Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
The racist rally in Charlottesville, VA, which culminated in the death of a counter-protester, was pegged to the removal of a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the city. Now, states and cities with monuments to figures who fought to defend slavery can’t get them down fast enough.
Overnight, the city of Baltimore took down all of its Confederate monuments in one fell swoop. The city had been debating what to do with the monuments for a year until Charlottesville.
The four monuments celebrated Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson; Confederate soldiers and sailors; the women of the Confederacy; and Roger Taney, the Supreme Court justice behind the notorious Dred Scott decision.
The Associated Press reported that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam were also among those who have called for their states to removed Confederate-era statues from public lands in the days after Charlottesville.
Hogan, who had earlier resisted calls to remove such icons, said on Tuesday: “While we cannot hide from our history, nor should we, the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history.”
Similar plans to remove Confederate statues are underway in Jacksonville, FL, San Antonio, Lexington, KY, and Memphis, according to the AP. Meanwhile, the sheriff in Durham, NC, said protesters who helped topple a statue there would face felony charges, and police arrested Takiyah Thompson for her role in the protest.
While more and more state and local officials seem to get it, they won’t find support from the commander-in-chief. In an unhinged press conference at Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump railed against the movement to remove Confederate monuments.
“This week it’s Robert E. Lee,” Trump told reporters. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
That’s easy: It stops when all the statues to people who fought to keep black people in chains in this country come down.
- Hope Hicks is the new White House communications director, the Daily Caller reports.
- This is a big deal heading into the 2018 midterms: a federal court on Tuesday invalidated two of Texas’ 36 congressional districts, ruling that they were drawn with race as the primary consideration.
- Members of Congress–particularly Republicans!–are working very hard to distance themselves from Trump’s comments equating fascists with anti-fascist protesters. But that’s extremely unlikely to result in any hearings about the situation or the roots of white supremacy, Politico reports.