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Zinke: Don’t Remove Monuments, ‘Native Indians’ Aren’t Happy Either
In a Breitbart interview, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke justified the administration’s support of preserving Confederate monuments by saying that Native Americans aren’t happy with statues of their oppressors being up either.
“Where do you start and where do you stop? … If you’re a native Indian, I can tell you, you’re not very happy about the history of General Sherman or perhaps President Grant,” Zinke said.
So because we have one set of statues that is offensive to an entire race of people, we should leave all of them up? That’s some pretty faulty logic. I mean, why didn’t he just say, “Look. A statue of Hitler is obviously offensive to Jews, but would you really push to take it down?”
Yes, Mr. Zinke. We would. We absolutely would.
According to Zinke, removing the monuments would keep Americans from learning about the nation’s sordid history.
“I think we should never hide from our history or erase our history. I think we should embrace the history and understand the faults and learn from it. But when you try to erase history, what happens is you also erase how it happened and why it happened and the ability to learn from it,” Zinke said.
Yeah. Because books aren’t a thing, right?
You don’t put up a statue as a tool for learning history. You put up a statue because you want to glorify and amplify the accomplishments and life of a particular individual. In the case of people like Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and other figures who fought for a nation whose sole existence was predicated on the preservation of slavery, these aren’t people we need to glorify.
The interview is part of Zinke’s sweetheart conservative press tour in which he promises to preserve Confederate monuments located on federal land… and also distract from the truth that he’s been taking pricy private jet flights all across the country to campaign fundraisers for his party — a practice that’s illegal under current ethics law. If he can peddle himself as a hero of Southern “history” perhaps he thinks he can get the focus off of his unethical behavior.