Donald Trump clearly believes that he can fight and win a political war over his sympathy for white supremacists by making it about statues of Robert E. Lee and the preservation of history (as if books don’t exist.)

Recent history in Arkansas — and in other states that gave Trump his electoral victory — suggest he’s right. Just check the letters to the editor.


From Trump this morning:


It will be a long and bloody siege should somebody choose to mount a battle against Confederate symbols in Arkansas. Consider the list compiled by the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History.


I’d be the first to stipulate that most of these monuments are less about history than about venerating the Lost Cause as Jim Crow took hold in the South. But I’d also stipulate that these things have become all but invisible.

Case in point, in a story yesterday on monuments, KATV gathered a comment from Mayor Mark Stodola.

“Little Rock does not have prominent statues on city property such as those in the cities and states you reference. However, in recent history, I was involved when we rightfully renamed Springer Boulevard and Little Rock citizens were respectful of one another even with powerful disagreements.”

Well, to name one, does a 24-foot monument in a city park count as prominent? From Wikipedia:


The Memorial to Company A, Capitol Guards is an American Civil War memorial in MacArthur Park, Little Rock, Arkansas. It stands just northeast of the former Tower Building of the Little Rock Arsenal, at a junction of two of the park’s internal roadways. It consists of a bronze sculpture depicting a Confederate Army soldier in a defensive stance, holding a rifle pointed forward. The statue is 8 feet (2.4 m) in height, and is mounted in a granite column 16 feet (4.9 m) tall. The memorial is sometimes known as “Lest we forget”, a line appearing near the top of the inscription on the base. The statue was created by sculptor Rudolph Schwarz, and was installed in 1911; it was paid for by the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and memorializes the unit that seized the arsenal at the outset of the war

I guess you could say old times here sometimes ARE forgotten.

I’d rather fight Trump on tax, environmental and human rights battle fronts, to name a few. The history books — and I’d bet precious few statues — will remember his time as a dark one for the country because of things such as these.

And this just in: Word of a KKK rally in Hot Springs in the days ahead.  UPDATE: This is apparently not a Klan rally but a rally in support of Confederate monuments. The group got a permit from the National Park Service. It prompted a statement from Steve Arrison, director of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission.

While we support every American’s right to free speech, nevertheless, we emphatically reject white supremacy, no matter what form it takes.

There is no place in Hot Springs for racial and ethnic hatred.