Confederate Statue Controversy Flares Up
The Texas Legislature has taken up a measure that will settle the current imbroglio over whether or not to tear down statues and monuments of Confederate historical figures, and anyone else the left finds objectionable, that would make it more difficult to do so in the Lone Star State.
The bill has just passed the Texas Senate.
According to the Texas Tribune, the bill “–would require two-thirds of members in both legislative chambers to approve of the removal, relocation or alteration of monuments or memorials that have been on state property for more than 25 years.
City or county monuments that have been up for at least 25 years could only be removed, relocated or altered if approved by a super-majority of the governing board.
“Monuments and memorials that have been around less than 25 years could not be altered without approval from a state agency, state official or local government body, depending on who erected it.
State or local entities who skirt the law would be subject to a fine for each violation. The bill tentatively passed the upper chamber in a party-line 19-12 vote.
The bill does not specifically mention Confederate monuments but would have the effect of protecting them anyway.
The fact caused Democrats, particularly African American members of the Texas Senate, to express feelings of outrage and even pain.
The battle just concluded in the Texas Senate and due to move to the Texas House concerns a campaign from the left to tear down Confederate monuments and statues, many erected after the Civil War in southern states as acts of defiance against that conflict’s resolution.
The anti-Confederate side claims that they feel that people who fought for slavery and for the breakup of the United States should not be honored with monuments, an arguable stance.
Opponents of tearing down the monuments are, with certain exceptions, taking the view that history, even the unpleasant parts of it, should not fall under the wrecking ball.
The monuments, no matter what their original purpose was, should be used as teaching tools.
Destroying statues because one finds them objectionable is something that groups like the Taliban do, such as when they blew up ancient statues to the Buddha that dated back to pre-Islamic Afghanistan.
The controversy erupted into violence in Charlottesville, Virginia when protests over the removal of a statue to Robert E. Lee degenerated into street battles between Neo Nazis and Antifa.
A young woman named Heather Heyer was killed when a Neo Nazi drove his car into a group of protesters.
The arguments offered by the anti-Confederate iconoclasts would be more credible if they confined their attentions to monuments to Confederate historical figures.
However, the modern vandals are expanding their targets to include figures such as Christopher Columbus and even certain of the founding fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
A case in point concerns a mural depicting scenes from the life of George Washington that adorns George Washington High School in San Francisco.
A group objects to two panels in the mural, one that depicts Washington next to a group of explorers and what appears to be a dead Native American and another that show him next to a group of African American slaves.
The theory is that seeing these panels would “traumatize” Native Americans and African American students.
Ironically the mural was painted under the New Deal era program called the Federal Art Project by Victor Arnautoff, an émigré from Russia and later a member of the Communist Party.
He sought to depict not only the heroic parts of George Washington’s life, but some of the more problematic ones, such as the fact that the father of our country owned slaves.
The people who want to tear down the mural are attacking a work of art that depicts Washington as having human flaws, and not just a heroic figure, something the left should support if it were consistent with its expressed views.
The motives of people who want to tear down monuments have less to do with the subject of the works than the fact they represent American history.
They are moved out of a hatred of America, its founding, and its history which they regard as unrelentingly evil.
The campaign is pure Howard Zinn Marxist inspired malice.
The Texas Legislature is undertaking a pragmatic way to put a stop of the movement to vandalize American history by making it impossible to undertake within the confines of Texas.
The legislation moving through the Texas Legislature could serve as a model for other states and, perhaps, even the congress to follow.