Bevin calls removing Confederate monuments 'sanitization of history,' then denies using the phrase

VIDEO: Bevin denies saying 'sanitizing history' during radio interview
Updated: Aug. 15, 2017 at 8:36 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Speaking to reporters in Frankfort on Tuesday, Governor Matt Bevin denounced racism and bigotry but did not single out any one group for responsibility of the deadly demonstrations protesting the removal of a confederate statue in Virginia.

"Doesn't matter if it comes from a white supremacist," Bevin said. "It doesn't matter if it comes from an anarchist; it doesn't matter if it comes from a Black Lives Matter person. Wherever hatred and bigotry comes from, it should be called out. It should be scorned and shut down.

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Bevin also described the push to remove confederate memorials from public display an attempt to revise history and a dangerous precedent.

"When you look at what people like a Pol Pot did, or a Stalin did, or a Hitler did,  one of the first things you do is remove any semblance of culture and of history," Bevin said. You try to be revisionist. You look at what people are doing with ISIS, with the destruction of any kind of history or a culture when they move into a new territory."

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Governor Bevin denied previously saying that removing Confederate monuments was "sanitization of history."  But, Bevin did, in fact, use that phrase during an interview with Virginia radio station WVHU earlier in the day.

"I absolutely disagree with this sanitization of history," Bevin said, when asked by host Tom Roten whether he thought Confederate monuments should be removed from government property or destroyed. (Comment was made at about 4:50 into the interview)

"If we want to learn from history," Bevin went on to say, "If we don't want to repeat the mistakes of our past, then we better teach it to our young people."

During the Frankfort interview, a reporter asked Bevin about using the phrase, "sanitization of history," to which he replied, "No, I said revisionist history. Sanitize is your word."

>> VIDEO: Bevin denies saying 'sanitizing history' during radio interview

While running for governor in 2015, Bevin supported the decision to remove the Jefferson Davis statue from the capitol rotunda in Frankfort.

"It is important never to forget our history, but parts of our history are more appropriately displayed in museums, not on government property," Bevin said in an email that began a series of statements from politicians about the statue's future.

In an email to WAVE 3 News, the Kentucky Democratic Party condemned Bevin for his remarks with following statement:

"Gov. Bevin has yet again lied to the people of Kentucky.

The Kentucky Democratic Party believes that human dignity and respect for all Kentuckians includes supporting the decision to remove any Confederate statues on government property and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray's decision to relocate Confederate statues.

We are not sanitizing history. We are standing against racism, hate and bigotry. This issue rises above politics. We owe that to every Kentuckian."

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