Confederate General Stonewall Jackson’s Descendants Call for Removal of Monuments

(RICHMOND, Va.) — Two men who identify themselves as the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson are calling for the removal of the statue of the Confederate general in Virginia’s capital city.

Jack and Warren Christian say in a letter published by Slate late Wednesday that the removal of the Jackson statue and other Confederate monuments on Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue will “necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice.”

Jack Christian told The Associated Press on Thursday that the monuments were clearly constructed to be “markers of white supremacy” and “make black people fearful.”

Christian said he’s pleased to see that Mayor Levar Stoney is now saying the city should consider removing or relocating its Confederate statues. The mayor had previously said he thought the monuments should stay but have context added.

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Governor Says Removing Confederate Statues Is ‘Just Like’ Taking Down 9/11 Memorials

(PORTLAND, Maine) — Maine’s governor says taking down statues of Confederate figures is “just like” removing a monument to people who died in the 9/11 attacks.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage made the comments during an appearance Thursday morning on WGAN-AM when asked for his reaction to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

LePage says he condemns “both sides” that demonstrated. He says he finds white nationalist and far-left protesters “equally as bad” and “disgusting.”

LePage says left-wing protesters who want to remove Confederate statues are ignorant of history and want to erase it. He compares them to “the Taliban in Afghanistan” in their desire to remove monuments.

LePage says he didn’t find out about the violence until Tuesday because he doesn’t watch TV or read newspapers.

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U.S. Soldier Killed During Combat in Afghanistan

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. military says one soldier died and an unspecified number of American and Afghan soldiers were wounded in a combat operation against the Islamic State affiliate in eastern Afghanistan.

The Utah National Guard says the soldier who died Wednesday was one of its members and approximately seven other National Guardsmen were among the wounded. The names were withheld pending notification of family members.

The wounded soldiers were evacuated for medical treatment.

The military announcement provided no details about the combat operation.

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Facebook Has Banned White Supremacist Christopher Cantwell

(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) — Facebook has banned the Facebook and Instagram accounts of a white nationalist who attended the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that ended in deadly violence.

Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja tells The Associated Press that the profile pages of Christopher Cantwell have been removed as well as a page connected to his podcast. Cantwell was featured in a Vice News documentary about the rally and its aftermath.

Facebook has also removed at least eight pages connected to the white nationalist movement over what Budhraja says were violations on the company’s polices on hate speech and organizations.

Cantwell, of Keene, New Hampshire, was listed on rally flyers and labeled an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. A former information technology worker who moved to New Hampshire from New York in 2012, the 36-year-old Cantwell describes himself as a white nationalist and said he voted for President Donald Trump. He has a podcast and blog that promote his views.

Cantwell says Facebook shut down his account in an attempt to silence him for his views. He also said his PayPal account had been closed. The company wouldn’t confirm that because it has a policy of not commenting on the status of accounts.

“I’m not surprised by almost any of this because the whole thing we are complaining about here is that we are trying to express our views, and everybody is going through extraordinary lengths to make sure we are not heard,” Cantwell said in a phone interview from an undisclosed location.

“Frankly, whatever you think of my views, that is very scary to me,” he said. “Facebook and Instagram is one thing but not being able to participate in the financial system because of your political opinions is something that, you know, people should worry about in America.”

 

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Phoenix Mayor is Not Happy That Trump is Holding a Rally There Next Week

(PHOENIX) — President Donald Trump plans to rally supporters in Phoenix next week, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is not happy about it.

Trump’s campaign announced the event Wednesday — a day after the president blamed “both sides” for weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators.

The Aug. 22 rally will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center, the campaign said.

“I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville,” Stanton said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit.”

The president has been holding campaign-style events in Trump-friendly areas since he took office. Next week’s rally will be his first in the West.

Trump told Fox News in an interview this week that he may pardon former metro Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who recently was convicted in federal court for disobeying a judge’s order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that Arpaio’s officers had racially profiled Latinos.

Arpaio, 85, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 and faces up to six months in jail. Attorneys who have followed the case doubt someone his age would be incarcerated, however.

Critics say a pardon would amount to an endorsement of racism.

“If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation,” Stanton said.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, has announced he’ll be leading a counter protest outside the Phoenix Convention Center during Trump’s rally, the Arizona Daily Star reported Wednesday.

In a six-minute video posted on YouTube, the newspaper said Grijalva called Trump unhinged and the congressman from Tucson labeled the president as a supporter of racists.

Trump last held a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center Aug. 31, 2016, ahead of the presidential election and detailed his plan to combat illegal immigration.

He lambasted millions of immigrants as violent criminals and a drain on the U.S. government. Trump vowed at that time that no person living in the United States illegally would have a path to legal status without first leaving the country.

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Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

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