Left-wing CNN commentator
Angela Rye. (Screenshot: CNN)
Attorney Angela Rye, a radical left-wing advocate and regular CNN commentator, said that because America's Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave owners their statues had to "come down," and she added that America is now "close to repeating" the slavery and persecution of blacks of the 18th and 19th centuries.
During a panel discussion on CNN's At This Hour, host Kate Boluan asked Rye if the issue was really "about statues and monuments" or "something else."
Rye said, "I think we have to get to the heart of the problem here. And the heart of the problem is the way in which many of us were taught American history. American history is not all glorious. I love John [Avlon, editor-in-chief of Daily Beast] to death, but I couldn't disagree more about George Washington."
"George Washington was a slave owner," said Rye. "We need to call slave owners out for what they are. Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, he wasn't protecting my freedoms."
"I wasn't someone -- my ancestors weren't deemed human beings to him," said Rye, 37. "And so to me, I don't care if it's a George Washington statue or a Thomas Jefferson statue or a Robert E. Lee -- they all need to come down.
"There is a way to recognize," she continued and then affirmed, "I'm going to finish my point. I'm going to finish my point."
"I'm not feeding into white supremacy," said Rye. "I'm calling out white supremacy for what it is. And sometimes what it is, John, are blind spots. Sometimes what it is, is not acknowledging this country was built on a very violent past that resulted in death and the raping and the killing of my ancestors."
"I'm not going to allow us to say it's okay for Robert E. Lee and not a George Washington," she said. "We need to call it what it is. I don't say they don't deserve to be taught about."
Sculpture images of George Washington, left, and Thomas Jefferson carved into the granite
face of Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Theodore Roosevelt and
Abraham Lincoln are also carved into the mountainside. (National Park Service)
"We definitely need to learn about it so we don't repeat it," said Rye, "and we are close to repeating it right now. I'm not giving any deference to George Washington or Robert E. Lee."
Rye is the CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a left-leaning public relations firm in Washington, D.C. She is a former general counsel of the Congressional Black Caucus. During a CNN appearance on July 17, Rye refused to refer to Donald Trump as the president, and instead said, "well, he's your president."