President Trump is calling for the statue of Albert Pike to be restored and put back up.
Last week, Protesters toppled Washington DC’s only statue of a Confederate general and set it on fire, an act labeled a “disgrace” by President Donald Trump.
Per The Guardian, Donald Trump has personally requested that a statue of a Confederate general be put back up after protesters in Washington tore the monument down, according to NBC News.
The networked reported that the US president had called interior secretary David Bernhardt and asked the Park Service to restore the fallen monument to Albert Pike, a senior figure in the slave-holding south’s military forces.
An interior department spokesman told NBC: “The secretary has made his position quite clear when it comes to lawlessness, violence against police, and destruction of public property.”
Protesters in Washington tore down the Pike statue last week. The statue has been a center of controversy for decades, with a number of local officials repeatedly calling for its removal.
Trump has said he plans to sign an executive order this week further protecting federal monuments beyond current law, and harshly punishing those who deface them, as Confederate, as well as colonial, statues have been targeted across the country amid the wider protest against racism and police brutality.
Activists have long denounced Confederate statues as monuments to white supremacy, especially as many were put up long after the civil war had ended as a way of continuing to intimidate Black Americans and symbolize ongoing white power.
Trump’s move on the statue of Pike is hardly his first time coming down on the side of Confederate history. Even as the Pentagon in recent weeks announced its openness to changing the names of military bases named after Confederate generals, Trump tweeted his vehement opposition, saying: “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage.”
Trump also stirred up global headlines when he weighed into the deadly protests around a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when a march by neo-Nazis and other white supremacists saw an attack on counter-protestors that killed one young woman. At the time Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the unrest.
In recent days, fencing has been put around a statue to Andrew Jackson outside the White House, after protesters tried to pull it down and sprayed “killer” on its base, drawing attention to his history of ordering the forcible and lethal displacement of many Native Americans from their land.