Thursday, June 11, 2020

Now We're Defacing Statues to Abolitionists?

Statue to Matthias Baldwin (pic taken in calmer times)
The controversy surrounding some of our nation's statues is understandable. I can understand many people objecting (even passionately) to statues of Christopher Columbus, Jefferson Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and even Robert E. Lee.

But Matthias Baldwin!?

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached full-on Insanity. We are living in the midst of utter incoherence.

The protests and unrests are about (or are supposed to be about) reminding Americans that black lives indeed matter and that civil rights should be guaranteed and safeguarded for all Americans. 

Well, guess what? Matthias Baldwin agreed. Were he alive today, he would almost certainly be marching in the streets protesting the murder of George Floyd. 

Matthias Baldwin was an early abolitionist and civil rights champion. He was a proponent of the importance of education, and funded the education of black children out of his own pocket!

And yet... few people today have heard of him. And rather than his monument serve as a beacon of light or hope or inspiration, it has become the target of rage and defilement.

Vandals have, over the last several days, defaced or destroyed statues and memorials to:

  • the 54th Massachusetts
  • Union soldiers from Philadelphia 
  • Matthias Baldwin, and...
  • Abraham Lincoln

It is inconceivable that someone can champion civil rights and racial equality on the one hand and with the other hand, deface a memorial to the 54th Massachusetts or a monument to Matthias Baldwin.

To read more about what happened to the Matthias Brown statue, click here

It's not just personally inconceivable. It's objectively incoherent, preposterous, and absurd.

Clearly, these vandals - these malcontents - did not pay attention in history class or read a worthwhile history book in their lifetime. But what makes this even harder to grasp (at least for those of us who like to occasionally engage our brain) is that these folks can't even be bothered to read the plaques that normally accompany such statues or memorials!

To be clear, I oppose racism, repudiate white supremacy, support criminal justice reform, and believe in holding all public servants accountable. And I know that not all those protesting for civil rights and equal justice for all support the madness associated with defacing, damaging, or destroying these statues. 

But I hope all of us can agree: Nonsense like this needs to stop!




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