The New York Times reported Friday that monuments named after historical figures are at risk of being renamed or taken down across the nation, confirming President Trump’s fear that liberal activists won’t stop at taking down Confederate statues.
Following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, there was an increased call to take down Confederate statues around the country. The white nationalist rally that eventually turned violent was organized in part to save a statue of Robert E. Lee.
“You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name,” Trump said in a press conference that was widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike.
“George Washington was a slave owner,” he continued. “So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? Are we going to take down his statue because he was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue?”
While the press conference was attacked by the liberal media and rivals of the president, it turns out Trump was essentially right.
The Times reported that statues of Christopher Columbus all across the country are vulnerable to being taken down due to criticism of Columbus’ treatment of American Indians.
The report also highlighted that Boston’s famous Faneuil Hall is at risk of being renamed due to the namesake being a slave owner, that a statue of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo could be taken down because he was tough on crime, and that a statue of an Italian air marshal, Italo Balbo, might be removed due to it being donated by Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
The Times interviewed a Philadelphia city council member who wants to take down the statue of Rizzo, and she admitted it is in part out of an effort to increase voter turnout.
“My concern is about the number of people who stayed home, who felt government doesn’t speak for them,” Helen Gym said. “I’m trying to show government can be reflective in a time of anguish.”
On the other hand, former Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala stressed that liberals are going too far with the statues, which will benefit President Trump.
“While I understand the pain those monuments cause. I just think it in some ways dishonors the debate to allow Trump to hijack it,” Begala told the Times. He said that Democrats are “driving straight into a trap Trump has set.”