Right Opinion

Leftist Statue Demolition Doesn't Go Far Enough

Marvin J. Folkertsma · Aug. 19, 2017

The orgy of statue demolition by thugs posing as the country’s racial watchdogs has generated predictable reactions from ideological purists left and right and stirred ripples of concern among most Americans. Suddenly, national attention is focused on selected personages whose views on race relations likely differed little from those held by most Americans, North and South, during their time. No matter; they fought for the side defending slavery, which now requires the sort of historical cleansing that would warm the heart of any dedicated Stalinist. Thus, monuments to Robert E. Lee and other Confederate Generals, along with those dedicated to the memories of ordinary Confederate soldiers, have been plunging to the ground, defaced, or quietly hoisted away during midnight hours by flak-jacketed workers guarded by police. According to The New York Times, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker stated that “we should refrain from the display of symbols, especially in our public parks, that do not support liberty and equality.”

Fair enough. If reminders of America’s struggle with the South’s “peculiar institution” offend descendants of those most affected by the Civil War’s outcome, we might as well tote them away. In fact, we shouldn’t stop with merely grappling a construction chain around Nathan Bedford Forrest’s towering metallic torso, but continue to eradicate every symbol of America’s past that salts the wounds of current sensibilities. We might as well begin with George Washington and continue through the Civil War until the historical record is wiped clean. Off with their heads! (And horses as well). Let them eat concrete!

But why stop at the Civil War? Aren’t there plenty of Americans who were born before 1995 or thereabouts who affront our sincerest bat-swinging moral sense? Certainly, there are; let’s look at a few, starting with President Woodrow Wilson, regarded by many liberals as the patron saint of everything progressive in America’s history.

Problem is, Woodrow Wilson loathed so-called “hyphenated Americans,” regarding citizens from Germany, Italy, and Ireland with suspicion, as possible (or likely) sources of disaffection, civil disturbances, and treason. He forced Blacks to use separate bathrooms, heaped scorn on their historical development, and, according to Ronald J. Pestritto, condemned Reconstruction “not because the Republican Party was dreaded, but because the dominance of an ignorant and inferior race was justly dreaded.” Naturally, such views are anathema to hyphen-obsessed leftists today, perhaps especially because this minor grammatical tick (the hyphen) should only be applied to minorities that meet their approval, and certainly not to the “privileged” ones Wilson cited. But Wilson’s “inferior race” designation is the real deal-breaker, regardless of one’s political persuasion. Therefore, any artistic or historical monuments representing this president should be eradicated, period.

In all fairness to President Wilson, his views of African-Americans were informed as much by his historicism as by his southern roots — a point Pestritto makes convincingly. However, this was not the case for another progressive from that era, Margaret Sanger, whose crusade against the detritus of unwanted babies gained her condemnation in her day, and a legendary reputation since her death. “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she said, “if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Pretty hard to sugar-coat this comment.

Further, she had little use for immigrants and the poor, as well: “human weeds,” “reckless breeders,” “spawning … human beings who never should have been born.” And the purpose of birth control? “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief aim of birth control." Taking this thought a step further, she declared the importance of creating "a race of thoroughbreds.” The most rabid racists of the Third Reich understood her very well. Thus, if there are any monuments to Sanger, aside from the institution of Planned Parenthood, that is, they should be demolished with screaming rage.

Which brings us to perhaps the most interesting subject in the history of American race relations, Martin Luther King, Jr., especially considering the points this brave man emphasized in his “I Have a Dream” speech. These include King’s Lincolnesque overtones, his inspiration from Jefferson’s famous document, and his insistence on being judged by the content of one’s character and not the color of one’s skin. But the sentiments expressed in this famous address are held in scorn by the American Left today. That is, leftists dismiss Lincoln, revile the Declaration of Independence, and obsess over being judged precisely by the color of one’s skin (along with gender and ethnicity) at the expense of the content of one’s character. Therefore, at best, this famous civil rights leader should be ignored, but to be consistent, he should be dismissed with as much indignation as others deemed racist, which means that monuments to his life and work should be obliterated, although perhaps with as little fanfare as possible.

Not that any of this will be done, of course. Woodrow Wilson’s statism makes up for his other sins, and Margaret Sanger’s views on abortion can simply be understood as a precursor to the much more palatable “pro-choice” position taken today. King presents a problem, of course, so the best strategy is simply to ignore him, ditch his non-violent resistance rhetoric, and get on to the business of annihilating as much offensive American history as possible.

How could we imagine Wilson, Sanger, and King reacting? Wilson, most likely with indifference, and Sanger, perhaps with approval. But I think Martin Luther King Jr. would be crying.

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