Trump Administration's comments on Civil War sparks debate

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Confederate General Robert E. Lee "an honorable man." The founding director of African American Civil War Museum took exception to the idea.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - The Civil War happened roughly 150 years ago and yet it is still dominating discussion thanks in part to General John Kelly's thoughts on the conflict

President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff recently called Confederate General Robert Lee "an honorable man". He also said it was "the lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war".

Frank Smith is the Founding Director of African American Civil War Museum in Shaw. He said he takes exception to the idea Lee was honorable especially when compared to some of America's other founding fathers.



"The difference, I think, between Robert E. Lee and President George Washington is President Washington never fired on the American flag, he never killed a bunch of American soldiers, he never fought against the United States of America," Smith said.

Smith also added there was only one result that would have come from compromise.

"Any compromise that would have come about would have had to involve allowing slavery to exist in this country and let's face it, by the time the Civil War started, the North had given up on slavery," he said.
 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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