As monuments of all forms are currently being vandalized or outright destroyed around the world, it leaves one to wonder: why is it so non-specific, and which ones -if any- should come down?
From Confederate monuments in the American South to the monument dedicated to Abraham Lincoln in the District of Columbia, monuments across the USA are being damaged, painted over, or dismantled by a variety of factions, ranging from disgruntled protesters against perceived racism and police brutality in America to Anarcho-Communists taking advantage of the civil unrest to bring down anything and everything they perceive to be “fascist.”
Even abroad, statues in the UK, France and Belgium have also fallen to vandalism. However, the true hotspot appears to be confined within American borders, where a mixture of outrage, activism and revisionist history are coming together to create a perfect storm.
According to the Daily Mail, protesters pulled down a century-old statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy.
Not far from the site, a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee -who sided with the South out of love for his home state as the Civil War began- has been targeted by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, who was previously accused of wearing “blackface.”
The dismantling of the Lee statue has been temporarily halted by order of a judge.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney denounced the Davis statue, claiming the effigy of a :racist and traitor” never “deserved to be up on that pedestal.”
However, the destruction of statues isn’t really a new practice- the flashpoint seems to have been sometime around 2017.
It was around the same time of the Charlottesville, Virginia, incident -a violent spat between extreme examples of the far-left and right, respectively- that the topic of bringing down statues came up in public forum.
CNN commentator Angela Rye spoke on the matter of monuments, claiming that all slave-owners in American history should not have monuments.
“American history is not all glorious,” Rye asserted on CNN at the time. “George Washington was a slave owner. We need to call slave owners out for what they are. Whether we think they were protecting American freedom or not, he wasn’t protecting my freedoms – my ancestors weren’t deemed human beings to him.”
“To me, I don’t care if it’s a George Washington statue or Thomas Jefferson, they all need to come down,” Rye concluded.
Rye went on to state that she didn’t think there was a difference, in her opinion, between a memorial to Robert E. Lee and a memorial to George Washington.
Ironically, the destruction of cultural heritage sites and monuments made news the year prior, when the Islamic State began destroying ancient monuments, structures and statues in territories they had taken over.
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