It began with the Confederate statues, but perceptive people knew it would not end there. Over the past several weeks, rampaging mobs across the country have vandalized, defaced, destroyed, torn down, or demanded that officials remove not only monuments to southern generals, but statues of Christopher Columbus, Spanish conquistadors, early 20th century politicians, abolitionists, Revolutionary War generals, and others. In Oregon, a statue of Thomas Jefferson has just been toppled. In Boston, activists are calling for the removal of a replica statue of Abraham Lincoln that was originally paid for and commissioned by freed slaves. Even a statue of Mahatma Ghandi was desecrated.
In most of these cases where “protesters” have taken it upon themselves to simply destroy and discard any monument they happen to find personally displeasing, no attempt has been made to prevent the crime and enforce the law. We should note that almost every state categorizes the destruction of property worth $500 or more as a felony. These statues are works of art, sculpted by hand decades or centuries ago. They are worth many thousands of dollars or more. The mob is, then, committing a felony crime. But we have learned that mobs — provided that they demonstrate the correct political leanings — can do what they want, up to and including the commission of serious felonies.
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