The absolute irrationality of the Black Lives Matter mobs destroying property, defacing monuments without any concept of their historical background seems to grow every day. Some people are paid demonstrators who could care less about racism. Some may actually be Marxists who believe anything is justified to achieve communism. There are always a few crazies to deal with in this world.
But what is really tragic is that many people are concerned, caring people that have been deceived and manipulated into actually think they are doing good. There are Christians that don’t realize that BLM is an atheistic Marxist organization in whose world, the state is the only God. There are good family people that don’t realize that BLM is intent on the destruction of the nuclear family. If you think that destroying monuments and history has anything to do with racism or social justice, think again.
The article below is from The Arizona Republic op ed column, Some monumentally hard decisions.
“One of the recently vandalized monuments is a statue of poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Someone smeared “BLM” and “(expletive) Slave Owners” on the seated figure prominently displayed in the city named after him, Whittier, California.
It happens that Whittier was a fiery abolitionist from Massachusetts. In a famous 1833 pamphlet, he called slavery “the master-evil before which all others dwindle into insignificance.”
And so, who was behind his defacing? It could have been someone from the Black Lives Matter movement ignorant of Whittier’s history. It could have been a goon just out to damage public property. It could have been a rightwing agitator trying to make the BLM movement look ridiculous.
A mindless war against public monuments has developed, and it needs taming. Removing Confederate generals who made war on the United States to preserve slavery may be an easy call, but the future of all public monuments should be determined by public deliberation.
Consider the threats against the controversial statue of Abraham Lincoln and a freed slave at the Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington. Historian David Blight agrees that the image comes off as racist and not something we would commission today. The 1876 monument shows Lincoln standing high over an African American on one knee.
But then Blight asks its critics to “please consider the people who created it and what it meant for their lives in a century not our own.”
African Americans, most of them former slaves, had raised the $20,000 needed to build the monument. Nearly every black organization participated in its unveiling. Is it OK for woke moderns to cancel these African Americans’ sense of their history? I don’t think so.
Much is subject to interpretation. Some see the former slave crouching subserviently before Lincoln. Others see him rising up. Some object to his chains. Others see chains that are breaking, which, of course, is what was happening.
That the sculptor, Thomas Ball, was white should be of no consequence. The emancipated blacks sponsoring the monument hired him, and that was their right. For the record, Ball said he considered Archer Alexander, the former slave who modeled as the freed man, an “agent in his own resistance.”
What, if anything, should be done about the Freedmen’s Memorial, which sits on federal land? Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, plans to introduce legislation to have it removed.
But one hopes she will reconsider, that she will look again with more sensitivity toward those oppressed former slaves who had it built. And she might consider Blight’s proposal to add rather than subtract from what’s there.
Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke during the memorial’s dedication ceremony. Blight, his biographer, suggests commissioning a statue of him giving his famous speech. It was a tough speech criticizing Lincoln for his early hesitation on the slavery question. Though Lincoln “tarried long in the mountain,” Douglass concluded, he eventually arrived.
This reconsideration of the historic figures standing frozen in our downtowns has produced at least one positive outcome. Those willing to engage their brains are learning a lot of complicated history. There are some monumentally hard decisions to make, and only the broader public should make them.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.