The View co-host Sunny Hostin: 'Think twice' before defending Washington, Roosevelt statues; we were taught 'revisionist history'


Sunny Hostin suggested that perhaps the removal of statues beyond Confederate figures should be considered since "revisionist history" inaccurately taught Americans the reality of our nation's founders.
Statues of Confederate leaders have been defaced and removed in recent weeks by rioters following the death of George Floyd, but other statues were also not spared like one of George Washington in Portland, one Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco and the announcement of the removal of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
On Monday, Hostin expressed that the "problem" amid the statue debate begins in the classroom.
"What we have been taught, what you have been taught, Joy, what I was taught, what Whoopi was taught, probably what Meghan was taught in our schools was revisionist history," Hostin said. "We weren't taught the real history. We were taught, you know, that George Washington freed his slaves. He wrote that in his will but he didn't free his slaves. He actually spent the last year of his life like relentlessly pursuing slaves that tried to run away. He was a horrible slaveowner. He owned hundreds of slaves at his death. We learned that he had wooden teeth. He didn't have wooden teeth. He had in his mouth the teeth of his slaves that he had pulled and make fake dentures. ... So why should there be a monument of George Washington because he was a terrible slaveowner while he was a founding father. This type of history was hidden from people and I only about it when I took African American history when I went to college."
Later in the discussion, Hostin said she understood why people feel "threatened and uncomfortable" with tearing down these statues, but reiterated on how people were taught as to why they oppose the removal of such monuments.
"If you've been taught your entire life that this is your history, that this is something that you should be proud of, you have been taught somehow that this is your heritage and you've been taught of your superiority, but ... that superiority is based on the alleged inferiority of others, there is tension there," Hostin explained. "And unfortunately again, it's this revisionist history that so many of us have been taught. And I think it really lies -- the solution lies in education because if you are taught that George Washington is not the person you thought he was, if you are taught perhaps that Roosevelt is not the person you thought he was, or Grant is not the person you thought he was, or General Lee is not the person you thought he was, I think you would think twice about having a statue of him up in a park or of him in your home."
Meghan McCain attempted to press Hostin if she was "uncomfortable" with Mt. Rushmore, but Whoopi Goldberg cut the conversation short due to a commercial break.
On Sunday, the city announced the statue would be coming down, calling it "problematic."

The museum said in a statement, "The statue itself communicates a racial hierarchy that the museum and members of the public have long found disturbing."

"I think the problem is you've got one white man on a horse and then a native person and an African person walking along, behind, below in this subordinate posture," said Roosevelt.

Roosevelt's namesake can be found all over Philadelphia in places like Roosevelt Junior High School in East Mount Airy and the Roosevelt Blvd.

Kermit Roosevelt says there are so many memorials that represent the legacy well and he doesn't think that statue is one of them.

"That's a statue that people thought at the time was celebrating about him, but people's thinking at that time was very inflected by white supremacy," he said.

President Trump tweeted about the statue's removal saying, "Ridiculous, don't do it!"

Roosevelt said he hopes the former president is remembered for his work in conservation.

"He wanted a society where what's best about our natural parks, our natural resources was shared widely and available to everyone and I think he should be remembered as an egalitarian and a conservationist," he said.

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