Ta-Nahesi Coates called out Kelly's characterization of Lee and the Civil War as an insulting and racist distortion of the truth.
Praising Bobby Lee as an honorable man is just sad. Like some kid insisting his deadbeat dad is actually a secret agent away on a mission... Lee wasn't some agnostic pressed into War. He was a dude who thought torture was cool.
At the Washington Times, Cheryl K. Chumley said Kelly's assessment of Lee was brave, and argues that the Confederate General is "...part of [America's] national identity, and his service of honor and courage, challenging and conflicting as it is, should not be destroyed and tossed to the trash."
Adam Serwer says the cult of personality around a decent and honorable General Lee is based on fiction.
To describe this man as an American hero requires ignoring the immense suffering for which he was personally responsible, both on and off the battlefield. It requires ignoring his participation in the industry of human bondage, his betrayal of his country in defense of that institution.