We Tear Down Historical Monuments All the Time

The vast majority of public historical monuments in the U.S., including those erected in Southern states, depict men and even a few women who did not participate in the war to preserve slavery. These statues include Greek and Roman heroes, western explorers, signatories to the Declaration of Independence, Biblical characters, martyrs, abolitionists, priests, nuns, Holocaust survivors, leading educators, mayors, aldermen, presidents, members of congress, pioneering scientists, conservationists, authors, leading manufacturers, musicians, movie stars, athletes, segregationists, humanitarians, civil rights leaders, and generals from every subsequent American war.

Hundreds if not thousands of these statues have been removed or relegated to less conspicuous places over the past thirty years, most typically to make way for civic improvements or at the hands of developers building new condos, restaurants, and urban malls.

One might reasonably assume that the right-leaning moderates, the calmer and more measured conservatives currently explaining why Confederate monuments should remain, would be equally disappointed losing these other symbols of our national heritage too.

But the mass eradication of non-Confederate statues has generated little if any conservative opposition. The fact that so much energy is instead reserved solely to protect or justify these monuments connected to slavery is revealing.

If you are simply and honestly committed to preserving America’s complex national “heritage” isn’t it odd that the only statues you take time to speak up about share a relationship to a lost war and/or honoring the defenders of an economic system built around human ownership and the complete domination of one race over another?