A debate over the removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces got ugly on Monday after Katrina Pierson, a former spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s campaign, told “Fox & Friends” anchor Ainsley Earnhardt and Johns Hopkins University professor Wendy Osefo that slavery was part of America’s “good history.”
Earnhardt, referring to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s effort to remove Confederate statues from Congress, said that a new Marist poll reported that 62% of people polled wanted to keep the monuments the way they are — in the public eye.
The poll also determined that 27% of those surveyed wanted the monuments removed, and that 11% considered themselves “unsure.”
The Monday segment started off amicably enough, but when Pierson told Earnhardt and Osefo that she felt slavery contributed to the positive aspects of American history, things took a turn for the worse quickly.
Osefo disagreed with the Marist poll and said that Confederate monuments belong only in a museum.
In response, Pierson said that the monuments are part of U.S. history, and should remain where they were erected, because “bad history is still good history for this country.”
Clearly taken aback by Pierson’s comments, Osefo responded, “Slavery is good history?”
“Absolutely,” Pierson answered, and responded to Osefo’s outrage with a question of her own. “Where would we be today if not for the Civil War? How would people know how special and wonderful this country is?” she asked.
Conditions deteriorated to such an extent that at one point, Earnhardt had to step in and play referee to the women’s sparring.
“This is clearly a heated topic,” Earnhardt interjected. “No one is racist, no one believes in bigotry,” she added.
While the nation remains divided on whether or not Confederate monuments should be left as-is, or if they belong in a museum, it seems clear that Pierson’s sentiments about the Civil War being grand and glorious aren’t necessarily reflective of a majority of people.
Approximately 620,000 U.S. soldiers died during the Civil War, which is more than in any other war in which the U.S. participated. A recent study reported that the death toll in the Civil War may have even reached as high as 850,000.
It is widely believed that the catalyst that triggered the Civil War was slavery, and the Confederacy’s desire to maintain their slave-status statehood.
Regardless of what is happening in 2017 with regard to Confederate monuments, it’s a hard pill to swallow that any type of slavery would be considered “good” history, even if it is a part of American history.
Revisionist history serves no one, and while Confederate monuments absolutely serve as a reminder to what this country has been through, there’s no whitewashing the atrocities committed in the name of freedom.
The best part of American history — and a recurring theme even in 2017, despite what you may read and hear elsewhere — is America’s ability to overcome evil, tyranny, and oppression, and eventually come out better and more evolved on the other side.
See the full exchange between Osefo and Pierson in the video below.
— Ainsley Earhardt (@ainsleyearhardt) August 21, 2017