Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Wrecking history
The erasure of our country’s history continues at the hands of a mob of the professionally enraged, who as true Vandals know nothing of what they smash save that it produces a satisfying thud.
Consider the Emancipation Memorial statue in Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Park, targeted by such a crowd and saved — so far — only by a massive police presence and the threat of federal action against anyone moved to swing a hammer at it. For decades, this was America’s only monument dedicated to the momentous act of emancipation. Paid for by black Americans and dedicated by Frederick Douglass, it has huge historical significance.
Which matters not to Ronald Denson Jr., a 36-year-old D.C. resident and activist who called the Emancipation Memorial a national embarrassment: “It’s demeaning, hurtful and disgusting,” he said. “I would hate it, if it were a statue of me up there kneeling below (Lincoln).” So the monument must go because it violates Denson’s refined 21st century enragisme, sentiments echoed by Washington D.C.’s Congressional Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Lincoln isn’t alone. In an act of wanton destruction that demonstrates the character of the mob to which Democratic leaders do obeisance, rioters in Madison, Wisconsin, tore down a statue of Union Officer Hans Heg and threw it in a lake. Heg was an immigrant, an abolitionist and the highest-ranking Wisconsin officer to die in the war that ended slavery in this country: He fell at Chickamauga at 33 years old. If those who threw him down didn’t know his story, that’s an indictment of Wisconsin’s educational system. If they didn’t care, it’s another evidence of the debasement masquerading as social concern currently gripping the American left.
Ulysses S. Grant’s statue was knocked down by rioters in San Francisco, again proving that city’s preeminence in lunatic activities. Yes, the man who, as general of the Union armies, successfully ended the rebellion of the slaveholding Confederacy and who, as president, successfully stamped out the first iteration of the Ku Klux Klan, America’s best-known domestic terrorist organization. He had to go because he was once gifted with a slave, who he freed within the year despite considerable economic and social pressure not to do so.
Washington has been torn down, as well. And Jefferson. As an aside, remember when President Donald Trump predicted this in 2017 and was ridiculed by America’s self-selected intellectual elite?
There seems to be no limiting principle to the carnage: New York activist Shaun King wants all images of “white Jesus” destroyed because “they are a form of white supremacy.” Saying these images are “created as tools of oppression,” he called them “racist propaganda,” which must be obliterated. Whether he has a similar animus against other non-Palestinian looking images of the Messiah is unclear but doubtful. King has an agenda that he shares with other members of the seething and violent mob controlling various of our major cities, and it’s not theological.
Eliminating public reminders of the past is simply another step in the left’s long game of eroding the republic away to nothing. They have labored mightily in all levels of education to create an image of the United States not as a hopeful place or as a protector of freedom, but as a deeply evil country that got what it did only by taking it from others. Their imagined America is not good, but wicked; not free, but oppressive. It must be done away with through fomenting internal conflict, through sowing false history, through encouraging the unthinking destruction of everything that came before wokeness and by identifying anyone who dares to oppose this madness as the 21st century version of a witch.
This is a sad moment because those with an appreciation of history realize that this destruction will not end in a new nation founded on the professed principles of tolerance and liberty but in the eventual imposition of a tyranny that will serve only its leaders’ interests and possess both capacity and willingness to crush everyone willing to say it nay. Freedom and the individual will vanish, replaced by the requirement for a slavish and public dedication to the ephemeral goals of the revolutionary mob. We’ve seen this often enough before.
When the orgy of hatred, violence and bloodshed finally swamps us, it will leave behind not liberty, but only slaves and masters. For most, “equity” will be the equality of enforced misery, and we will have no one but ourselves to blame.
Morgan Liddick’s column “On Your Right” publishes Tuesdays in the Summit Daily News. Liddick spent 27 years working for the U.S. Foreign Service, primarily living abroad. He also spent 12 years teaching U.S. history and Western civilization at community colleges in Colorado and Texas. He lived in Summit County as recently as 2015. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.