Trump “stands firmly on the side of preserving our history,” says White House.
President Donald Trump is appalled that what he sees as a “vast cancel culture” movement to tear down Confederate statutes hasn’t spared even India’s freedom leader Mahatma Gandhi.
What started as a protest movement against systematic racism in the US over the death of a black man under the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis has degenerated into a looting and vandalism spree across parts of America.
Particularly targeted are the statues of leaders of pro slavery secessionist Confederate states which fought a bloody civil war (1861-65) that ended with the abolition of slavery by victorious Union president Abraham Lincoln.
But even statues of Christopher Columbus, who discovered America the country’s first President George Washington and Gandhi, leader of India’s non-violent freedom struggle have not escaped the protestors’ wrath.
An iconic Gandhi statue standing across the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC vandalized during protests over the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, has since been restored.
Another Gandhi statue in California city of Davis was also vandalized while Fresno State University in California has rejected a demand for the removal of one standing in its Peace Garden.
Taking offense at such mindless violence Trump’s Spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday, “What we’re seeing across the nation is this vast cancel culture where we’re going to tear down our monuments, we’re going to tear down Gandhi.”
“Radical left-wing mobs seek to tear down our monuments and our memorials – everyone from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to (abolitionist) Frederick Douglass, and even Gandhi,” she said.
“It’s really quite appalling what we’ve seen happen across the country, and the President wants no part in cancel culture,” McEnany said.
Trump “wants no part in the tearing down and defacing of Matthias Baldwin, an abolitionist; Philadelphia Civil War soldiers; John Greenleaf Whittier vandalized, an abolitionist.”
“He wants no part in this, and he stands against the demonization of Americans, and he stands firmly on the side of preserving our history,” McEnany said.
Taking umbrage at the destruction of monuments to even the leaders of the slavery-upholding Confederacy, Trump last month issued executive orders to prosecute those destroying monuments.
“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” he said in a speech marking July 4 weekend.
The speech was made against the backdrop of the gigantic busts of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, a famous US landmark in Keystone, South Dakota.
Vandalized Mahatma Gandhi statue in Washington restored (July 3, 2020)