We really need to ask ourselves where we have come as a society where almost on a daily basis we see criminals destroying our nation’s history.
For several weeks now, we have seen lawlessness in our streets over the death of George Floyd, who was allegedly killed by a police officer in Minneapolis last month. As we’ve previously stated, the video of Floyd’s death is beyond disturbing, and it appears the police officer who is now in jail was likely responsible for it and we hope that justice is served in that case.
That is for a jury to decide when the trial begins against the officer and three others who have also recently been charged with Floyd’s murder.
While this is very sad and shouldn’t have happened, the continued illegal toppling and vandalism of historic statues has to stop. We’ve sadly watched as statues of Christopher Columbus have been ripped down by mobs, and one of his statues was beheaded. We’ve witnessed a statue of Revolutionary War hero and former President George Washington set on fire and toppled, and we’ve seen countless Confederate statues toppled. We’ve seen the statue of Father Junipero Serra in Father Serra Park in Los Angeles toppled. Statues of Civil War Union general and former President Ulysses Grant and national anthem lyrics writer Francis Scott Key have been toppled, and the World War II memorial in Washington and another in Charlotte, N.C., were vandalized. Lawless protesters have also tried to tear down the statue near the White House of former President Andrew Jackson. Now there are talks amongst these criminals of tearing down the Emancipation Proclamation memorial in Washington. Activists are now going after Jesus Christ, claiming that statues of Jesus are “a form of white supremacy” and should be torn down.
Watching these statues brought down, usually under the cover of darkness by lawless criminals, really makes one think what a bad place our country is in when people think bringing justice for George Floyd will come with the toppling of these historic statues and monuments. Those who think this are simply discrediting the cause they say they represent.
We got news for them, it won’t. The only thing these criminals are doing by toppling these statues, in many cases when police stand by and let them do it, is erasing history that needs to be told.
Sure, some parts of our history are dark and should’ve never happened, but they did happen. These people whose statues they’re toppling lived at very different times than today. They were all products of their time and, yes, some of them were slave owners. It cannot be said enough that, of course, slavery was wrong, but it did happen and we can learn the wrongs of it by explaining to our children and grandchildren through these statues these criminals are toppling.
In an earlier editorial a few years ago, when they were discussing taking Confederate statues down across the country after Charlottesville, Va., we asked, “Where does it end?” We asked: Will they tear down Mount Vernon, Monticello or the White House because they were all built by slaves? With the lawlessness we have been witnessing for the past months in regards to these statues, we wouldn’t be surprised if there become calls to do so.
Where does it end?
Early this week, we learned that the American Museum of Natural History in New York City will remove a statue of former President Theodore Roosevelt from outside its main entrance. The statue shows Roosevelt, the 26th president, on horseback and flanked by an African American and a Native American.
In a statement, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said the museum had asked to remove the statue “because it explicitly depicts black and indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior.”
This is an absolutely ridiculous statement for de Blasio to make and an insult to a man who was instrumental in helping win the Spanish-American War leading the Rough Riders. De Blasio and others would be wise to know that Roosevelt was the first president to invite a black man into the White House for dinner with he and his family. The man he invited was his adviser and friend, Booker T. Washington. Roosevelt was also well known to invite African Americans over to eat and sleep at his house when he was governor of New York, another unpopular move for the times.
Doing so provoked an outpouring of condemnation from Southern politicians and press. This reaction affected subsequent White House practice, and no other African American was invited to dinner for almost 30 years.
These aren’t the actions of a racist man, but of a man who put color aside during a time when it wasn’t popular to do so. The moving of the statue of Roosevelt is pure political correctness run amok, just as the tearing down of a statue of war hero, founding father and former President George Washington and the other statues we mentioned, especially the ones of the Emancipation Proclamation and ones of Jesus.
It’s just beyond sad that lawless mobs almost on a daily basis are ripping down our nation’s history. Again, some of our history isn’t pretty, but it’s a history that needs to be told and learned from and the toppling of these statues makes it harder and harder to do that because we believe it’s much easier to look at something visually and try to understand and learn from it than it is in schools and the ivory towers where sadly they simply don’t teach American history like they should anymore.
The whitewashing of our nation’s history must come to an end now otherwise future generations of Americans will have nothing to learn from.
This we can ill afford to do.