CNN anchor Baldwin/Confederacy supporter Starnes



As the whirlwind of crazy continues to spin ever faster following the violent clashes between white supremacists and left-wing counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, things are, well, crazy.

Need proof? The University of Southern California Trojans' mascot, a white Arabian horse named Traveler, is now under fire for having a name similar to the favorite horse of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. That's how crazy. Lee's horse's name was “Traveller” — spelled with two “L's.”

On the other side of the “crazy” aisle, Bill Starnes, a member of the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans, stopped by “CNN Newsroom” on Friday to “chat” with host Brooke Baldwin.

Before it was over, Starnes compared Abraham Lincoln to Adolf Hitler, and a speechless Baldwin abruptly ended the segment.

The festivities began as Starnes was arguing that the Confederacy fought not to preserve slavery, but to defend the South's right to consent of the governed under the U.S. Constitution.

Baldwin was on the defensive from the outset.

“Now I know you've studied all this, and I can't sit here and check you on bills written in the 1850s off the top of my head —”, she said before Starnes cut her off: “Well, I would go look at them before I did an interview on them.”

Baldwin was taken aback — literally. She then cut Starnes off:

“Well, with all due respect, as a fellow Southerner, with all due respect, I did do my homework, and I just cited this quote, and I have a historian coming up, so please, sir, don't tell me to do homework.”

As the conversation continued to devolve, Baldwin compared American black children attending schools named after Lee to German children attending schools in Nazi Germany named after Hitler.

“Do you acknowledge those feelings?” she asked. Starnes fired back with an incredulous comparison:

“Well, facts are one thing, and feelings are another. And the truth on this to pure fact is Abraham Lincoln and Adolf Hitler have a lot more in common than Robert E. Lee and Adolf Hitler. Robert E. Lee did not kill civilians, Abraham Lincoln did.”

Baldwin was visibly flabbergasted.

Starnes went on to claim Lincoln's Union Army killed more than 70,000 civilians in the South, including women and children of both races.

Baldwin, still stunned, said, “Abraham Lincoln, anti-slavery, as a result of that, states wanted to secede, I don't think we want to compare Adolf Hitler and Abraham Lincoln,” as she cut Starnes off and abruptly ended the segment.

Meanwhile, there's that USC Trojan horse to worry about.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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