Brian Kilmeade pleads with Americans to learn their history, not destroy itjuin 26, 2020
“Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said that he’s been shocked by the degree of interest shown by callers into his radio show in the fierce, on-going debates and destructive protests surrounding symbols of American history, from statues to memorials.
“You would think that there is no other issue in the world on people’s mind than these statues,” said Kilmeade of “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” on Thursday, referencing the vandalism of a George Washington statue in Portland and the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C., among others.
Kilmeade, who hosts the Fox Nation’s series, “What Made America Great,” which celebrates and explores relics of and monuments to American history, pleaded with his fellow Americans to learn their history, instead of destroying it.
For several days, protesters have faced-off against law enforcement authorities protecting the Emancipation Memorial in Washington DC’s Lincoln Park, which depicts a freed slave at the side of President Abraham Lincoln.
Critics of the statue have criticized the juxtaposition of a looming Lincoln above a black man on one knee. Kilmeade implored people to examine the history of the monument.
“It is not a shackled slave,” said Kilmeade, “It was meant to be depicted as a rising African-American, a man named Archer Alexander, muscular, fist-clenched, breaking his chains, rising up in American society.”
“You may not like it, but why don’t you find out what you don’t like before you decide to destroy it,” he added.
Native American groups have reiterated their objections to the memorial, which they view as a desecration of land stolen from them and used to pay homage to leaders hostile to Indigenous people.
Kilmeade went to Mount Rushmore in his Fox Nation series.
“I was lucky enough to go with [former U.S. Secretary of the Interior] Ryan Zinke, not only to Mount Rushmore, but to scale the mountain and go behind it,” he said. “And I was able to actually get up on Washington’s head and look down, and you see what went into it, and all the problems that they had in building it and sculpting it.
“How they were determined to do it in the middle of a war and how FDR thought it was important and also as a way to bring tourism to South Dakota, as a destination, as it should be for every American and what you do is you tell the whole story.”
In “What Made America Great,” Kilmeade got exclusive access to one of the sections of the memorial that remains uncompleted.
“The Hall of Records is a place that is a canyon back behind the sculpture,” explained Cheryl Schreier, superintendent of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, describing the location of the unfinished vault behind the sculpture of Thomas Jefferson.
“[Mount Rushmore sculpture, Gutzon Borglum’s] idea was to have everything archived that had something to do with the history of the presidents, the history of the carving, and also those very important documents, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Gettysburg Address,” she continued. “That was going to be housed in this Hall of Records for eternity.”
Kilmeade has one message for protesters: Brush up on their history.
“Learn about it, don’t condemn it,” concluded Kilmeade, speaking broadly about the movement to tear down symbols of history, “And don’t be arrogant about it.”
“We don’t know everything in 2020. There are things that they are going to say about us in this generation that they’ll find laughable and despicable about us,” he added. “Does that mean we’re wrong? No, we’re victims and we’re people living in our time.”
To watch all of this special episode of “What Made America Great,” and see inside the incomplete Hall of Records, go to Fox Nation and sign up today.