Portland anarchists crowned a season of monument destruction in October 2020 when they pulled down the city’s Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln statues and attacked the nearby Oregon Historical Society—despite its having been so woke and feminist for years it could be called the Oregon Hysterical Society. This occurred on what Antifa organizers billed as an “Indigenous Day of Rage” (something that was about as genuinely “indigenous” as the Boston Tea Party) and coincided with Portland’s official (anti-) holiday refuting Columbus Day—Indigenous People’s Day—which promises to grow more strident and violent, if no more indigenous, annually.
Last October, the nation and the city weren’t as far gone as they are now. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler felt compelled to stand with the police chief and denounce the rioters’ actions. But in doing so, he followed the same pattern he and the city used to acquiesce to anarchist and Black Lives Matter political terror over the summer of 2020: denouncing the violence, affirming the anarchists’ right to speech, even sympathizing with the goals of anti-police rioters, and conspicuously not defending their targets—then it was the police, in this instance, it was our history.
Earlier this month, a 21-foot-tall bronze statue of Robert E. Lee — perhaps the most famous monument to the Confederate general — was removed from Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Supporters of the statue’s removal, including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), hailed the event as a triumph for racial justice.
The left has decided that Lee, the most recognized and celebrated figure of the Confederacy, is intolerable, a man who should be erased from American history. This maelstrom surrounding Lee has reached a fever pitch in recent years, as the woke movement has grown.
In short, anyone who dares mention Lee at all better demonize him as pure evil or else face the wrath of the progressive mob. This is retroactively imposing cancel culture on the past, while silencing free speech today.
In this context, Allen Guelzo’s newly released biography on the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee: A Life, is especially welcome and important.
The list of American statues and other monuments that have been toppled, decapitated, defaced, or removed since the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis grew longer almost daily through June and into July.
A mob cheered as it pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In Washington, D.C., rioters used ropes to tear down a bronze depiction of Albert Pike, a Confederate general, and then set the 11-foot statue on fire.
It’s been two weeks since a Christopher Columbus statue was toppled outside the Minnesota Capitol, but the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said the investigation remains ongoing.
A spokesperson for the agency told KSTP chief political reporter Tom Hauser that the “investigation continues as the [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] works to identify other participants in the incident, beyond the leader.”
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said he supports tearing down statues Tuesday, noting that it is a powerful statement about equality and anti-racism.
“People are making a statement about equality, about community, to be against racism, against slavery. I think those are good statements,” Cuomo said Tuesday on “Today.”
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King called Monday for the removal of statues, murals and stained glass windows that depict Jesus as a “white European,” which he claimed “are a form of white supremacy.”
“Yes, I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,” King, a former surrogate on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, wrote on Twitter. “They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.”
The statue of a Roman Catholic saint, Junipero Serra, will be removed from public display over accusations that statues of the missionary reflect oppression of indigenous peoples, according to city officials.
The mayor of Ventura, California, representatives from the Barbareno/Venureno Band of Mission Indians, and a pastor of the Mission San Buenaventura issued a joint statement agreeing to take down a bronzed, 9-foot statue of Serra and have it “moved to a more appropriate non-public location” on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.