Choosing Our Heroes
A Thomas Jefferson statue is taken down while George Floyd is elevated to Jesus status.
Even if you agree with the toppling of Confederate statues — especially of those that occurred last year in
solidarity with capitulation to the Black Lives Matter movement — prominent figures noted that this was a slippery slope and that the Founding Fathers were next.
President Donald Trump was one of those Cassandras issuing the unheard and unheeded warnings against statue toppling. At a news conference in 2017, he remarked: “So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
In response to Trump’s warning, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver snarked: “I’ll tell you where it stops: Somewhere! Any time someone asks, ‘Where does it stop?’ the answer’s always … somewhere.You might let your kid have Twizzlers, but not inject black tar heroin. You don’t just go, ‘Well, after the Twizzlers, where does it stop?’”
What Trump did understand and his critics did not is that these statues were being toppled because they got caught in the crosshairs of a frenzied mob. Mobs are like two-year-olds — they cannot be reasoned with, and they are only stopped when a parent’s guiding hand intervenes. Even worse, mobs, when combined with the guiding hand of a political “progressive” (who by definition is always going one step further), have no limiting principal.
Unsurprisingly, what Trump was warning about has come to pass. New York City Council Democrats recently removed a statue of President and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson from the City Council Chamber. It had been there since 1834 but is now consigned to storage oblivion.
Jefferson wasn’t a perfect man. Putting up a statue of him was not making him a saint. It was, however, marking his historical impact and his importance in the shaping of this nation (and, ironically, the Democrat Party itself). The indictment against Jefferson over his slave ownership is ignorant and lacks historical perspective. He fought for and strongly advocated against international slave trade. His own words in a bill banning slave trade west of the Appalachians after 1800 were used as framework for the 13th Amendment. Allowing the mob to so defame him is yet another charge against the anti-America Left.
These politically correct Neanderthals aren’t against all statue toppling. They just need the space to showcase their own heroes — specifically, George Floyd. Statues have been going up in his honor all over the country, but those who erected them have gone a bridge too far (as these progressives are wont to do). Instead of his statue being a historical reference, they have literally proclaimed Floyd as Jesus.
At Catholic University of America, the Neanderthals have hung a painting entitled “Mother” that depicts George Floyd as Jesus. It draws on the iconic image of Christ’s mother holding the body of Jesus — à la the Pietà — as he was taken down from the cross. Iconography is a tried and true art form in Christian tradition, but Floyd being compared to Jesus is irreverent to the extreme. Many students expressed their displeasure at this painting’s blasphemous content, decrying that it was “just another symptom of the liberalization and secularization of our campus.”
There is purpose in remembering historical figures and erecting statues to mark their accomplishments. They are not representatives of perfection. No man is except Jesus (and George Floyd was no Jesus). Jefferson, though flawed, added to society and the American story. He is a Founding Father who laid the groundwork for freedom of slaves in later generations. George Floyd, who was a career criminal breaking the law yet again before his death, does not deserve a statue, let alone to be elevated to Jesus.
Those of us with moral fortitude and courage need to take a stand against this denuding and warping of American history, because the mob of progressives won’t stop on its own.
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