Some on the left have extended the fight over removing Confederate statutes to statues of Founding Fathers who owned slaves. They claim that these statues, like the Thomas Jefferson statue at the University of Virginia, also need to go down because of the racism of the men they celebrate.
These people are being wildly dishonest. They aren’t actually attacking the racism of the Founding Fathers. Rather, they are going after the other ideas they represent: the ones on which America was founded. In short, it’s not the racism part they hate, it’s the American part.
The Monument Question
To some Southerners, Confederate symbols may represent respect for one’s heritage and regional pride. However, the fact is that those men broke off from the rest of the country for an evil and reprehensible cause. Modern opinions matter very little: historically, the Confederacy existed primarily as a violent defense of racism and slavery.
I personally find it understandable for some people to want statues of Confederate leaders removed. It’s very similar to the call to remove the Confederate flag from public spaces. Those who advocate for their removal reasonably protest the apparent celebration of men who are remembered for their willingness to die to preserve slavery.
However, I hesitate to fully support removing these historical monuments. It’s clear that left is the driving force behind the push to remove the statues of Confederate leaders. It is also quite clear that Americans generally oppose their efforts. Recent polls show that a clear majority of Americans (including a plurality of black Americans) want the statues to remain.
Antifa and leftists at large move this to a drastically new level in the call to remove statues of Founding Fathers.
A Key Distinction
The big difference between removing statues of Confederate leaders and those of the Founding Fathers is each group’s legacy. Confederate leaders are remembered for their actions defending slavery. However, the Founding Fathers are remembered for their creation of America, the greatest country the world has ever seen.
The statues of these men represent the most historically significant aspects about them. Yes, some of the Founding Fathers certainly had serious individual flaws. Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and Ben Franklin was a womanizer. However, those are not the primary reasons they are remembered. They are remembered for their contributions to America’s founding.
This is real reason why Antifa and company want the founding fathers’ statues removed. They are attacking what the statues are celebrating: the founding principles of America.
The far left, if it truly wants to purge all monuments to racism, is certainly hypocritical. Racist leftist figures, like Karl Marx and even progressive president Woodrow Wilson, are still largely celebrated. That’s because Wilson and Marx, like the Founding Fathers, are not remembered for their other flaws, but for the ideas they pushed forward.
Seeing Through The Distractions
The left celebrates Wilson, Marx, and other leftists because of their leftist ideas. They hate the Founding Fathers because of their ideas. The other flaws of these men, such as racism, do not even come into the equation.
Don’t get distracted. The racism and other flaws in these American figures are merely raised to hide an anti-American agenda. So, when confronted with this argument, remember the reasons why those statues are up in the first place.