Arguments about Jefferson or Washington are completely irrelevant. A few extremists might raise them as attention-seeking attempts, but they should not be paid heed. There is an obvious difference between very flawed people who also did good things and celebrating them for their good things and celebrating Confederates qua Confederates. You’re celebrating the cause of slavery when you do this.
They are relevant, but not for the reasons the racist right believes. They are relevant because the Revolutionary War was as much about protecting the institution of slavery from the rise of abolitionism throughout the British Empire as it was about resentment toward taxation without representation.
This doesn’t mean white supremacist memorials to Confederate leaders should be preserved, but it does mean white supremacist memorials to Jefferson, Washington, and many more will ultimately have to go, as well. We glorify a so-called revolution that served largely to maintain the structural oppression of millions of people.
This is a tough pill for a lot of Americans to swallow, but we cannot confront and learn from our history if we keep hiding in the shadows cast by the memorials of wicked men. Meaningful change may start with tearing down icons of Confederate evil, but it doesn’t end there.