Pence pretends to go high, actually goes low.

Asked on the unapologetically pro-Trump show “Fox & Friends” whether Pence agrees that Confederate monuments should be removed from the Capitol, Pence told host Ainsley Earhardt that he stands with the president in wanting to preserve those monuments that glorify traitors of the United States.

EARHARDT: Some are calling for the Confederate monuments at the Capitol to be taken down. Do you agree?
PENCE: Well, first off, I agree with the president that seeing people destroy public property in the name of any cause is just simply unacceptable. […] I hold the view that it’s important that we remember our past and build on the progress we’ve made. […] What we have to walk away from is the desire by some to erase parts of our history in the name of some contemporary political cause.

Oh please. The “history” that moving monuments erases is the “history” of putting up monuments to very literal white supremacy. Saying we shouldn’t erase that kind of “history” is like saying we shouldn’t desegregate schools because that erases our history of having segregated schools.

EARHARDT: So you’re in favor of keeping the monuments?

PENCE: Obviously, I think that should always be a local decision. […] I’m someone who believes in more monuments, not less monuments. What we ought to do is we ought to remember our history. But we also ought to celebrate the progress that we’ve made since that history. You know, when I walked, back in 2010, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis, arm in arm, and we remembered Bloody Sunday, and the extraordinary progress of the civil rights movement, I can’t help but think that rather than pulling down monuments, as some are wont to do, rather than tearing down monuments that have graced our cities all across this country for years, we ought to be building more monuments. We ought to be celebrating the men and women who’ve helped our nation move toward a more perfect union.

Monuments to literal white supremacy have not “graced” our cities, they’ve disgraced them. Our long heritage of formal, legal, crime against humanity racist exploitation and rights violation is not a thing to raise monuments to. Monuments aren’t history lessons in stone, they are tributes. We get to choose what we want to pay tributes to. We don’t put up monuments to Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, and we can also decide we don’t want monuments to slavery.

Pence is right that we should celebrate Lewis and his colleagues (let’s have a lot more celebration of Diane Nash, for instance), but that does not in any way depend on keeping monuments to slavery and white supremacy.

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