After a years-long campaign and incessant litigation, the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee came down from its pedestal in Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday.
As the top General for the Confederate army, Lee fought for the confederacy's interests, the chief of which was the continued enslavement of Black Americans. In the decades since the Civil War, Lee became a hero of white supremacists in the Jim Crow South and onward for his efforts to ensure a confederate victory, fighting for states' supposed rights to treat people as property.
Subsequently, protests for the removal of similar statues featuring Lee have been met with intimidation and counter-protests by the likes of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, most infamously at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
That's why it may not come as a surprise that—as Lee's likeness was cut into pieces and removed from its pedestal—another hero to countless white supremacists across the nation spoke out.
In a statement, former President Donald Trump railed against the statue's removal, before embarking on a deranged fantasy of Lee leading troops in Afghanistan.
Trump wrote in part:
"Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left, and we can't let that happen! If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we didn't have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!"
It's important to note that Lee's statue was a monument, not a historical exhibit, so it's unclear how its removal amounts to the destruction of "our" history and heritage, as Trump claims.
Some suggested Trump was defending Lee because of how much the two have in common.
But Lee isn't famous for winning wars, as others pointed out.
Some saw the statement as a grim reminder of Trump's character.