavery ‘Sound Courageous’




Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter late Monday night blasted White House chief of staff John Kelly’s remarks defending Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his claim that the Civil War was caused by “a lack of an ability to compromise,” tweeting: “It’s irresponsible & dangerous, especially when white supremacists feel emboldened, to make fighting to maintain slavery sound courageous.”

In an interview with Fox News on Monday night, Kelly weighed in on the Confederate statue debate by calling Lee “an honorable man” who gave up his country to fight for his state.

“It’s irresponsible & dangerous, especially when white supremacists feel emboldened, to make fighting to maintain slavery sound courageous,” Bernice King tweeted.

“When Sally Hemings is labeled a “mistress,” while Robert E. Lee is described as an “honorable man,” we know truth is being shunned,” she added.

Retired Gen. John Kelly seemed to echo President Trump’s “both sides” claim while offering 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.

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.”



ThinkProgress notes:

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.

Kelly’s remarks about the Confederacy echo Trump’s own defense of Confederate monuments back in August:

Kelly’s remark about “men and women of good faith on both sides” also echoed Trump’s defense of white supremacists following a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.

“You look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides,” Trump said. “They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you have some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group… you had people in that group that were in to protest, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park.”




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