Donald Trump thinks African Americans should learn U.S. history rather than campaign for the removal of Confederate monuments. The President has been vocal in his defense of statues depicting racist leaders.
Trump spoke to Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade for a special on Sunday. Kilmeade asked the President about the controversial monuments to the Confederate leaders and other slaveholders.
“You have to understand history, and you have to understand the culture,” Trump said.
“We have to remember the heritage and the culture of our country.”
“Here is the other problem that I have — a lot of these people don’t even know what they are taking down,” Trump said.
“I see what’s happening on television, and they are ripping down things they have no idea what they are ripping down, but they started off with the Confederates and now go to Ulysses Grant so what is that all about?”
Kilmeade then asked Trump specifically what message he had for African Americans who opposed monuments to people who enslaved their ancestors.
“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.,” Trump said in a long and rambling answer.
“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.”
“But you don’t want to take away our heritage and history and the beauty, in many cases, the beauty, the artistic beauty,” he added, elaborating on this theme.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media