Angela Rye, CNN political commentator and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, told CNN's Kate Bolduan on Thursday that she believes statues and monuments of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson also need to be removed in addition to the Confederate monuments.
Rye explained that American history was taught incorrectly and celebrated only the "glories" of the country's past but glossed over issues of slavery and racism, hence the negative reactions to Confederate monuments.
"George Washington was a slave owner, and we need to call slave owners out for what they are, whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not," Rye said. "He wasn't protecting my freedom. My ancestors weren't deemed human beings to him.
"So to me, I don't care if it's a George Washington statue or a Thomas Jefferson statue or a Robert E. Lee statue. They all need to come down," she said.
Rye explained that Americans need to be re-educated and said it's for the betterment of America's future to avoid repeating history — and as she added, "We are very close to repeating it right now."
Later in the discussion, Rye said, "Sometimes what it is is not acknowledging that this country was built upon a very violent past that resulted in death, and the raping, and the killing of my ancestors."
"I'm not going to allow us to say it's OK for a Robert E. Lee but not a George Washington [statue]," Rye said. "We need to call it what it is."