Caldwell on Statue Removal: Keep the Founders Up, Put Confederates in Museums
Political analyst Gianno Caldwell said there should be "levels" to considering which perceptibly offensive statues should be removed from the public square.
Last year, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) removed three major statues from the Big Easy - effigies of Generals Robert E. Lee and Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Students at Hofstra University in Nassau County, N.Y. are now calling for a statue of President Thomas Jefferson to be removed due to his past as a slave owner.
Caldwell said the "levels" to consider are consummate with the individual's contributions to a free society.
He argued that people like Beauregard and Lee spent their lives fighting militarily in favor of the Confederacy, while Jefferson composed the Declaration of Independence, and served the country well - despite owning slaves.
"[Jefferson] is much more than a slave owner," Caldwell said, pointing to the Charlottesville, Va. native's famous written line, "all men are created equal."
Lee, he said, "fought to divide our country" as the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Caldwell said it is not wise to erase history, and that statues of Confederates are better displayed in museums rather than in public.
Laura Ingraham noted that Princeton University also recently debated removing President Woodrow Wilson's name from university buildings because of the 28th president's support for segregation.
Wilson was born in Staunton, Va., but later became governor of New Jersey and president of Princeton.
He is also one of the dozen New Jerseyans honored with their names emblazoned on the state's ubiquitous Turnpike service areas - alongside Vince Lombardi, President Grover Cleveland, Molly Pitcher, Thomas Edison and J. Fenimore Cooper.
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