Try to ignore what the president is saying about the Charlottesville terror attack and monuments to people who would literally rather die than end slavery. Instead, what do the relatives of the very dead Confederate army general Robert E. Lee think?

Wednesday, Lee's great-great grandson—also named Robert E. Lee—told CNN he was fine with Confederate statues being taken down. "Eventually, someone is going to have to make a decision, and if that's the local lawmaker, so be it," Lee said. "But we have to be able to have that conversation without all of the hatred and the violence. And if they choose to take those statues down, fine." 

Lee added that he felt "maybe it's appropriate" to instead place the statues in "some sort of historical context" instead, such as a museum. Lee also said that Gen. Lee would "never ever stand" for the "senseless" violence in Charlottesville that took the life of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.


In previous comments to Newsweek just three days after the Charlottesville violence, Lee descendants called Heyer's death a "terrible tragedy" for the nation. "We urge the nation's leaders as well as local citizens to engage in a civil, respectful, and non-hateful conversation," Lee and his sister, Tracy Lee Crittenberger, said. "As Americans and as human beings it is essential that we respect one another and treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated."

Trump, and numerous others, have repeatedly made the logic-free argument that Confederate statues and related monuments should remain publicly displayed for historical reasons. This argument is pretty dumb for a multitude of reasons, including the fact that statues erected in someone's honor aren't any more inherently historical than, say, a wax figure of a president. It's also worth noting that these monuments are typically erected whenever white supremacy is most immediately threatened by societal progress. Coincidence? Fuck no.

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