The conversation about monuments — particularly which should stay and which should go — has eclipsed nearly all other conversations in the week following a rally-turned-near-riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
CNN's Kate Bolduan spoke to liberal analyst Angela Rye on Thursday, asking her whether the uproar was truly just about the monuments.
Rye claimed that the problem ran much deeper than that:
“We have to get to the heart of the problem here. And the heart of the problem is the way in which many of us were taught American history. American history is not all glorious.”
Rye then made the same connection President Trump made days ago when he asked whether Washington and Jefferson might be the next targets:
George Washington was a slave owner. And we need to call slave owners out for what they are, whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not. He wasn’t protecting my freedom. [...] My ancestors weren’t deemed human beings to him. And so, to me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue or a Thomas Jefferson statue or a Robert E. Lee statue — they all need to come down. [...]
This country was built upon a very violent past that resulted in death and the raping and the killing of my ancestors.”
She made it clear that she saw no difference between the founding fathers and Confederate soldiers:
“I’m not going to allow us to say that it’s okay for Robert E. Lee but not a George Washington. We need to call it what it is."
Rye concluded her argument by asserting that America was very close to once again being a nation of slavery: “We definitely need to learn about it so that we don't repeat it, because we're very close to repeating it right now.”