Christopher Columbus came tumbling down in the Virginia state capitol on Tuesday. A mob gathered around the monument in Richmond, and chanted about how the explorer "represented genocide," before tearing it down with ropes, setting it on fire, and throwing it into the lake. Another Columbus statue in Boston was beheaded. Similar plans are in place for other statues around the country because, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd and new rounds of racial tension, these historical figures are now considered problematic.
Protesters in Virginia tore down a statue of Christopher Columbus, setting it on fire and throwing it into a lake. Protesters said: "We have to start with the people who stood first on this land."— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 10, 2020
It was replaced with the words: "Columbus represents genocide." (Photos: AP/WWBT) pic.twitter.com/UPMLHg1fKQ
The Christopher Columbus statue in the North End of Boston was beheaded. pic.twitter.com/a6AULfQHVG— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) June 10, 2020
Plenty of folks on social media were pleased and "proud" to see the Columbus monuments vandalized. But not everyone is celebrating the destruction.
Columbus statues in two cities torn down/beheaded. When are the authorities going to stop this? This appears coordinated. Antifa is a subversive commie org that needs to be destroyed. #riots #Richmond #Boston #Thugs #CommunismKills #realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/lMADMc9BFn— CSA4Ever (@csa4_ever) June 10, 2020
In 2017, when the destruction of monuments was still a novel concept, liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz chided those on the far left for wanting to "erase history" because that is exactly what Josef Stalin did.
"There's a danger of removing Washington and Jefferson and other of our founding fathers, who themselves owned slaves," liberal lawyer Alan Dershowitz reacted on "Fox & Friends. "We have to use this as an educational moment."
"The idea of willy nilly going through and doing what Stalin did, just erasing history and rewriting it to serve current purposes, does pose a danger," he continued. "And it poses a danger of educational malpractice, missing opportunities to educated people and going too far."
The lawyer made the point that if people want to suddenly erase some parts of U.S. history, they may as well dismantle the rest of it.
"Once you start rewriting history of African-Americans in this country, you have to start rewriting history of discrimination against many, many other groups," he noted. "Look, we're both a nation of immigrants, and nation of discrimination against immigrants. That's an important history for us to remember."
For instance, FDR put 110,000 Japanese Americans into internment camps. President Abbott Lawrence Lowell of Harvard imposed anti-Jewish quotas, and discrimination against women was rampant.
Yet erasing those dark spots from history books is not the answer.
"Do not glorify the violent people who are now tearing down the statues," Dershowitz urged. "Many of these people are trying to tear down America."
He singled out ANTIFA as a violent, anti-American group who should not in any way be considered heroes. In fact President Trump recently signaled his intention to identify ANTIFA as a terror organization.
The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Dershowitz encouraged his fellow liberals to speak out against the hard left radicals who are pushing this kind of dangerous behavior.