The imagery couldn’t be more direct. Across the nation, rioting and unrest that has killed black Americans and destroyed black neighborhoods has included the defacement of historic monuments, including those to abolitionists.
The last wave of monument destruction, in 2017, largely focused on Confederates and slave holders, erasing all the accomplishments of figures such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson with a scarlet S, for slave-holder. This time, the ignorance has descended even further.
The rioters are now tearing down and defacing memorials wantonly, apparently assuming that if someone is being celebrated that person is “probably a racist,” as the image below says.
This prejudiced ignorance appears to be widespread, and unchecked by local authorities. Several of the defaced monuments are of abolitionists, including the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln, as Tristan Justice reported Thursday. For example:
In the wake of last night's demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall. For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition. pic.twitter.com/LmIHfW2AHj
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 31, 2020
Sculpted by an Italian immigrant who helped build Grand Central Station and his son, given as a gift during the Great Depression as a symbol of the acceptance of Italian immigrants in Minnesota. https://t.co/EviIr85fNk
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) June 11, 2020
Admiral Farragut led the Union fleet at the Battle of Mobile Bay. Farragut's home state of Tennessee seceded, but he remained loyal to the Union. He fought to save his country from destruction and ensured that Americans held in bondage would live free. https://t.co/kPh4Pyf9qy
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) June 1, 2020
“[I]n Boston, demonstrators also vandalized a monument to the 54th Massachusetts regiment, the second all-black volunteer regiment of the Union Army,” Justice writes. “… Add to the growing list of civil rights freedom fighters defaced by social justice protestors a Minnesota memorial to three black men who were lynched in 1920 following false rape accusations from a white woman.”
These mob actions are not the result of accidental ignorance, but of cultivated prejudice. One month ago, I collected just a few pieces of evidence pointing in this direction:
A 2019 poll found… that “more than 80 percent of Americans ages 39 and younger could not say what rights the First Amendment protects, and three-quarters or more couldn’t name any authors of The Federalist Papers.” Another 2019 poll found “just 57 percent of millennials believe the Declaration of Independence ‘better guarantees freedom and equality’ than the Communist Manifesto.” A 2016 Federalist article notes, “40 percent of recent grads were unaware that Congress has the right to declare war and 10 percent think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court.”
In February, I presented more such evidence:
Today, 4 in 10 Americans who are younger than 39 disagree that the United States “has a history we should be proud of,” according to a 2019 poll by FLAG/YouGov. The poll also found that half of all Americans agree the United States is a sexist and racist country, including two-thirds of millennials. Millennials showed the lowest level of agreement with the statement, “I’m proud to be an American.” Thirty-eight percent of “younger Americans do not agree that ‘America has a history that we should be proud of,’” according to the poll. 2019’s annual poll from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 37 percent of millennials think the United States is “among the most unequal societies in the world.”
The anti-American group of recent graduates is not a fringe element. It is a substantial and ominously growing group of voting-age adults.
The recent riots have given us many more indications that America’s education institutions do not merely keep kids ignorant, but actively teach them to hate their country. Just refer to any of the emails and website banners you’ve been subjected to from every company you’ve ever purchased from online, detailing about how they’re all “fighting racism” by frantically donating to people and organizations that make a living off heightened racial tensions.
These messages reveal that the nation’s leadership class has all been re-educated extremely successfully to believe a pack of things that just aren’t true about American history and ideals. They are well-catechized in what is billed as anti-racist attitudes and activities that are rooted in false information and more likely to instead increase racial tensions.
Hardly a one of them, or any other American, can tell you much about George Washington besides he was a slave owner. Hardly one of them can identify Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as bona fide, deep-dyed racists. Not one of them know one of the first acts of Congress — the Congress that existed before today’s Congress, the one that pre-dates the Constitution — was to pass a massive document outlawing slavery in territory newly acquired from Great Britain during postwar negotiations.
But they all have heard of Audre Lorde, whose great contribution to society is basically being black and gay. They are all up on movies directed by black women like Ava DuVernay and books by pathos-filled but fact-challenged black writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates. They all know Michael Brown put his hands up and said “Don’t shoot” even though he didn’t. They’re passing around discredited fake history like The New York Times’s 1619 Project as if it were accurate, and using it to justify supporting totalitarian thought policing because a black guy says this will solve racism.
These people’s heads aren’t empty. Their hate isn’t blind. It’s very well-formed. And it’s been deliberately aimed at the very country that has paid for and overseen their indoctrination into political violence.
I’ve now spent about a decade tracking information like this, and have researched and written about it in more detail than most, and therefore can assure you there is much more to find. Entire books have and could be written to detail more. Each generation of American children has learned less real history than the generation before it. Each generation of American children has instead been subject to greater levels of indoctrination in place of genuine education. The alarms have been sounded for decades, even a century, and nothing effective has been done.
So now we have riots and unfettered monument smashing. This is no accident. It is a logical consequence of convincing ourselves, against all evidence, that America’s public education institutions are largely sound outside a few crazies who never happen to be in one’s own school district, and even if they were, one’s own children would of course be impervious. Not like their stupid dupes of classmates, who in just a few short years will go on to vote and tear down monuments to American abolitionists in the name of anti-racism.
This is what happens when conservatives spend 120 years complaining about the left controlling academia while the politicians conservatives vote for and cheerily profile in our publications keep increasing funding for these intellectual enemies of our country. Seventy years later, God and man are still objects of scorn at Yale, and so is our nation, but still we keep sending them our kids and money, hiring their graduates to teach our children and rule us, and funding their students.
The postwar convention of Minnesota niceness in politics has been a disaster. That’s because cowardice ultimately is not nice. It leaves the innocent and the vulnerable defenseless. And, as with Stockholm Syndrome, some of the preyed upon ultimately turn predator themselves after identifying too strongly with their captors.
How many more statues and American minds have to get smashed before people who genuinely love their country gain the courage to start fighting effectively for her restoration before it’s too late? Here’s part of what that would look like: Civil authorities first stopping vandalism and pursuing the vandals to mete out their just, legally determined penalties; second, politicians who claim to love America fighting for her by refusing to send public funds to institutions that fail to prove their graduates honor the country that pays for their education. At this point, that’s just about all of them.
It’s time for a new, non-racist boycott, divest, sanction movement — for taxpayer-funded education. Liberate public funds from these institutions with a century-long record of failure. Return it to families. At least half of them will be delighted to choose pro-America schools. That’s a lot more than pick pro-America schools now. It would give this country a chance to strive toward its ideals once more rather than burn them in chaos.