john kelly robert e. lee civil war

Trump’s Racist Chief of Staff John Kelly Is the Absolute Worst

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We already knew that John Kelly, Trump’s Chief of Staff, is not a good person. We knew it when he wrote a proposal to use National Guard troops to round up immigrants. We knew it when he straight lied about Trump’s insensitive call to the wife of Sgt. La David Johnson, insulting the gold star widow mourning the loss of her husband (as well as accusing black congresswoman Rep. Frederica Wilson of lying about the conversation), all in an effort to make Trump look like a decent human.

Still, he might have outdone his own despicable self in this interview, in which he discusses the many admirable qualities of “honorable man” Robert E. Lee. (Spoiler alert: Robert E. Lee was a brutal slaveholder who broke up the slave families on his estate; they regarded him as “the worst man I ever see.”) Kelly also gives a bizarro history lesson on the Civil War. Did you know that a “lack of an ability to compromise” is what led to the Civil War? Me neither!

Yes, according to Kelly, what happened was that “men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

That sounds like a familiar talking point, doesn’t it?

This version of history isn’t unique to Kelly. It’s common in much of the American South, from the claim that “states’ rights” were the core issue of the war (rather than the right to treat people as property) to the insistence that slaves weren’t treated all that badly and slaveowners and Confederate officers had great hearts and just, like, the best intentions.

https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/925347652996337665

As is usually the case in times like these, Ta-Nehisi Coates is laying out all the truth we need.

https://twitter.com/tanehisicoates/status/925289478943633408

You should 100% click through to read that entire thread. Here are just a few of the many perfect points he makes.

Of course, the person who most needs to read that thread (John Kelly) obviously won’t.

(image: screencap, Fox News)

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Author
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.