In San Francisco, the protestors toppled a statue of Grant, the Union general who defeated the Confederate army under Lee. In Philadelphia, they defaced the statue of Matthias Baldwin, a prominent Abolitionist who led the opposition to slavery. In Boston they attacked the monument to the 54th Massachusetts, the first Black American regiment, a unit with many who valiantly gave their lives in the fight to overturn slavery. There are many other monuments and statues that are being attacked that are not Confederate generals. The protestors are attacking any American heroes. They are anti-American pseudo-revolutionaries. They are trying to show their power. Their acts of destruction are overt intimidation. They don’t care about black lives — they just want to use black lives in their efforts to topple America. They hate monuments that show American progress from slavery to freedom.
That is why every statue needs to be rebuilt, repaired, and put back in place. We can add new statues and new plaques. Those who destroyed our public art should get long prison terms. We should venerate people of the past for the good they did in their time, while recognizing no one today will be seen as perfect in the eyes of the future. None of the defaced monuments is a monument to slavery. Attacking them does not help honor George Floyd in the slightest.