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Patrick Rael: Washington-Lee Slave Comparison Unfair (Washington Post) Archives

Patrick Rael

As a nationwide debate rages over Confederate monuments and whether they should be removed from public places, some critics, including President Donald Trump, have said if we’re going to pull down statues of General Robert E. Lee, shouldn’t statues of George Washington, and other slave-owning founding fathers also come down?

Bowdoin College Professor of History Patrick Rael says this is an unfair comparison. In an analysis piece for the Washington Post, Rael said the two men differed “in one critical respect: They stood at opposite ends of the history of slavery’s long demise.” Rael is the author of Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865 (University of Georgia Press, 2015).

3 thoughts on “Patrick Rael: Washington-Lee Slave Comparison Unfair (Washington Post)

  1. J

    So that suggests that we can start working backwards from Lee saying ‘this statue is not ok’ and forwards from Washington saying ‘this statue is ok’ and at some point in those 88 years we’ll have to switch from one to the other.

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