Confederate statues and 9/11 memorials are all the same and could be treated equally, a Fox News commentator said on the 16th anniversary of 9/11. In an interview with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday, Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested that the 9/11 memorial for the passengers of United Flight 93 could meet the same fate as a statue of a Confederate general at the hands of future generations.
"Do you worry that 100 years from now someone is going to take that memorial down like they are trying remake our memorials today?" Kilmeade asked, referring recent removal of statues for Confederate military leaders like Robert E. Lee.
"I'm one that believes that we should learn from history and I think our monuments are part of our country's history," Zinke replied, echoing President Trump’s public sentiments. "We can learn from it. Since we don't put up statues of Jesus, everyone is going to fall morally short.
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“And I think reflecting on our history, both good and bad, is a powerful statement and part of our DNA. So, I'm an advocate of, again, learning from our monuments, understanding the period they were made. But also, we live in a great country and monuments are not Republican, Democrat, independent. The monuments are a tribute to all of us."
Zinke is scheduled to speak at the memorial for the passengers of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Reaction to Fox and Friends question
Zinke might have pulled a drunk uncle, because there are controversial statues of Jesus on public lands — including in his home state of Montana, “Big Mountain Jesus.”
More provocative than the response was the initial question. The Fox and Friends host was skewered on social media for comparing people who seceded from the union and rebelled against the United States to civilians who died as victims of terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001.
Fox News declined to comment, CNN reported.
Former Hillary Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson tweeted that Fox needs to "apologize to families of Flight 93 for comparing their bravery to confederate generals who fought against our nation."
F&F needs to apologize to families of Flight 93 for comparing their bravery to confederate generals who fought against our nation https://t.co/NhTMEp8tjH— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) September 11, 2017
Ferguson followed up with a post from Donald Trump dated September 2013 in which Trump appears to have retweeted his own tweet:
“@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2013
At a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, last month, Trump, who has called the statue removals “sad” and “foolish,” praised Fox and Friends.
"'Fox & Friends' in the morning is the best show and it's the absolute most honest show and it's a show I watch," he said.