At VICE, a left-wing website for news and opinion, writer Wilbert L. Cooper offered justification for why the monument honoring Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt should be destroyed. In “Let’s Blow up Mount Rushmore”, Cooper writes “Donald Trump says removing confederate statues is a slippery slope that could get out of control. Maybe he's right—would that be such a bad thing?”

Cooper wrote that President Trump “painted a picture of a slippery slope where those fighting for the removal of Confederate statues today might be destroying tributes to more mainstream slave-owning icons like George Washington tomorrow.” He noted that Trump lamented that "the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!" 

He wrote that both Jefferson and Washington were “remarkable individuals who helped usurp British rule in America and...establish a new empire. But they also enslaved their fellow man, committing special kinds of inhumane acts that should never be confined to footnotes. Unfortunately, that is exactly how those troublesome truths are treated when you face the awesome grandeur of Rushmore, a monument so incredible it obscures the multifaceted nature of these old dudes, transmogrifying them from individuals with a capacity both for greatness and evil into pure American deities.”

Cooper admitted that he would not want Barack Obama similarly “lionized with some sort of larger-than-life monument, either.” He added that as “great as the optics of Obama's presidency were, they seem to have done little to heal the wounds of racism in this nation or dismantle the institutional apparatuses that fuel injustice.”

He wrote that those ideas and legacies of the past with which he is in disagreement should be destroyed: “Let's take with us the righteous ideas and beliefs and leave everything else on the pyre.”

Writing that Trump is “basically justifying neo-Nazism, it seems unthinkable that we will ever see a day when there is a serious push to blow up Rushmore and other monuments like it. But if that moment ever arrives, I suspect I'd be onboard. Demystifying the historical figures of the past, pulling them off the great mountain top back down to Earth where they shat, farted, spit, pissed, fucked, raped, murdered, died, and rotted seems like important business for this country. As long as we allow those men to be cults of personality who exist beyond reproach, we're never going to be able to see them for all of their good and all of their evil.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was interviewed on Fox News on Thursday. He likened the current push from the left to destroy Confederate monuments to similar destruction  wrought by the Muslims terrorist groups such as ISIS and the Taliban. Speaking rhetorically, Gingrich said “Maybe we need a Committee to Perfect American History. You could decide, for example, about Sen. Bob Byrd, a Democrat who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Should we erase all references to Bob Byrd? Former member of the Supreme Court Hugo Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Should we erase all memory of Hugo Black?” While he said that he understood the symbolism involved, he pointed out that there are “huge problems” for the nation to face, including a wave of shootings in Baltimore and Chicago. “All of this is a lot of noise. It doesn’t fix a single one of the underlying key problems that have trapped people in poverty and violence in America.”

 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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