During an interview with Fox & Friends anchor Brian Kilmeade, President Trump was asked his opinion on the anti-racism protestors who have toppled many confederate monuments.
Kilmeade also brought up removed statues of figures like Christopher Columbus and Theodore Roosevelt which are inextricably tied to racism or white supremacy in some way.
Trump, referring to these statues as "beautiful pieces of art," suggested the protestors tearing down these monuments were ignorant as to the history behind them.
@g_gosden I think they already have a better understanding of history than Trump is ever likely to have— Eric the half a bee! Stay at Home! (@Eric the half a bee! Stay at Home!)1593453417.0
During one question in particular, President Trump seemed to single out Black Americans, saying they ought to learn history or else they "will go back to it again." Kilmeade asked:
"Since you have done a lot for the African-American community, what is your message to them when their ancestors were enslaved because of [these leaders who are commemorated on these monuments]?"
Fury as Trump tells African-Americans to understand their history or 'you will go back to it again' https://t.co/pHaIaAob7G— The Independent (@The Independent)1593455700.0
"My message is that we have a great country, we have the greatest country on Earth. We have a heritage, we have a history and we should learn from the history, and if you don't understand your history, you will go back to it again. You will go right back to it. You have to learn. Think of it, you take away that whole era and you're going to go back to it sometime. People won't know about it. They're going to forget about it. It's okay."
"Now what I do like, I like the idea of building new statues to people, to great people. People that have done something. And I think that's okay."
"But you don't want to take away our heritage and history and the beauty, in many cases, the beauty, the artistic beauty. Some of the sculptures and some of this work is some of the great — you can go to France, you can go anywhere in the world and you will never see more magnificent work. And that's a factor. It's not the biggest factor but it's a factor."
@Independent No 😮..... That is disgusting for a PRESIDENT TO SAY— lisa Rue (@lisa Rue)1593458081.0
Twitter was as surprised as ever that the President had said something so thoughtless.
Trump stood next to a sculpture in the Oval Office that he said depicts Teddy Roosevelt and explained that statues… https://t.co/Oz02UwQnku— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1593477002.0
Most who read the President's comments seemed pretty sure Donald Trump didn't have the world's best grasp of history.
Mr. President, African Americans know American history much better than you do.... https://t.co/Jp0PAzvyMC— Sheila Gavin (@Sheila Gavin)1593484642.0
How ignorant can you be.......... He is the PRESIDENT FFS! @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/0sy3Ohmxy7— a.l.f 🏴🏴 (@a.l.f 🏴🏴)1593438179.0
Besides, people aren't normally taken to statues to learn their history.
@Independent I dont remember ever learning history from a statue...taking down statues of terrible people does not… https://t.co/3MZEWQwoVj— Becca Friday (@Becca Friday)1593441711.0
@TatjanaT77 @Mark_Spalding1 @Terrida89071604 @madworld505 @wedjim @TheDaveCalaz @thejtlewis @realDonaldTrump I know… https://t.co/Ge3a2T1K7t— bloom. (@bloom.)1593450856.0
At moments like this one in history, leaders are given the opportunity to decide whose side they're on. Many online seem to believe President Trump has chosen incorrectly.