Trump says US culture 'ripped apart' by statue removals

President adds fuel to fire by mourning loss of statues memorialising Confederate era amid Charlottesville fallout.

    Trump says US culture 'ripped apart' by statue removals
    Statues of Confederate commanders like Robert E Lee have long been celebrated by many white southerners as icons of a lost cause, and reviled by other Americans as defenders of a slave-holding south [Reuters]

    President Donald Trump said the history and culture of the United States were being "ripped apart" by the removal of statues memorialising the Confederate era.

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

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

    Trump's latest tweets pile more fuel on a political firestorm ignited by the president's attempts to shift blame for the deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to anti-racism counter-protesters.

    The "Unite the Right" rally on August 12, which drew hundreds of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and white supremacists marching to anti-Semitic chants, was nominally prompted by plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee from a Charlottesville park.

    READ MORE: Far-right lauds Trump amid Charlottesville backlash

    Lee and Jackson, another Confederate commander during the 1861-1865 Civil War, have long been celebrated by many white southerners as icons of a lost cause and reviled by other Americans as traitorous defenders of a slave-holding south.

    "The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" Trump said in a third tweet.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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