HOUSTON (FOX 26) - In a week following hate driven mayhem, at a time when tolerance for long standing symbols may very well have ended a Republican Congressman from Houston has called out the Commander-In-Chief for his reluctance to fully castigate those who triggered the bloodshed.
"He needs to be perfectly clear whose at fault here. It's not really both sides that are at fault, it's one side. The white supremacist group needs to held accountable for the actions that were perpetrated in Charlottesville," said Congressman Ted Poe.
And yet Poe, decedent of a teenaged Confederate soldier, opposes the escalating backlash against statuary which honor those who served the South. He views the whole-scale removal of monuments as culturally short-sighted and unjust.
"To take a broad swathe and say all the Confederate statues need to come down I think that is very unwise. We have to have some historical significance. These statues in many cases represent veterans, veterans especially from the state of Texas, many of whom didn't have any slaves and were fighting for what? States' rights. They were fighting for different reasons," said Poe.
Fully aware that many calling for removal see the Confederate icons as hurtful symbols of white supremacy, Poe, a former judge, believes local voters should serve as jury on the issue.
"I don't think we should be listening to really out-of-towners who in some case want to tear those statues down, but let the community make that decision," said Poe.
Poe, who recently fought and won a personal battle with Leukemia says progress on divisive issues can only be made if folks from all sides sit down and honestly communicate.
"It is an opportunity to do a better job in this country of talking about the issue of race. Nobody wants to talk about that. I think we need to get the different individuals together, a cross section of the community and talk about this issue. As long as we don't talk about it, it only gets worse," said Poe.