Every major and medium-sized city in the American south has a traffic circle or public square with a statue of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stone Wall Jackson, Nathan Bedford Forrest, or some other Confederate hero. The Old South’s mass remembrance isn’t limited to statues. Many states incorporated the Confederate battle flag into their state flag. The Confederate battle flag even flew below the state flag in some southern capitals. That flag means different things to different people, but has long been a symbol of Southern pride and heritage. When this author lived in Northern Virginia he drove on the Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee Highways every day.
It has been determined that no less than 10 American military installations are named for Confederate generals, including Fort Bragg and Fort Hood, both of whom got their heads handed to them by Yankee generals. Sherman led Braxton Bragg around Georgia by the nose as he burned Atlanta and cut a swath of destruction 60 miles wide and 300 miles long down to the coast. Southerners always have over-worshipped their Confederate heroes. If Robert E. Lee was such a good general, why did U.S. Grant whoop him so thoroughly?
First, the mob came for the Confederate statues. Even though this author has a considerable amount of southern blood pulsating through his veins, he did not speak up, because maybe it’s time to respectfully remove Confederate statues from their public place and put them in old Confederate cemeteries. But, that’s not good enough for the mob. They vandalized the statues, beheaded some, and then brought them crashing to the ground. State and local officials did nothing.
But, the mob of over-educated historical illiterates hasn’t stopped with Confederates. In Lafayette Park, across the Street from the White House, rioters attempted to take down a statue of President Andrew Jackson. Only the intervention of the Park Police and Secret Service saved Old Hickory. Elsewhere in the nation’s capital, Black Lives Matter activists have promised to destroy the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park. The statue portrays President Lincoln lifting a slave from bondage to freedom. Says Washington’s Congressional delegate, Eleanor Holms Norton, ‘The designers of the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park in DC didn’t take into account the views of African Americans.’ The statue was erected in 1876, paid for by Freedman, and dedicated by early Civil Rights activist Frederick Douglas.
Throughout the country, the mob is bringing down statues of Christopher Columbus due to the belief that his very arrival in America (a place he never saw, by the way) was a bad thing and, by extension, so is the United States. In Madison, Wisconsin, vandals destroyed a statue of Colonel Hans Christian Heg a pre-war abolitionist and commanding officer of the 15th Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment. Heg was killed in 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga. The vandals then attacked State Senator Tim Carpenter, a Democrat. In San Francisco, rioters brought down a statue of the aforementioned General Ulysses Grant, commander of Union forces in the war and America’s 18th president. They then set upon statues of Catholic Missionary Junipero Serro and Francis Scot Key, author of Star-Spangled Banner.
Religion will be the left’s next target. Racial activist Shaun King, who is white but pretends to be African American, has called for white imagery of Jesus should be destroyed. King Tweeted, ‘Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy.’
The Democrat Party’s reaction to the chaos has been mixed. From his Delaware bunker, Joe Biden condemned ‘needless destruction’. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who vowed to protect statues of Columbus, said statue toppling is ‘a healthy expression of people saying let’s get some priorities here and let’s remember the sin and mistake that this nation made and let’s not celebrate it.’ New York City mayor Bill De Blasio, who has lost control of the city during the riots, put his wife in charge of deciding which statues will stay and which will go. Already, The American Museum of Natural History has announced that a stature of Theodore Roosevelt flanked by African and Native American guides will be removed. The museum blamed the ‘Hierarchical composition’ of the statue and said ‘many of us find its depictions of the Native American and African figures and their placement in the monument racist.’ De Blasio supports the statue removal.
As the New York City landscape changes, so does the Democrat Party. This week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, head of The Squad of four freshman congresswomen called out by President Trump, easily won her congressional Primary in New York’s 14th District. Over in the 16th District, former school principal Jamaal Bowmen won a landslide victory over sixteen term incumbent Elliot Engle. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Bowmen much to the rage of Elliot Engle, ‘We shouldn’t have one person, from high, even though she’s a colleague of mine, think that she can anoint whoever’s elected,’ he said. Engle is Democrat Party past, while the energy lies with Ocasio-Cortez, the Squad, and Bowmen.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.