Help me figure this out.

Durham police later said they monitored the protests to make sure they were “safe,” but did not interfere with the statue toppling because it happened on county property.

“Because this incident occurred on county property, where county law enforcement officials were staffed, no arrests were made by DPD officers,” Durham Police spokesman Wil Glenn wrote in an email statement.

The protesters destroyed county property, but because it was on county property the police couldn’t step in? What?

I’m sympathetic to the idea that we can maybe start phasing out memorials to a pro-slavery secessionist regime after 150 years but doing it this way is guaranteed to backfire. These idiots hit the trifecta: Their lawlessness makes Trump’s “law and order” pitch more appealing; their mobbishness reminds people that the alt-right isn’t the only fringe willing to take “direct action”; and their insistence on denying the public a democratic debate on what to do with the statue by destroying it themselves will make fencesitters more sympathetic to leaving other statues up.

But maybe I’m missing the bigger picture. Antifa and the alt-right exist in symbiosis, notes Ben Shapiro. Anything that one does to help grow the other helps it grow in turn:

On the one side, a racist, identity-politics Left dedicated to the proposition that white people are innate beneficiaries of privilege and therefore must be excised from political power; on the other side, a reactionary, racist, identity-politics alt-right dedicated to the proposition that white people are innate victims of the social-justice class and therefore must regain political power through race-group solidarity…

Now they’re growing. And they’re largely growing in opposition to one another. In fact, the growth of each side reinforces the growth of the other: The mainstream Left, convinced that the enemies of social-justice warriors are all alt-right Nazis, winks and nods at left-wing violence; the right, convinced that its SJW enemies are focused on racial polarization, embraces the alt-right as a form of resistance. Antifa becomes merely a radical adjunct to traditional Democratic-party politics; the alt-right becomes merely a useful tool for scurrilous Republican politicians and media figures.

Mobs beget mobs. If this spectacle pushes more mainstream right-wingers into the alt-right camp, the expansion of the alt-right will frighten mainstream left-wingers into being more sympathetic towards antifa, and vice versa. Every good radical understands the value of heightening the contradictions.

Exit question one: What would Robert E. Lee say about removing Confederate memorials? The answer might surprise you! Exit question two: When does the statue of Lenin in Seattle come down?