"I think this is a question best considered by local communities. ... I think that it is a debate that should occur. I wouldn't support the kind of midnight teardown of statues or monuments because I don't think that serves the civic purpose of considering our history and thinking about whatever those monuments stand for. ...Two things about Cotton's comment: 1) The city government of Charlottesville considered at length and voted to rename a park and relocate a Lee statue. Haters marched in protest, many of them from outside the city. 2) We know what happens when local citizens take actions with which the Republican legislature disagrees — they remove local control. See civil rights, to name just one.
"In general, I think it's best to keep our history in front of us and learn from it so we don't repeat some of the mistakes we have made as individuals or as a people in the past. An irony of the media attention that some of these things are receiving as of late is that people have gone by them for decades but didn't know what they were."