John Jay College Professor of Criminal Justice Erin Thompson advised on social media how to topple monuments such as a Christopher Columbus statue so that “it’ll go [down] faster.”
“I’m a professor who studies the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and I just have to say… use chain instead of rope and it’ll go faster,” said professor Erin Thompson on Twitter.
The tweet — which has garnered more than 93,000 retweets and over 382,000 likes as of Friday afternoon — was in reply to a video of protesters toppling a statue of Christopher Columbus monument at the Minnesota State Capitol earlier in June.
I’m a professor who studies the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and I just have to say… use chain instead of rope and it’ll go faster. https://t.co/RH3WVJm8RX
— Erin L. Thompson (@artcrimeprof) June 11, 2020
Thompson is an associate professor at John Jay College, where she teaches “art crime.”
“As America’s only full-time professor of art crime, I study the damage done to humanity’s shared heritage through looting, theft, and the deliberate destruction of art,” reads the professor’s biography on the school’s website.
“Currently, I am researching the ways in which terrorist groups both sell and destroy art to support their genocidal campaigns, as well as the legalities and ethics of digital reproductions of cultural heritage,” Thompson’s biography ironically adds.
The professor directed Breitbart News to her recent interview with the New York Times, in which she argued that the destruction of historical monuments is completely normal.
“Destruction is the norm and preservation is the rare exception,” said Thompson in her interview.
“I think a lot of people assume that since I’m an art historian that I would want everything preserved but I know that preservation is expensive,” added Thompson, who went on to cite how expensive it was for the University of North Carolina to maintain their statue of “Silent Sam” in response to protesters continuously attacking it.
“I look at these statues as money sinks,” the professor argued.
Thompson also claimed that when a historical statue is desecrated, such as ancient Roman statues that get their eyes gouged out or their ears cut off, “it’s a very satisfying way of attacking an idea — not just by rejecting but humiliating it.”
“These attacks show how deeply white supremacy is rooted in our national structure — that we need to question everything about the way we understand the world, even the past, in order to get to a better future,” she added.
When it comes to ISIS, the professor insisted that recent statue attacks in the United States cannot be compared to those committed by the terrorist group, because “ISIS was destroying monuments of a tolerant past in order to achieve a future of violence and hate.”
“These protesters are attacking symbols of a hateful past as part of fighting for a peaceful future,” added Thompson of protesters in the United States. “So I think they’re exactly opposite actions.”
The professor, however, did not extrapolate on how attacking statues and symbols representing figures such as first U.S. president George Washington, former U.S. president and Union Army general Ulysses S. Grant, Catholic Saint Junipero Serra, and Jesus Christ attributes to “attacking symbols of a hateful past as part of fighting for a peaceful future.”
Thompson concluded her interview with NYT by claiming that while she believes “what is happening now with statues being torn down didn’t have to happen this way,” people have resulted to this because previous “peaceful” protests against historical monuments “have come to nothing.”
John Jay College of Criminal Justice did not immediately respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment regarding one of its professors advising protesters on how to more efficiently topple historical monuments.