As I watched the primal screams of conservatives on social media, the argument seemed to be that if you can’t tear down every statue, rename every building or contexualize every piece of art portraying white supremacy, then you should just do nothing.
This is a false binary choice meant to ensure no change ever happens.
Columnist Adriana Cohen tweeted her 2017 column titled “Ban It All” to imply she made a prophetic warning of current times. She wrote: “Let’s remove any references to Christopher Columbus. Let’s rename the George Washington Bridge, along with every other bridge, park, monument, building or street named after someone whom someone else finds offensive. And there you have it. The beginning of the end of our great nation. The ‘fall of Rome.’ ”
This over-the-top battle cry reflects the more encompassing hysteria rising on the right in the face America’s collision with its past. Yet nobody wants to “remove any references” to Columbus. Quite the contrary. We need to discuss Columbus and his brutal and murderous treatment of indigenous peoples until everyone understands exactly what happened. Like Lee, statues of Columbus belong in museums, not on pedestals in town squares.