Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., said Friday that "cancel culture has become ignorant culture," reacting to protesters who gathered in Washington, D.C. to rally against a statue of Abraham Lincoln commemorating emancipation.
"This is not a Confederate statue. This was a celebration after the Civil War of the Emancipation Proclamation," he said on "Fox & Friends."
Lincoln Park saw an uneasy standoff Thursday night after left-wing protesters said they planned to rally against a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., that had been paid for by freed slaves and dedicated by the African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
The Emancipation Memorial depicts Lincoln holding the Emancipation Proclamation and standing over a shackled, kneeling African-American. It represents the abolition of slavery in the United States — but opponents have criticized the juxtaposition of a looming Lincoln above a black man on one knee.
Earlier in the week, protesters announced that they planned to rally at the Emancipation Memorial on Thursday and Friday night. And on Tuesday, Washington’s congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, said she planned to introduce legislation to remove the “problematic” statue.
“Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue to be built in 1876, the design and sculpting process was done without their input and it shows,” Holmes Norton said in a statement.
Waltz said President Trump is right to warn of consequences for people who break the law and vandalize federal property.
"The mob culture cannot just decide what it wants to destroy. If we want to put a process in place, if we want to make these decisions as local communities, that's fine. But the president is absolutely right. There needs to be consequences for what they are doing," he said.
"Take five minutes and do a little research before you start going after statues," the National Guard lieutenant colonel said, explaining the history behind the statue and how freed slaves participated in its creation.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.