The authoritarian left is currently engaged in a campaign to tear down things that are “offensive,” such as Confederate monuments. In response, Mike Huckabee (R), the former Governor of Arkansas, asked if that means that includes abortion clinics since many people find them offensive as well.
Specifically, while speaking with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer earlier this week about the left’s push to have Confederate monuments removed, Huckabee stated, “I’m okay with the fact that if we want to go through the process of having public meetings and city officials saying, ‘we’re going to take the statues down.’ But what we can’t do is have anarchists go and just tear down the statues [of Confederates and historical figures who were slave owners] because they are impatient with politicians doing it…that is not acceptable behavior, it is vandalism, it is anarchy.”
Huckabee pointed out that the same kind of reasoning could be used to justify tearing down abortion clinics. “It would be like me saying ‘I don’t like abortion clinics, so I’m going to go to tear them down because I find them offensive,’” he explained.
“Nobody would justify that, including me. [But] that’s what I feel like we’re coming to,” he continued, noting, “it’s not a matter of reinterpreting our history. We’re bordering on anarchy having a select group of people tear something down because it offends them personally.”
Huckabee also mentioned that all monuments, including unpleasant ones, help remind us of our past and warned that getting rid of “offensive” things could lead to a slippery slope of unconstitutional censorship. “I’m not married to monuments…but the monuments are a point of helping us to understand our history,” reasoned Huckabee.
“Some of it isn’t that pretty and that pleasant — some of it, we need to look back and say, ‘boy that was a hideous time in our world and in our country — but just to say, ‘we’re going to tear down everything that offends us. We’re going to disassociate with anyone whose life had some very unholy, ungodly, evil, [and] sinful things,’ where does it stop?” he added.
To underscore his point, Huckabee brought up Al Sharpton’s call to defund the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. since Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. According to Sharpton, “the public should not be paying to uphold somebody who [owned or supported slavery].” This is because he believes doing so is an insult to his family.
To clarify, Sharpton said, “my great-grandfather was a slave in South Carolina owned by the family that ended up, Strom Thurmond was one of them, a newspaper discovered it. So, this is personal. This is not some kind of removed discussion from us. Our families were victims of this.” He added, “I think that people need to understand when people that were enslaved and robbed of even the right to marry, and had forced sex with their slave masters, that this is personal to us.”
Huckabee also brought up Bishop James Dukes’ push to have a statue of George Washington in Chicago, Illinois taken down by the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel. Just recently, Dukes claimed, “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.”
Although many people would argue that Washington was a good guy, Dukes pushed back against this idea. “Some people out here ask me, say ‘well, you know, [George Washington] taught his slaves to read.’ That’s almost sad; the equivalent of someone who kidnaps you, that you gave them something to eat,” stated Dukes. “When I see [a statue of a slave owner], I see a person who fought for the liberties, and I see people that fought for the justice and freedom of white America, because at that moment, we were still chattel slavery, and was three-fifths of humans,” he noted.
Because of this, Dukes wants the statue torn down. “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.
The authoritarian left must not be allowed to tear things down simply because they’re “offensive.” If they do, then conservatives should be allowed to use the same reasoning to tear down abortion clinics.