Last week, a committee of elitist D.C. politicians decided that a number of historic monuments, such as the Washington Monument, should be removed, relocated or ‘contextualised’. This is hardly surprising; for a Democratic Mayor to talk about anything other than just how awful and oppressive life in the Free World is would have been career suicide. The ‘DC FACES’ committee, headed by Democratic mayor Muriel Bowser, decided that a total of eight monuments, including those of Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Christopher Columbus, Andrew Jackson and George Washington, should be removed for their involvement in the systemic oppression of people of colour and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Whilst it is true that these historical figures did have a part to play in oppression, we should not punish 18th century figures for holding 18th century views, especially when it is thanks to the political ideologies of those men that millions of Americans are granted freedoms that do not exist in many parts of the world.
One must first look at the purpose of a statue before deciding what to do about it. If a statue is erected to honour a heinous act such as slavery, then of course it should be removed. However, this is not the case with any of the statues mentioned by the ‘DC FACES’ committee. Granted, these men were not perfect by any measure, yet that does not mean we should confine them to the list of evil historical figures alongside Stalin and Hitler, for they did so much not only for the United States, but also for the world. The actions of these men continue to influence and inspire millions in their fight against oppression. These men were the original freedom fighters! If Muriel Bowser really cared about liberation from oppression instead of just virtue signalling, she would’ve let the statues stand as a shining beacon of light to all those around the world who wish they lived in a country created on the Jeffersonian ideals of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’.
Letting the statues be is not a declaration that historical figures like Thomas Jefferson were perfect. Jefferson, for example, owned slaves and was a beneficiary of slavery, something which can be seen by any sane person in this day and age as an evil and morally corrupt practice. However, had it not been for Jefferson writing that ‘all men are created equal’ and that there are ‘inalienable rights of man’, Americans of all races would not have the liberty they cherish today. Instead of trying to hide history, we should learn from it. Are we, as intelligent human beings, not capable of honouring some of a person’s actions whilst condemning others? Can we not celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s political and philosophical ideas, which continue to guarantee millions of Americans freedom regardless of race, sex and sexual orientation? No, say the Democrats, America must be ashamed of all of her history.
Unfortunately, this recommendation by the ‘DC FACES’ committee was far from unexpected; it seems to have become fashionable as of late to hate Western society and all its values. ‘Cancel culture’ is a dangerous assault on those ideals fought so hard for by brave patriots in the late 18th century. What happened to the idea of fraternity that was so essential to the birth of the republic? This move by the Democrats to cast the founding fathers out of America’s own history reflects their new, worrying attitude towards the past. The Democrats are making the foolish error of judging historical figures by today’s standards, showing both a complete lack of intelligence and a deep misunderstanding of the USA’s own history. It is not memorials that the Democrats should be contextualising, but the men they embody. Let the statues stand as a reminder of the Jeffersonian ideals from which the USA was born!