Country rock legend Charlie Daniels slammed activists calling for the removal of Confederate monuments and statues across the United States, comparing the group’s activity to the terror group ISIS’s removal and destruction of historic monuments throughout the Middle East.
“That’s what ISIS is doing over in places… there were pieces of history that they didn’t like and they were taking them down,” Daniels said in an appearance Thursday on Newsmax TV.
“Where does it go to? Where does it stop?” he added. “Is it going to be Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson or are we headed into Jefferson, Washington, who were both slave owners? How deep into history are we going to go?”
Democratic politicians and far-left activists have campaigned this week for the removal of statues dedicated to Confederate soldiers and Confederate Civil War memorials. The renewed push came after clashes between white nationalists and Antifa counter-protesters at a Charlottesville rally on Saturday turned deadly when a 20-year-old man deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 others.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, President Donald Trump called the removal of the Confederate statues “foolish.”
“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” the president wrote. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson?”
Daniels added that the statues are “part of our history,” and that one needn’t “condone” the Civil War to want to be able to preserve it.
“There are people who were part of our history who were not very savory characters,” the “Devil Went Down to Georgia” singer said.
“If you don’t like it, don’t look at it,” he added. There’s all kinds of symbolism in this country that I don’t like, but I’m not going to go tear them down. These statues aren’t preaching or shouting out some kind of crazy epithets or something. They’re just sitting there. Just turn around and don’t look at them.”
Watch Daniels’s appearance on Newsmax TV above.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum