Race to Purge Statues, Monuments Spreads Beyond Confederate Targets

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) As many traditionalists and historians have feared and predicted, the Left’s drive to eliminate monuments already is extending well beyond the targeting of memorials related to the Confederacy.

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Gen. PGT Beauregard statue in New Orleans/Photo by Infrogmation (CC)

Indeed, the lunge to expunge history began even before the infamous events in Charlottesville earlier this month – but it has certainly taken on new momentum in the wake of the events in Virginia.

New Orleans, of course, was home to much debate when Mayor Mitch Landrieu led the removal of four Confederate-related memorials even though two of them were erected to celebrate post-war reconciliation rather than racism. In May, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the anti-statue fervor had extended to the city’s famous homage to French mystic Joan of Arc, who of course was a 15th Century Catholic saint and had nothing to do with slavery. Somebody spray-painted the words “Tear it down” on the statue’s base.

PREVIOUSLY: New Orleans Mayor Rips Confederate Monuments from Streets, Then Wants to ‘Come Together’

And in 2016, an angry mob demanded that the American Museum of Natural History in New York remove a statue of former president Teddy Roosevelt.

Those two incidents came before Charlottesville, but the pace has picked up – and not just of Confederate figures such as Robert E. Lee at a chapel at Duke University and also at another place in Duke’s town of Durham, North Carolina. (CNN has been keeping track of all the places in the country planning to remove, or having recently removed, Confederate statues. Others want a West Virginia statue of General Stonewall Jackson to come down. And plenty of people are talking about eliminating Georgia’s famed sculptures at Stone Mountain.)

Of the non-Confederate figures attacked, consider that in Englewood, a large neighborhood in Chicago, vandals twice have defaced a statue of Abraham Lincoln, and a local alderman wants it moved to a library. In one of the incidents, somebody spray-painted nearby the words “F— law.”

Pepperdine University is removing a statue of explorer Christopher Columbus. And National Review Online’s Kyle Smith has noted prominent writers calling for removal of pieces honoring historian Samuel Eliot Morison and statesman Henry Cabot Lodge.

And back in New Orleans, Black Lives Matter activists have noisily demonstrated at the famous statue of Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, and demanded that it, too, be torn down. It’s part of an effort called #TakeemDownNOLA that wants all statues, school names, and street names of anyone they consider racist to be eliminated from the Crescent City.

In California, even a little-remembered Catholic priest has come under attack.

PREVIOUSLY: Confederate Monuments Under Attack Across the Nation

And, while no actual vandalism (or worse) has yet been reported involving anything honoring those of America’s founders who also were slave owners, of course there already have been well-publicized calls for Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to no longer be honored. Even the most famous Jefferson-honoring place of all, the Jefferson Memorial across from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., will now receive “revisions” that emphasize his slave-holding past.

Whether it also will note Jefferson’s early agitation for the elimination of slavery, including in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, is not clear.