If perpetuating a white, patriarchal culture in any capacity is enough to merit monument takedown, nearly all statues are subject to removal, not just those of Confederate generals.
When all is said and done, perhaps the most lasting effect of the riots, protests, and police walkouts across the country will be the removal of so many public statues. Each day, more of them are trampled and defaced.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, many Americans now conclude that most of their institutions are stained with bigotry and oppression. Therefore, like the original iconoclasts in Byzantium seeking to remove venerated images in the fight against idolatry, today’s iconoclasts are toppling and destroying public monuments to fight hate.
Such was the reasoning in New Haven and Hartford, two Connecticut cities that have decided to remove statues of Christopher Columbus from public property. What was once a commemoration of the greatest explorer who ever lived, the founder of Western civilization in the Western Hemisphere, and a man who embodied so many virtues of the Western world, now “represents a time of colonialism and atrocities committed,” according to Mayor Justin Elicker. The history itself hasn’t changed, but people’s feelings about history clearly have.