Last month, the Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously to temporarily cover the city’s statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in black fabric. They did so to both mourn the death of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old Virginia woman who was killed after Fields drove his Dodge Challenger into a group of Charlottesville counter-protesters during a “Unite the Right” event to protest over the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, and to protect them from vandalism until an official decision is made next month about whether or not to remove them.
Unfortunately, covering the statues to appease the liberals and vandals has not come without a price. According to reports, so far, it’s cost taxpayers nearly $5,000. Specifically, Joe Rice, Charlottesville’s communications coordinator, recently revealed that during the past month, the city spent $4,511.40 in tax dollars on twelve black shrouds priced at $375.95 a piece. At each statute, they also spent $225 installing “no trespassing” signs and $128 erecting fences.
Unsurprisingly, the covering of the statues upset many people. One of the people most outraged by the decision was John Miska, a veteran from Barboursville, Virginia. Shortly after the statues were covered, Miska, who claimed the vote was “illegitimate,” decided to protest their decision by showing up to the covered statue of Robert E. Lee with a knife, which he then used to try and cut down the black cloth.
— Lauren Berg (@laurenbergk) August 23, 2017
“This [black tarp] is a desecration, and this needs to come down, OK? This cover needs to come down,” he explained prior to approaching the statue. “Now, if this city was so adamant, why are we not having a public referendum [to] vote over this?” he added.
Sadly, Charlottesville isn’t the only city currently campaigning to eradicate all things “offensive.” Earlier this year, Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists in Hollywood, Florida charged into City Hall, disrupted a commission meeting, and demanded that City officials rename several streets named after Confederates, resulting in five arrests.
Several lawmakers in Dallas, Texas, are also pushing to rename Confederate streets and tear down Confederate monuments. One of those lawmakers is Dwaine Caraway (D), a former Dallas mayor and current City Council member. Just recently, he vowed to have the city’s Civil War monument, which featured statues of Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of the Confederate States of America, and Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Albert Sidney Johnston, removed by the end of the year.
In addition to Caraway, Democratic lawmakers in Congress, Reps. Dwight Evans (D-PA) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), have also come out in support of tearing down Confederate monuments. Earlier this week, they introduced the “No Federal Funding for Confederate Symbols Act.”
According to the legislation, “no federal funds may be used for the creation, maintenance, or display, as applicable, of any Confederate symbol on federal public land, including any highway, park, subway, federal building, military installation, street, or other federal property.” This means that, if passed, all Confederate monuments on federal land would have to be removed.
Some liberals are even going after statues of our Founding Fathers because they were slave owners. For example, during an interview earlier this week with Charlie Rose, Reverend Al Sharpton called on Congress to defund the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C.
“The public should not be paying to uphold somebody who [owned or supported slavery],” reasoned, noting, “you have private museums. You have other things that you may want to do.”
In addition to Sharpton, Bishop James Dukes, the pastor of Liberation Christian Center, called on Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, earlier this week to tear down a statue of George Washington in Washington Park. “In an African-American community, it’s a slap in the face and it’s a disgrace for them to honor someone who was a slave owner,” he explained, noting, “I think we should be able to identify and decide who we declare heroes in our communities because we have to tell the stories to our children of who these persons are.”
The authoritarian left must not be allowed to cover or tear down Confederate monuments and rename streets simply because they’re “offensive.” To stop this from happening, conservatives lawmakers need work together and pass laws protecting controversial monuments from censorship.