Since the events in Charlottesville, progressive figures across the country have begun to advocate eliminating reminders of “offensive” aspects of this nation’s history. Figures who were central to the founding of this nation are getting erased from the public square to pander to these left-wing groups.
A Chicago pastor has reportedly demanded that Mayor Rahm Emanuel remove the names and statues of two presidents who were slave owners from parks on the South Side, saying that the city should not honor slave owners in black communities, according to CBS Chicago. Alarmingly, it seems as if this is just the beginning of what is to come.
A bronze statue of George Washington on horseback is currently standing at the entrance to Washington Park in Chicago. This, according to Bishop James Dukes, pastor of Liberation Christian Center, is an offense to black people across the nation.
“When I see that, I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans,” he said. “Some people out here ask me, say ‘Well, you know, he taught his slaves to read.’ That’s almost sad; the equivalent of someone who kidnaps you, that you gave them something to eat.”
The bishop published an open letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Facebook, making it clear that he sees this founder of our nation not as a hero, but as a villain.
“In an African-American community, it’s a slap in the face and it’s a disgrace for them to honor someone who was a slave owner,” the bishop continued.
Yesterday, President Trump spoke about this very same issue, predicting that people would start clamoring to take down figures such as George Washington as the statue of Robert E. Lee was taken down.
“So this week it’s Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” the president said, as reported by Business Insider. “I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself–where does it stop?”
“So, will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down…are we going to take down statues [of George Washington]? How about Thomas Jefferson? …you’re changing history, you’re changing culture,” Trump continued.
How far will activists go in tearing down offensive monuments? Is it time to just calm down?
In truth, dismantling memorials that some have now come to view as “offensive” doesn’t change our past. But it absolutely can cause us to forget the lessons of the past, dooming upcoming generations to repeating the same mistakes their forefathers made.
It is wholeheartedly wrong to judge a historical figure by the moral standards of modern society. History has far more nuance than many people can fathom. Everyone has his faults, including many of today’s respected Democrat heroes who have their own skeletons in their closets. Franklin D. Roosevelt rounded up Japanese-Americans in internment camps in WWII, while Martin Luther King, Jr. was known for his problems with adultery.
But we won’t see liberals campaigning to remove monuments to these figures from the public square. It seems that “morally offensive history” is only one-sided.