Two of Arizona's six Confederate monuments have been defaced just days after President Donald Trump lamented the removal of Robert E. Lee statues at a Tuesday press conference at Trump Tower.
A stone monument of the president of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis, was apparently tarred and feathered on Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway near Apache Junction.
A second memorial of the Arizona Confederate troops on the state Capitol grounds was not-so-subtly spray-painted white overnight in Phoenix. The paint has since been removed by the Arizona Department of Administration, spokeswoman Megan Rose confirmed.
The latest vandalism comes less than 24 hours after the same statue was light heartedly donned with a second-place participation banner.
State Representative Reginald Bolding, a Democrat who's been rallying for the removal of Arizona's Confederate memorials since 2015, said the defacing of the monument was counterproductive.
"I don’t believe that it actually furthers the call for civil discourse the debate around these monuments of hate and the removal of them throughout the state," Bolding said. "It seems to be
Bolding said he's been pushing for a meeting to discuss the removal of monuments, saying civil discourse was the only way to make true change.
The vandalized statue appeared days after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey dodged civil rights leader's calls to take down the six Confederate symbols in the state as he condemned the hate and violence from white supremacy groups in Charlottesville.
Early this morning, President Donald Trump, a true history buff, said the removal of "beautiful statues and monuments" is "so foolish!"
"Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments," the president tweeted. "You ...can't change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson — who's next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also... the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!"
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Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
But Bolding says the argument about monuments comes down to whether we choose to celebrate or condemn the violence and racial hatred the Confederacy represents.
"When we name streets or schools or highways or buildings after these individuals, we do it in a celebratory way to show we want to honor them," Bolding said. "It’s not about history. It's about whether we want to celebrate and highlight symbols of hate."