White House outraged by defacement of Gandhi statue

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BY ARUL LOUIS
New York, June 23 (IANS)
US President Donald Trump’s spokesperson has expressed outrage at the defacement of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Washington during protests against police brutality.
For the protesters, “apparently the line goes all the way to Gandhi”, Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday commenting on the spree of defacing and damaging statutes sweeping the nation.
Gandhi’s statue was defaced with personal insults to him and an unprintable anti-India slogan on June 2.
Asked about demands by protesters against police brutality and their supporters to remove some statues, she said: “What we’re seeing across the country is really quite confusing, because you’re seeing statues defaced, like Gandhi’s statue defaced and Ulysses S Grant’s statues.”
Before becoming President, Grant was the US commanding general during the civil war leading the fight against the secessionist confederate states that opposed the abolition of slavery.
His statue was pulled down by anti-racism protesters on San Francisco on June 19.
McEnany also mentioned the defacement of the statue of anti-slavery campaigner Matthias Baldwin, by groups protesting racism and police brutality on June 17 in Philadelphia.
While there has been understandable opposition to the statues and the memorialising of figures from the confederate side that unsuccessfully seceded fought against the abolition of slavery, some of the actions of the protesters appear mindless, perhaps fueled by their own racism.
McEnanay said: “We’re being told that George Washington’s statue needs to come down and Thomas Jefferson’s statue needs to come down. Where do you draw the line, you know, from Gandhi, all the way down to George Washington?”
The protesters and some of the politicians supporting them have called for removing the statues and monuments to the Father of the Nation, George Washington and other founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, who had owned slaves, and Christopher Columbus, who led Europeans to an already inhabited continent.
A statue of Columbus was toppled and beheaded in Camden in New Jersey on June 18.
The protests against police brutality, some of which have been violent, were set off by the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man by a policeman in Minneapolis on May 25.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)

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