The routine removal of Confederate statues signifies a new stage in the evolution of political progressives. Their vision for a new order that can provide social justice for the so-called oppressed is becoming a secular religion. Assaults on statues are symptomatic that the new faith is working to destroy traditional values. The birth of a new religion—even a secular one—is always a dangerous time. Immature faiths tend toward totalitarian treatment of unbelievers while they fight among themselves over arcane points to settle upon a canonical creed.
As they work-out their victimology creed, Confederate statues serve as handy symbols where they can physically act out their hatred for the past. Under the influence of corrupted historian-activists, progressives imagine that Robert E. Lee’s recently removed statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond was erected to celebrate White Supremacy. In truth, it was put there to honor the leadership he provided to the Army of Northern Virginia, which kept the Union armies at bay for four years against long odds. Unlike other Southern armies Lee’s was composed of soldiers from every Confederate state.
Starting in 1874—four years after Lee died—it took sixteen years of collecting donations from all Southern states before the required $52,000 was raised. Unlike at removal last month, no tax dollars were used to erect it. A crowd of 150,000, including blacks, attended the statue’s unveiling in 1890. Despite the city’s smaller population 131 years ago, that crowd was about one hundred times larger than the one that cheered its destruction last month. Given that nearly half of Richmond’s 225,000 population is black, last month’s small crowd suggests that the removal and defacement of Confederate statues is not a priority for most blacks. It’s primarily done to provide virtue-signaling opportunities for Democrat politicians like Governor Ralph Northam. An ephemeral photo-op for any politician is an inexcusable reason for destroying a 131-year-old statue erected with funds provided by thousands of small donations when the South’s per capita income was half the national average. Northam says the statue does not represent the values of today’s Virginians. If that were so, why was the crowd at the removal so small?
Perhaps a Democrat Georgia legislator’s reaction to a proposal that would place a statue of Georgia-born-and-raised Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on the state Capitol grounds shows that political conservatives are the true targets of those tearing down Confederate statues. When asked her opinion about the proposal, state Representative Donna McLeod said, “I’d rather them keep a Confederate monument than [erect] a statue of Clarence Thomas. That’s how much I don’t like the idea.” If you are a political conservative with no connection to Confederate Heritage, you may think the statue destroyers are targeting a supposedly immoral dead civilization whereas McLeod’s remark reveals the true target is you. In short, the whole destroy-Confederate-statues movement is a dreadful fraud that is divisive instead of inclusive as its proponents falsely claim.