Angry mobs are tearing down and defacing monuments across America. They make no distinction between Confederate and Union, abolitionist and pro-slavery, 15th-century figures and 20th. They don’t care when a monument was erected, who built it, or why. They have not come to debate or persuade their fellow citizens to relocate these statues to museums or private property. They believe the debate is over and that they have won.
Their target is not the Confederacy. It is the United States. They mean to destroy symbols of American history writ large, because to them all of American history is racist and genocidal. Their goal is not to cleanse a nation they love of monuments to Confederate traitors who tried to secede, but to cleanse their consciences of ever having loved such an evil and irredeemably racist country in the first place.
That is why you see mobs defacing statues of abolitionists like Matthias Baldwin and Union war heroes like Adm. David Farragut and Gen. George Thomas. That is why the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Philadelphia was vandalized this past weekend with the words “committed genocide.” That is why statues of Christopher Columbus were torn down or beheaded in three cities last week. That is why officials in Dallas recently removed a Texas Ranger statue from Love Field Airport. That is why a mob of college students toppled two statues of American pioneers on the University of Oregon campus. That is why Black Lives Matter protesters in San Antonio, Texas, are threatening to march on the Alamo.