Low on material and running out of steam at his third consecutive rally in as many days, President Trump’s speech last night in Ohio veered off the rails and into bizarre territory as he began talking about Civil War generals and praised Confederate mastermind Robert E. Lee as a “great general” who drove President Lincoln “crazy.”
! Trump: "Robert E. Lee was a great general. And Abraham Lincoln developed a phobia. He couldn't beat Robert E. Lee. He was going crazy."
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 13, 2018
This, of course, is not the first time the president has expressed a fondness for the Confederacy and its modern-day defenders, and while it appears that this train of thought was inspired by Union general Ulysses S. Grant having been born in Ohio (“He drank a little bit too much. You know who I’m talking about, right?”) and was not an obvious appeal to white supremacists, the implicit dog-whistle did not go unnoticed.
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Robert E. Lee’s great-great-great-great-nephew, Reverend Robert Lee IV, took to Twitter and recorded a video in which he condemned the president and his white supremacist ancestor for their actions.
“Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E. Lee as a great general, as an honorable man. These were far from the truth.
Robert E. Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies. It was for state’s rights, yes, but it was for state’s rights to own slaves.
I found myself saddened by the state of our nation but I’m encouraged. I’m encouraged because we are going to work to end this. We are going to vote. We are going to show Donald Trump that white supremacy has no place in any parlors of our government.”
Rev. Lee has been outspoken in his criticism of Robert E. Lee in the past, famously using the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards to denounce him for being “an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate.” Now that President has assumed the same status, it’s inspiring to see him speak out against him — and he’s absolutely right. Next month, we are going to vote and make sure that he will no longer have a Congress willing to rubber-stamp his heinous agenda.
Watch his remarks here:
— Rev. Rob Lee (@roblee4) October 13, 2018