CNN commentator Matt Lewis warned those in North Carolina who ripped down a Confederate statue, saying it’s only a matter of time before attempts are made to scrub former President Thomas Jefferson from the public memory.
Lewis was asked for his take on the North Carolina protesters during a Tuesday interview on CNN’s “Newsroom” and said, “Vigilantes essentially. Look, in Charlottesville the city council or whatever voted and decided to move that statue of Robert E. Lee to a different park. That is local government. That is their decision.”
He said the North Carolina situation was vastly different from Charlottesville and if citizens aren’t vigilant, the escalation could lead to other historical figures being shelved without debate.
“This is citizens being iconoclastic. When do they go after, when is Robert E. Lee not enough? When do they go after Thomas Jefferson? That’s the question that I have,” Lewis said.
“Where are we at in this country when things like this happen? I think we’re at a very scary spot. When I was a kid I believed, I think naively, I didn’t think we were at the end of history. But I thought race relations were going to get progressively better,” he added. “Sad to report I think in my lifetime, race relations are probably worse today than they’ve ever been.”
“I want to make it clear that I’m not pro-Confederate,” Lewis told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But there’s a right way and a wrong way to remove a statue. It’s probably worth noting that Jefferson was a slaveholder and that he was from Charlottesville. Not a stretch to say that sometime in the future the mob might turn on him too.”
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