Protesters in North Carolina defaced a statue dedicated to a World War II general because they thought it was a Confederate statue, according to a report.
The statue to 101st Airborne General William C. Lee was defaced outside a museum in his hometown of Dunn, North Carolina, according to CBS 17.
The statue sits outside the General William C. Lee Airborne Museum in the very town where he was born, but the social activists still defaced it.
“This is a hometown grown boy here that turned out to be an international hero of World War II so to come and try to destroy his statue is just an insult to everybody,” museum curator Mark Johnson said.
“I think it was a big mistake,” Johnson added dourly. “Why would you do something like this? It really just irritates people.”
Johnson was further confused since the statue is clearly in front of a World War Two museum and not a Civil War site.
Johnson surmised that his attackers need a history lesson.
“I was surprised that anybody would do that to this museum statue,” Johnson told the media. “This is not a Civil War museum, and this is not Robert E. Lee. This is General William C. Lee from United States Army Airborne from World War II, so I was hurt and surprised that somebody would actually do this.”
Civil War General Robert E. Lee and WWII General William Lee shared no family connetions, Johnson said.
Johnson also added that Gen. William Lee is as far from a bigot as you can get.
“When he was in World War II he’s considered the father of the airborne which there were plenty of black paratroopers, a very diverse outfit,” Johnson said.
That didn’t stop protesters from dousing the statue in flammable liquid and setting it aflame.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.