The battle over America’s history reignited following the weekend’s deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia. The protest against the scheduled removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee led leftist organizations and politicians to step up their long-running war on Confederate monuments.
Protesters in Durham, North Carolina took matters into their own hands Monday, destroying a nearly century-old monument to the state’s civil war dead. More than 30,000 North Carolinians died fighting for Southern independence from 1861 to 1865, a figure representing around one-in-eleven white men in the state.
After tieing a “bungie-like cord” around the neck and arm of a Confederate soldier statue, protesters toppled it to the ground. Video shows the crowd screaming, kicking, and spitting on the contorted mass.
— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) August 14, 2017
“Sheriff’s deputies recorded the event but did not intervene,” reported the Herald-Sun‘s Virginia Bridges. Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said in a facebook post his office is working to identify all individuals involved. Late Tuesday, deputies arrested 22-year-old college student Takiyah Thompson, alleging she climbed the ladder and placed the rope around the monument.
“I’m tired of white supremacy keeping its foot on my neck and the necks of people who look like me,” Thompson said during a news conference. “The statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people live in, and it had to go.”
According to ABC11, Thompson is a member of the far-left “Communist-platform Workers World Party and a student at N.C. Central University.”
The Workers World Party issued a statement Monday, calling Charlottesville — an event that attracted just a couple hundred people — the watershed in the united struggle against fascism:
The events in Charlottesville will long be remembered as a watershed in the developing movement to tear down the walls of white supremacy and all forms of bigotry and unite the popular forces fighting for a better world. The people are showing by their actions that only by taking the fight for justice into their own hands, with no confidence in the organs of state power, can they make progress.
On Aug. 14, youths in Durham, N.C., tore down a Confederate statue with their own hands, expressing their fury at the murder in Charlottesville.
Long live the independent struggle of this new progressive movement against the fascists, the cops and the capitalist establishment!
The Durham crowd, according to the Herald-Sun, additionally included members of the Triangle People’s Assembly, Industrial Workers of the World, Democratic Socialists of America, and Antifa. More arrests are expected.
Monday’s events are representative of the growing radicalization of America’s left.
Alissa Ellis, of the Workers World Party, told the Herald-Sun that now is the time for people to embrace multiple tactics. “‘We need to shun passive, white liberalism,’ she said, the kind that elevates white voices over brown and black.”
Black Lives Matter, another leftist movement that emerged in 2013 after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, called Monday for all Confederate flags, statues, and groups to be illegal in the U.S.
After WWII, Germany outlawed the Nazis, their symbols, salutes & their flags. All confederate flags & statue, & groups should be illegal.
— BLMChicago (@BLMChi) August 14, 2017
Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center counted more than 1,500 items in a “far from comprehensive” study “to catalog and map Confederate place names and other symbols in public spaces.” Their findings include monuments, schools, military bases, county and city names, and holidays — all targets to be removed, changed, or destroyed — and it appears Charlottesville has accelerated the efforts.
On Monday, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pledged that she would remove four Confederate-related monuments. According to the Baltimore Sun, however, this “wasn’t enough for some members of the Baltimore City Council, who said statues recognizing Confederate leaders should be destroyed, not moved.”
“These people were terrorists,” said City Councilman Brandon Scott. “They were traitors. Why are we honoring them?”
By Tuesday, just a day later, “in a stealth purging of history, the city of Baltimore removed [the] four Confederate statues from city property under cover of night,” Breitbart reported.
“It’s done,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.”
Officials in Lexington, KY, Memphis, TN, and Jacksonville, FL among others have also vowed to accelerate efforts to remove Confederate monuments.
In Georgia, the fight is zeroing-in around Stone Mountain Memorial, a giant carving of three Confederate Civil War generals on the side of a mountain that took nearly 50 years to complete after the project began in 1923.
Democrat candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams released a statement calling for the destruction of the 158-foot-long bas-relief, which depicts Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.
As Breitbart News’ Warner Todd Huston reported, the idea to destroy the mountain-side quickly spread among Georgia liberals. A state socialist group tweeted a picture of the monument, calling it “the final boss of Confederate monuments. We’re not stopping unless we replace these scumbags.”
This is the final boss of confederate monuments. We're not stopping unless we replace these scumbags with Outkast. pic.twitter.com/HdqepIDTwe
— Metro Atlanta DSA 🌹 (@MetroATLDSA) August 15, 2017
Donna Brazile, who has twice worked as the interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, shared an article Monday calling on Congress to remove eight Confederate statues on display in Congress.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) August 14, 2017
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are calling for their removal as well.
“Confederate memorabilia have no place in this country and especially not in the United States Capitol. These images symbolize a time of racial discrimination and segregation that continues to haunt this country and many African-Americans who still to this day face racism and bigotry,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MI) said in a statement to The Hill.
The leftist activists and Democratic politicians calling for the removal of memorials to Confederate war dead and the statues of Confederate leaders have made no distinction between them and other monuments to American history. Many of the founding fathers owned as many or more slaves as the civil war-era leaders whose images they are calling to erase. American veterans of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Mexican-American War, not to mention the Union soldiers of the American Civil War, all fought to defend a country that had the institution of slavery.
On Tuesday, President Trump pushed back during a press conference saying, “This week, it is Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Amanda House is Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmandaLeeHouse.