Krauthammer: ‘When You Have a Public Monument, You Are Making a Public Statement’

‘Many monuments were not established after the civil war’


KRAUTHAMMER: "It's a complicated question because it does not have an easy answer. It's not a question of scaring people offense. It's a question of, when you have a public monument, you are making a public statement. You are saying certain things as a society and you want to elevate or glorify or honor certain people. The question is, when it's associated with the cause that involves slavery, what do you do? I think there is an interesting to be learned from those who suffered in the civil war who were closer to the carnage and the pain. If you go to Arlington national cemetery, which is a union cemetery, and you go to section 16, believe it or not, that's a section of confederate soldiers who are not dog up, were buried there by their union compatriots with money -- monument honoring the south without giving glory to the cause. I think the reason they're so much heat around the monuments is not so much having to do with the civil war. I think the problem is some on the far right extreme right, KKK, neo-nazis, have decided that they will adopt the symbols of the confederacy as a symbol of their beliefs. It complicates things. Many monuments were not established after the civil war. They were established in the 1960s as a way of expressing defiance for civil rights. There is a complicated history here. I would prefer to leave them up, but if they become symbols and centers of racism and need -- neo-nazis and the KKK, then there's a case for bringing them down."

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