In the wake of the violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, multiple American cities are set to move forward with plans to tear down more Confederate statues upon realizing that being associated with literal Nazis is not a great look.
Baltimore, Maryland and Lexington, Kentucky both confirmed Tuesday that the monument removal process was underway. Lexington mayor Jim Gray actually accelerated plans in light of the Charlottesville protests, according to an interview he gave Reuters on Monday. The city governments of Memphis, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida also kicked off initiatives to remove Confederate statues from their public property.
Other cities were quicker on the uptake, and have already gotten to work dismantling these racist lawn ornaments. A Confederate statue named “Old Joe” in Gainesville, Florida was removed Monday after 116 years of display.
And for cities that haven’t quite caught the “fuck-the-Confederacy” bug yet, protesters have taken remodeling into their own hands. On Monday, protesters in Durham, North Carolina pulled down a statue commemorating “the boys who wore gray” to raucous applause.
The above video is a treat for a number of reasons. The visual element alone of a statue being destroyed is, simply put, a ton of fun. Ask Roland Emmerich. Then there’s the destruction of a tangible symbol of white supremacy and a particularly shameful chapter in America’s history being dismantled. And the fact that this is an visual representation of the power of organized, direct action? Delicious.
Some conservatives have extrapolated that as Confederate statues fall, other monuments are soon to follow.
But such speculation betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what drives the push behind the removal of the Confederate monuments and further reenforces the idea that patriotic iconography is the domain of conservatives alone. The Confederate statues aren’t offensive because they portray a time period in American history. They are offensive because they glorify a government so intent on the right to own other human beings that they forfeited their American-ness.
Also, the Iwo Jima Memorial is straight up way too big to topple that easily, so there.
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