White House chief of staff John Kelly is coming under fire for comments made about the Civil War during an interview that aired Monday night, and some on the Left are accusing the retired Marine Corps general of being racist after he said the Civil War was caused by the “lack of an ability to compromise.”
Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked Kelly about efforts to take down Confederate monuments, and said there is a “lack of appreciation of history” today.
“I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man. He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today,” Kelly said. “But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”
Kelly’s comments have sparked backlash, particularly among liberal commentators and writers, as well as Democratic members of Congress.
“Dear John Kelly: The United States of America exists because President Lincoln did not compromise,” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., tweeted Monday night.
Oliver Willis, a senior writer at Shareblue, accused the White House chief of staff of having a “racist view” of the Civil War.
“No need to get in the weeds with John Kelly. He holds a racist view of the civil war and works with a racist by telling lies about blacks,” Willis tweeted Tuesday morning. “In other words, he’s like every other republican right now. In complete lockstep.”
In other words he’s like every other republican right now. In complete lockstep.— Oliver Willis (@owillis) October 31, 2017
Terrell Starr, a senior reporter for the Root, called Kelly a “racist” in response to his comments, and Roland Martin, host of NewsOne Now, said the retired general’s remarks were “stupid.”
“So John Kelly, what the hell was there to compromise about before the Civil War? Maybe make Blacks 4/5th’s human? This is beyond stupid,” he tweeted Tuesday.