Levar Stoney, the black Democratic mayor of Richmond, Virginia, made the executive decision to remove a statue of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on Monument Avenue to “expedite the healing process for the city.” This demonstrated how cities with liberal majorities can take down statues in an orderly fashion without vandalizing them or pulling them down. Or it demonstrates how Democratic mayors respond to pressure from the self-appointed statue-removal squad.
The left is interested in taking down all kinds of statues, which raises an obvious question: What about the statues the left has put up? No one’s ripping those down.
In 2017, Peter Dreier at BillMoyers.com wrote a piece headlined “Where Are All the Monuments to the Progressive Americans?” He complained most of our country’s statues celebrate military, political and business heroes. “Shouldn’t we also honor the organizers, activists, artists, writers, athletes, judges, and occasional elected officials who fought to make the United States a more humane and inclusive country?” he asked.
Then he listed a few examples of the left’s heroes who have statues.
Exhibit A: “This statue of the pioneering and fearless birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, with a gag over her mouth, stands in Old South Meeting House in Boston. There are no schools named for the controversial socialist and feminist.”
Honk if you find it bizarre to describe Sanger, a racist and eugenicist, as your avatar of “humane and inclusive” policies. Her creation Planned Parenthood is a leading destroyer of black lives before they start. But when black men and women cooperate in abortions, you can’t possibly be allowed to tell them those extinguished lives matter.
They were … inconvenient.
Pro-lifers will show you Sanger’s autobiography in which she discussed speaking before the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan: “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, New Jersey. … In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.”
It’s not surprising that no one has vandalized the Sanger statue. No one has ripped it down and set it on fire. It stands undisturbed. It’s not on public property. The Old South Meeting House was a Puritan church. Conservatives can despair at the “evolution” of this once-Christian space, but not one has vandalized it.
Meanwhile, NPR reported the Boston Art Commission voted unanimously on June 30 to remove Boston’s copy of the Emancipation Memorial depicting a formerly enslaved man at the feet of Abraham Lincoln. That statue has stood in Boston’s Park Square since 1879. But, activists complained, it was a “white-created statue.”
“Boston artist Tory Bullock said the sculpture is a whitewashed portrayal that denigrates an entire group of people,” NPR wrote. “This is a frozen picture. This man is kneeling, he will never stand up,” Bullock said. “This image is problematic because it feeds into a narrative that black people need to be led and freed. … Why is our trauma so glorified?”
Sanger, the racist and eugenicist, remains, while Lincoln was removed. He’s apparently the enemy of the African American people. An image of emancipation is traumatic. The abortion of black babies is apparently therapeutic.
Leftists like Tory Bullock do not understand how people who gladly acknowledge that “black lives matter” would consider the left’s moral posturing to be based more on ideology than reality. Those on the left speak angrily and endlessly of violated “black bodies,” but — to borrow a phrase from George Orwell — they imply some black bodies are more equal than others.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.