Commentary: The Myth of Righteous Vandalism

The fevered frenzy against public monuments has caused varied reactions. Among scholars, the main symptom is seemingly contagious dispassion. When a New York Times columnist spoke with art historian Erin Thompson, for example, their interview closed with Thompson recommending the use of chains for those interested in inverting large objects. She appears to have an affinity for neither art nor history. Thompson may have caught the bug from archaeologist Sarah Parcak, who recently — and apparently satirically — briefed mobs struggling to dislodge obelisks. “It is sometimes complained,” drawls historian William Cavert, “that such acts erase history.” According to him, that is a popular grievance against the destruction of statues that historians and scholars almost universally dismiss.

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Filmmaker Ken Burns Takes a Knee, Declares ‘We Have to Get Rid of’ Confederate Monuments

In an interview on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time Tuesday, filmmaker Ken Burns voiced his support of the mob attacks on historical works of art depicting figures and events surrounding the Confederacy and the Civil War.

“I think we’re in the middle of an enormous reckoning right now in which the anxieties and the pains and the torments of centuries of injustice are bubbling up to the surface, It’s very important for people like me, of my complexion, to be as quiet as possible and to listen,” Burns began.

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While Confederate Statues Come Down, Other Symbols Targeted

Spectators in North Carolina’s capital cheered Sunday morning as work crews finished the job started by protesters Friday night and removed a Confederate statue from the top of a 75-foot (232 meter) monument.

Across the country, a peaceful protest in Portland, Oregon, against racial injustice turned violent early Sunday after baton-wielding police used flash-bang grenades to disperse demonstrators throwing bottles, cans and rocks at sheriff’s deputies near downtown’s Justice Center.

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Commentary: Unmasking Marble and Bronze

Protests and looting were supplanted last week by an orgy of more symbolic destruction. Statues of various figures from our civilization’s past—Christopher Columbus, a Texas Ranger, numerous confederate Civil War memorials, and even Philadelphia’s Frank Rizzo—have been toppled, defaced, or scheduled for removal by compliant officials.

In the same spirit, a Senate GOP committee recently voted to rename military bases named after confederate generals. Those names—Fort Bragg and Fort Hood, among them—have acquired their own connotations as centers of excellence, but must be renamed because their long-forgotten namesakes fought on the losing side of the Civil War.

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North Carolina Mayor Threatens Legal Action If Group Fails to Remove Confederate Statue

A North Carolina mayor is threatening legal action unless a women’s historical society removes a statue of a Confederate soldier that it owns in downtown Winston-Salem. During a Tuesday event, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines announced that City Attorney Angela Carmon sent a letter to the Daughters of the Confederacy organization…

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Tennessee House Votes to De-Fund Memphis ‘Bicentennial Celebration’ After the Midnight Statue Removal Debacle

Using ‘the power of the purse,’ the Tennessee House of Representatives passed an amendment by a vote of 56-31 Tuesday to de-fund Memphis’ bicentennial celebration by $250,000 as a consequence to the overnight removal of two Confederate monuments in late 2017. “If you recall, back in December, Memphis did something that removed historical markers in…

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Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner is the Director of ‘Memphis Greenspace,’ Which Took Down Civil War Monuments

The hasty removal of two Confederate monuments Wednesday overnight has sparked a number of questions into the specifics of the transaction between Memphis city officials and the virtually unknown non-profit corporation that bought the properties, called “Memphis Greenspace.” Shelby County Commission member Van Turner held a press conference Thursday to…

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Gubernatorial Candidate Mae Beavers Criticizes Memphis City Council Decision to Remove Confederate Monuments

Republican gubernatorial candidate and former State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) released a statement on Thursday criticizing the Memphis City Council for a series of actions that resulted in the removal of statues in Memphis parks under the cover of darkness Wednesday night honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and…

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Knoxville Monument Protest Ends Without Violence

The Confederate monument protest in Knoxville Saturday ended without violence, police said. The Knoxville Police Department (KPD) tweeted Saturday that the demonstration in Fort Sanders was “peaceful and successful.” The protest was held against a monument in the historic neighborhood that honors fallen Confederate soldiers from the Battle of Fort…

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Knoxville Preparing for Protests Saturday, Bans Firearms

Tennessee Star

  The city of Knoxville is bracing for demonstrations Saturday afternoon featuring a rally in support of a Confederate monument and counterprotesters, but a prohibition on firearms is raising concerns among some gun rights advocates. Because of the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, two weeks ago, Knoxville city officials are…

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