NAACP Leader on ‘Senseless’ Confederate Monument Takedowns: ‘You Can’t Eliminate What History Is’

FILE- In this May 19, 2017, file photo, workers prepare to take down the statue of former Confederate general Robert E. Lee, which stands over 100 feet tall, in Lee Circle in New Orleans. Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail wrote to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, asking him and city leaders …
AP/Gerald Herbert

Esther Lee, president of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, NAACP chapter, railed against the “senseless” left-wing campaign to remove historic memorials and Confederate statues following the neo-Nazi and white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a press conference this week on the steps of Bethlehem’s City Hall, Lee said the racial unrest in America is “all senseless.”

“You know, we’re 108 years in as NAACPers and we might think things would improve, but they do not. You know we still have this factor about black and white,” Lee told reporters, according to WFMZ.

The civil rights leader said she disapproves of “young people” taking down war monuments, noting that removing memorials does not erase history.

“You know that’s history,” Lee explained. “That was in that point in time. You can’t eliminate what history is. So I disapprove with young people localpulling down those statues.”

Lee acknowledged that lives were lost Saturday in Charlottesville because activists had concluded that they did not want to look at a statute.

“A young woman died. Two officers were murdered in a plane crash and all for what?” she asked. “Because somebody in their mind decided, ‘we don’t need to look at that anymore.’ It shouldn’t be.”

Lee’s sentiments were also expressed this week by President Donald Trump, who stressed in a series of tweets that “you can’t change history.”

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” President Trump wrote Thursday. “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it”:

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @JeromeEHudson.


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