Where did protestors around the nation get the idea to deface, behead, and pull down statues, even some of America’s most prominent abolitionists? Talking points spouted by CNN commentators are just one source of influence.
In a segment on CNN in 2017, Impact Strategies CEO and frequent commentator on the network Angela Rye announced her belief that statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other slave owners need to be removed.
“Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, [Washington] wasn’t protecting my freedoms,” she said.
Rye’s comments were in response to an argument proposed by Daily Beast Editor John Avlon suggesting that “Washington spent his life trying to unite the nation.” According to her, Avlon’s perspective is incorrect.
“I love John to death, but I couldn’t disagree more about George Washington,” she said. “George Washington was a slave owner. We need to call slave owners out for what they are.”
For Rye, the issue extends far beyond the removal of statues and monuments.
“We have to get to the heart of the problem here,” she said. “The heart is the way many of us were taught American history. American history is not all glorious.”
Rye continued by stating that her goal is “to call out white supremacy for what it is.” She also said that history is closer to repeating itself now than most think.
“We definitely need to learn about it so we don’t repeat it. We are close to repeating it right now,” she said. “I’m not giving any deference to George Washington or Robert E. Lee.”