The far-left push to tear down or deface historical statues and monuments is expanding beyond those of the Confederacy. Vandals and even local government officials have begun targeting statues of America’s founding fathers, Jesus, ancient historical figures, and figures from the Union who fought to end slavery.
Ohio state Rep. Wes Goodman posted a photo on Twitter on Aug. 25 showing a statue of Revolutionary War hero Col. William Crawford, located outside Ohio’s Crawford County Courthouse, that had been decapitated.
Goodman wrote, “The lawless attacks on our history must end!”
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who actively supported the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, announced on Aug. 23 that he had appointed a commission to conduct a 90-day review to recommend the removal of monuments on city property that fall under its definition of “symbols of hate.”
Among the statues de Blasio has on the table for removal are a 77-foot memorial of Christopher Columbus that was given to New York by Italian-Americans in 1892.
During an Aug. 24 rally against the removal of the Columbus statue, Staten Island Councilman Joe Borelli said the monument is “an icon of Italian-American culture.”
De Blasio is also allegedly considering the removal of a statue of former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, who was also a leading general who fought with the Union to end slavery during the Civil War.
Grant was the only known Republican who owned a slave when the Civil War started against the Democrat-led Confederacy. Yet, as New York Times bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza has pointed out, Grant owned the slave before he was a Republican and freed the slave in 1859, ahead of the Civil War.
Even Abraham Lincoln, the former Republican president who led the North to fight the Civil War to end slavery, has been a target for historical destruction. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington was vandalized on Aug. 15 with the phrase “f— law,” and in August, a bust of Lincoln in Chicago was reportedly found defaced and burned.
On Aug. 21, a group of vandals filmed themselves smashing part of a 225-year-old monument of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore. A voice behind the camera narrates the destruction, stating, “Part of our evolution as humans requires tearing down monuments.” The individual equates the statues as representing “white supremacy” and “capitalism.”
Many of the far-left extremist organizations equate all forms of “capitalism” to “fascism” and hold strong ideologies based around identity politics that categorize and judge people according to their race. Among the main extremist groups is Antifa, which uses violence as a tool of suppression and intimidation. The organization originated from a 1920s Soviet Union program to label all rival political parties as “fascist.”
The targeting of statues has not been limited to political figures, however.
In San Anselmo, California, the San Domenico School, a coed school teaching children from kindergarten through 12th grade, has been removing Catholic statues and icons from its campus, the Marin Independent Journal reported on Aug. 24. The Dominican Catholic school is allegedly removing the religious artifacts to become “less Catholic.”
Among the statues that have been removed was one of baby Jesus and St. Mary that formerly stood in the primary school courtyard.
In the French Quarter of New Orleans, a statue of Joan of Arc was vandalized with the phrase “tear it down,” according to local newspaper The Times-Picayune. It reported on May 4 that the vandalism appeared to be related to the city’s debate on removing four Confederate monuments.
Joan of Arc, also known as the Maid of Orléans, was a 15th-century military leader, martyr, and Catholic saint. The Times-Picayune reported that the statue was “a gift of the people of France to the citizens of New Orleans” in 1972.
The movement to destroy historical monuments has even begun to appear in other parts of the world, a phenomena that many have likened to similar movements under the totalitarian and revisionist regimes of Adolph Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Joseph Stalin.
Amid calls to remove statues of English colonialists, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Aug. 25, in an interview with 3AW radio, that such actions were equal to a “Stalinist” revision of history.
He excused the calls to tear down the statues as something limited to the “left, sort of fringe” political groups, and said, “We can’t get into this sort of Stalinist exercise of trying to white out or obliterate or blank out parts of our history.”
“Trying to edit our history is wrong,” he said. “All of those statues, all of those monuments, are part of our history, and we should respect them and preserve them—and by all means, put up other monuments, other statues and signs and sights that explain our history.”
The incidents give credibility to a warning from President Donald Trump, who tweeted on Aug. 17, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson—who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”
“Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” Trump added.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.