Thursday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” former Secretary of State Colin Powell said President Donald Trump did not understand history when he supports leaving statues of Confederate generals in public places and not renaming military bases named after Confederates.
Mitchell said, “On July 4, in his speech, the president actually gave a shoutout to the Confederacy, and he compared the people who fought for the Confederacy as fighting for freedom, comparing them to the Marines at Iwo Jima. When he speaks so fondly of the Confederacy and talks about not changing the names of Confederate soldiers — the bases named after confederate generals and all the rest, do you think that makes him a racist?”
Powell said, “I don’t like to use that word. Let me just say that he is intolerant. He doesn’t understand our history. He doesn’t understand our history at all. These folks that he’s talking about, they’re no longer in the American country. They are in the Confederate States of America. Robert E. Lee was a great tactician, but he was a leader of the Confederate Army, which succeeded in starting a war that killed 600,000 Americans. And so it is one thing to treat him as a tactical hero and put him off in the corner somewhere, but it’s not the right place to give him the presence he has in our society through statues or other discussions. They were not great Americans. They were great members, perhaps, tactically, of the Confederate States of America, but they were no longer Americans at that point.”
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