People have an unfathomable need to venerate statues and fly flags, so it probably won’t be long before the broken marble corpses of Grant, Serra, and Washington will be replaced with gleaming new ones honoring other tainted humans—and their legacies will be questioned (or demolished) decades from now. The debate is getting tiresome.
Two professors recently called for renaming Orange County’s “John Wayne” airport because of offensive comments the actor made. Supervisors named the airport after him in 1979 because he epitomized a certain traditional-values Republicanism that seems almost quaint in the modern OC. I agree with just calling it Orange County Airport simply to make it easier for travelers to know where they’re heading, but couldn’t care less about the fate of Wayne’s terminal statue.
Frankly, I prefer fewer statues, flags, and debates about overpriced public artwork. How many people even looked closely at these edifices before the recent controversy? Those smitten by John Wayne, Robert E. Lee, or even Joseph Stalin should commission statues on their own property. The rest of us have more important issues to debate.