When people, including President Trump, warned that toppling Confederate statues would eventually lead to toppling statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, they were dismissed for making ridiculous slippery slope arguments. But now, those predictions are becoming reality.
In Portland, protesters wrapped an American flag around the head of a George Washington statue, lit it on fire, and then tore the statue down with rope. The statue was defaced with graffiti that read: "genocidal colonists," "You're on native land," "F--- cops," "Big Floyd," and "1619."
Meanwhile, in New York City, the speaker of the City Council, with the support of several members, has written a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio urging him to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from the chambers. "The statue of Thomas Jefferson in the City Council Chambers is inappropriate and serves as a constant reminder of the injustices that have plagued communities of color since the inception of our country. It must be removed," the council members wrote.
To be clear, I'm all for removing Confederate statues and flags from public spaces because the Confederacy was an evil regime that fought against the United States not only to preserve but also to expand the brutal institution of slavery. Memorializing the Confederacy was also part of a post-war project to romanticize the Old South, which played a role in sustaining the Jim Crow system.