White House Chief of Staff John Kelly unleashed an avalanche of backlash from the left when he condemned the removal of Confederate statues and called Robert E. Lee an “honorable man.”
Kelly waded into controversial territory as he spoke about the removal of Confederate monuments and symbols in a rare interview on the debut of Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News Channel.
“Well, history’s history. There are certain things in history that were good, and other things that were not so good,” Kelly said on”The Ingraham Angle,” Monday. “I think we make a mistake as a society, and certainly as individuals, when we take what is accepted as right and wrong, and go back 100, 200, 300 years or more and say, ‘What Christopher Columbus did was wrong.’”
Chief of Staff John Kelly praises Robert E Lee as “honorable man,” says “lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war,” not slavery pic.twitter.com/GSuVRrGKlQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 31, 2017
“You know, 500 years later, it’s inconceivable to me that you would take what we think now and apply it back then. I think it’s just very, very dangerous. I think it shows you just how much of a lack of appreciation of history and what history is,” the former Marine general told Ingraham.
“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country.,” Kelly continued.
“It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today,” he said. “But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”
Kelly’s remarks ignited a progressive meltdown on social media as the phrase “Civil War” began trending following the interview, with an outcry from even Chelsea Clinton and Bernice King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
General Kelly, there is no “compromise” regarding slavery. Ever. And, the Constitution’s original 3/5ths Compromise was an abomination. https://t.co/THMjrBhxmI
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) October 31, 2017
It’s irresponsible & dangerous, especially when white supremacists feel emboldened, to make fighting to maintain slavery sound courageous. https://t.co/qb2X7QhG7M
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) October 31, 2017
This thread on Gen. Kelly’s take on the Civil War and Robert Lee is incredible: https://t.co/8nL18Ha7uq
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) October 31, 2017
Kelly’s comments were likened to those of President Trump when he blamed violence “on both sides” at a rally in Charlottesville in August.
The White House Chief of Staff literally both sided the Civil War. https://t.co/kEn8VjUEAx
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) October 31, 2017
Many just spewed names at the 67 year-old former Secretary of Homeland Security, calling him a racist and accusing him of defending slavery.
— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) October 31, 2017
Chief of Staff John Kelly’s comments are wrong. There is no compromise between slavery and freedom. https://t.co/EtC9YqyQVt
— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) October 31, 2017
It appears John Kelly is going as a racist for Halloween. I suspect he’s also going as one for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday… https://t.co/r1RGD6LBK0
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 31, 2017
We call for the resignation of John Kelly. We won’t tolerate the defense of slaveowners.
— Omar Vaid (@omarvaid) October 31, 2017
This is how the Left is reacting to what John Kelly said about the Civil War.
Kelly is a 4 star general who fought honorably for America. pic.twitter.com/XR57JjlDrO
— GRANT J. KIDNEY ?? (@GrantJKidney) October 31, 2017
But in an opinion piece for The Washington Times, Cheryl Chumley defended Kelly for “barvely” speaking up about General Lee.
“Calling Lee honorable in today’s political climate is about as dangerous as donning a Make America Great Again cap — it’ll bring out the baseball bats from the antifa types, for sure,” she wrote in the column published Tuesday. “But Kelly’s quite right. Lee may have been divisive, not to mention contradictory. But what battlefield leader isn’t?”
Lee “did the job he was appointed, as a military officer and commander,” the writer explained, arguing that skewing Lee’s decision to go with state’s rights to mean he was pro-slavery is “a historical half-truth.”
“But it’s one the left has used with great success lately to tear down the fabric of America’s founding,” Chumley wrote. “Destroying monuments, removing monuments and relocating monuments for the sake of a few who profess to be offended is, as Kelly also said, dangerous.”
Many Twitter users agreed, coming to the defense of the former Marine who served in the military for nearly five decades.
To all the people out there, now calling or insinuating that the GREAT American Gen. John Kelly is a racist, You are an IDIOT!
— Charles Marquez (@charlescmarquez) October 31, 2017
Those who play the race card ? are the true racists
— Kenny Scott (@kennyscott1952) October 31, 2017
I was very impressed watching the interview with gen Kelly and Laura Ingraham. What an honorable man! He spoke well and exudes integrity!???
— Renee De Toffol (@bella_tuscany) October 31, 2017
General Kelly’s intelligence is just way more advanced than what some people’s thoughts can process, so they get frustrated and call names.
— Hank Frazier (@McKinneyBiker) October 31, 2017
This is a new thing now, randomly labeling people as racist. Also, it is only used against white people.
— Marielle Murphy (@SingingM) October 31, 2017
When the left doesn’t like something or get their way whip out the handy YAR Your A Racist card. So old and tired it’s collecting SSI ?
— Raven Vaughan (@RavenRaven2245) October 31, 2017
Kelly is none of the things you called him and you’re an empty barrel. Shut up.
— GiordanoBruno (@GiordanoBrunoUS) October 31, 2017
Screaming “racist!” at decorated, gold-star generals. Go with that in 2020. ?
— Sage Antone (@AntoneSage) October 31, 2017
As they do, the left KEEPS trying to redefine words to fit the delusional mindset they’ve created for themselves.
— EyeVey (@EyeVey) October 31, 2017
The ignorance and disrespect for a man who fought for our country and lost a son shows you how disgusting the left are
— tfish (@taff0375) October 31, 2017
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