A descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee said on Saturday that he was very “disheartened” to hear President Donald Trump laud the slave owner and racist as “a great general” in a campaign rally on Friday held in Lebanon, Ohio.
“Last night I was disheartened to hear Donald Trump, our president, make comments about Robert E. Lee as a great general, as an honorable man. These were far from the truth,” said Robert Lee IV in a video that he posted on Twitter Saturday.
— Rev. Rob Lee (@roblee4) October 13, 2018
Donald Trump prompted immediate backlash in the rally after he said Lee was a “great general”, then claiming that former President Abraham Lincoln had “developed a phobia” since “he couldn’t beat Robert E. Lee.”
“He was going crazy. I don’t know if you know this story. But Robert E. Lee was winning battle after battle after battle. And Abraham Lincoln came home, he said, ‘I can’t beat Robert E. Lee,'” said Trump, who knows nothing about history but plenty about how to lie.
Lee, a great-great-great-great-nephew of Robert E. Lee, said Trump’s remarks demonstrate that “he supports an idol of white supremacy and of hatred.”
“Robert E. Lee fought for the continued enslavement of black bodies. It was for state’s rights, yes, but it was for state’s rights to own slaves,” Lee said in his video.
“I found myself saddened by the state of our nation, but I’m encouraged. I’m encouraged because we are going to work to end this,” Lee declared. “We are going to vote. We are going to show Donald Trump that white supremacy has no place in any parlors of our government.”
Robert Lee IV has spoken out against his evil ancestor before.
During the MTV Video Music Awards in 2017, he captured media attention because he called the racist confederate commander “an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate.” Lee said it is his “moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin.”
Trump has gotten criticism for his racist defense of Confederate statues, (racists will claim it’s about persevering history, but they represent people who fought to keep African-Americans in chains) like memorials of Robert E. Lee. Trump sparked widespread backlash in 2017 following a deadly rally held in Charlottesville, Va., disgustingly saying that the white nationalist protesters were only there to protest the removal of a supposedly “very, very important” statue, when really they were chanting white nationalist slogans and attacking people.