As you know, a statue was destroyed this week in Durham, North Carolina. The monument of a soldier was not dedicated to anyone in particular, but symbolized young men who fought for the Confederacy.
It was pulled down and then stomped on by a crew of radical leftists, identified by the local paper as members of the Workers World Party, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America, and the ubiquitous antifa gang. In other words, these people are about as far left as you can go without falling off the edge of the earth.
There is an ongoing and very uncivil war against Confederate statues. The impoverished and crime-ridden city of New Orleans recently spent more than $2-million to take down four monuments. Other cities and towns across the South are making plans to move or demolish dozens of other statues, and Baltimore trashed four monuments in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
Of course, reasonable people can make a powerful argument that statues of Confederate soldiers have no place in America. These men fought to defend the odious practice of slavery.
But no one should ever believe this will end with a few dozen statues. The left is on the warpath against anything it considers distasteful in America’s past.
Slaveholders appear to be next in line, and in that regard Yale University is especially instructive. Last year university president Peter Salovey vowed that Yale’s Calhoun College would keep its name, even though John C. Calhoun, Yale class of 1804, was a powerful defender of slavery.
Just a few months later, Salovey caved to pressure and announced that Calhoun’s name would be sandblasted off any buildings. Salovey exemplifies the “courage” many college administrators are displaying these days.
But why stop with John C. Calhoun? Elihu Yale himself was a slave trader whose actions were arguably worse. You don’t think there are lots of aggrieved people who want the entire university renamed? Think again.
Then there’s Brown, another elite Ivy League institution. It was founded by a slave holder who built the school with money donated by the slave-trading Brown family of Rhode Island.
Princeton has its own issues, but not with a slave owner. Former school president Woodrow Wilson, who later moved to the White House and was a liberal hero, held some truly retrograde views of blacks. The university recently removed his photograph from a dining hall because it was deemed “unduly celebratory.” It was also, you know, not in keeping with Princeton’s eternal desire to be “truly diverse and inclusive.”
While Brown, Princeton, and Yale are in the North, hundreds of schools in the South are named for slave-holders and Confederate officers. If statues of Robert E. Lee have to come down, why in the world does Washington and Lee University get to keep its name? General Lee became the school’s president soon after he surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court House.
When the left is finished with Robert E. Lee, they might begin tearing down all the monuments dedicated to slave-owners George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Sure, that’ll take a while, but left-wing protesters seem to have little on their hands but time and anger.
Back up north, some Philadelphia politicians and protestors are now demanding that a statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo be removed from center city. Rizzo was a popular Democrat, but he was not exactly a racially sensitive guy. Ergo, his statue must go, his memory must be expunged.
This is all reminiscent of the Soviet Union or China’s Cultural Revolution, where out-of-favor officials simply got whitewashed. Their images vanished from photographs, their names were eliminated from history books.
In the Soviet Union, the whitewashing of history finally ended when the evil of communism was toppled, along with statues of Lenin and Stalin. Now we are the ones doing the toppling. Civil War generals, slave owners, just about anyone who is not deemed politically correct by the standards of 2017.
The movement was already well under way before last weekend, but what happened in Charlottesville is an accelerant to the flames.
How far will it go, when will it end? That depends on how emboldened the protesters feel and when public officials will finally draw a line. People on the left, by nature and by definition, are always seeking new ways to be offended, new ways to destroy traditional America. After the schools and towns and buildings and statues, there will surely be something else to tear down.
So while we don’t give financial advice, it may not be a bad idea to buy stock in companies that specialize in sandblasting, demolition, and engraving. They seem destined to be growth industries for decades to come.