WASHINGTON, D.C.- The debate over what to do with Confederate monuments across the country is broadening.
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that the removal of Confederate monuments could lead to questions about other historical figures. He’s referencing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, two of the nation’s founding fathers with monuments in the nation’s capitol.
Still, Confederate monuments are coming down across the country. Sometimes by elected officials who say they are divisive. Sometimes by force.
But, as Jarrett Stepman of the Heritage Foundation points out, both Washington and Jefferson were slave owners.
“America has made many mistakes but i think stripping history from the record books and obliterating monuments is absolutely the wrong way to go,” he says.
At the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, visitors are reminded of the country’s history of slavery and segregation.
But people emerging from the museum had different takes on the best way to continue moving forward.
Maurice Jenkins says “They shouldn’t be out for public display so everybody can be reminded of it they should go into a museum.”
“Anyone who does not have a clean slate as far as a PC record goes those statutes are going to come down,” says Jeffery Sadownick. “It’s a total erasure of history.”
Moses Segujja immigrated to the U.S. from Uganda 20 years ago. He sees the value in keeping monuments around.
“I think its very important for people to understand that the history is very sensitive,” says Segujja.
Others think we shouldn’t stop with Confederates.
“So you don’t have a problem with taking down say the jefferson monument no not at all,” says Mae Richardson.