A Republican Missouri state representative said if people are taking down statues, statues of former President Abraham Lincoln should be removed too, saying he was “reprehensible.”
Rep. Tony Lovasco tweeted Thursday that “if we insist on tearing down statues of reprehensible people, let’s at least be fair and balanced about it,” along with a picture of the Lincoln Memorial. Lovasco then followed his tweet with another statement.
— Rep. Tony Lovasco (MO-64) (@tonylovasco) September 9, 2021
“It’s unfortunate how many people think saying ‘Lincoln was reprehensible’ equals some kind of support for the Confederacy, especially given the context of my tweet. It’s quite possible to point out that neither Lincoln nor Lee where [sic] good people deserving honor.”
Lovasco told the Daily Caller he is not “officially calling for the statue to be removed” and that his comment was “mostly sarcastic.”
Lovasco, however, said the point is “that while Lee may have been a terrible person (and should be condemned as such), Lincoln was no hero.”
“Lincoln forcibly conscripted people to fight against their will for the Union army, suspended the right of habeaus corpus, and was responsible for the needless deaths of thousands of people, including large numbers of Native Americans.”
“I’m not calling for any statues to be removed, but in my view neither Lee nor Lincoln are deserving of public honor,” Lovasco said in a statement.
Lovasco’s comment comes after Virginia removed a 131-year-old statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee Wednesday. Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced in June 2020 that he would seek to have the statue removed. (RELATED: CNN’s John Avlon Gives ‘Reality Check’ On Argument To Remove Lincoln Statues, Says ‘We Should Be Building More Monuments’)
Former President Donald Trump criticized the removal of the statue, saying “culture is being destroyed.”
Lovasco isn’t alone in calling for the removal of Lincoln statues, however.
The Boston Arts Commission voted unanimously in 2020 to take down the city’s Emancipation Memorial, which was funded by contributions from former slaves, because it allegedly made visitors and residents “uncomfortable.”
Students at the University of Wisconsin demanded last year that a statue of Lincoln be removed because the former president best known for freeing enslaved persons “was very publicly anti-Black.”