Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to ‘overthrow the American Revolution’
President Trump on Friday during a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore lambasted protesters calling for the removal of Confederate statues, accusing them of wanting to “overthrow the American Revolution” and fundamentally change the country.
“There is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished. Not going to happen to us,” he told a packed crowd.
“Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence and hunger and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery and progress,” he continued. “To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol and memory of our national heritage.”
He later said the protesters’ goal is to “end America.”
Trump went on to tout an executive order he signed last month that would punish protesters who tried to topple statues.
Activists have called for statues of Confederate figures to be removed amid widespread unrest over systemic racism and police brutality after George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died in Minneapolis police custody in May. Some demonstrators have gone further, calling for the removal of any statue commemorating any slaveholder, including some of the country’s founders.
Lawmakers of both parties have acknowledged the calls, with Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signing legislation to change his state’s flag, the last in the nation to contain the Confederate battle crest, and lawmakers in Washington saying they agree that military bases named after Confederate figures should be renamed.
However, Trump has taken a different tack, accusing protesters of trying to “erase” history, saying he would fight against the toppling of statues and veto any legislation that calls for the renaming of military bases.
“Very sad to see States allowing roving gangs of wise guys, anarchists & looters, many of them having no idea what they are doing, indiscriminately ripping down our statues and monuments to the past. Some are great works of art, but all represent our History & Heritage, both…the good and the bad. It is important for us to understand and remember, even in turbulent and difficult times, and learn from them,” he tweeted last month.
….the good and the bad. It is important for us to understand and remember, even in turbulent and difficult times, and learn from them. Knowledge comes from the most unusual of places!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
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