Well, we’ll all be waiting to hear the explanation for this one, I’m sure. At Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon last night, protesters gathered to begin a march in response to the death of George Floyd. But first they decided to spray some graffiti on the school’s statue of its namesake and then just tear the statue down for good measure. Roughly 1,000 demonstrators marched off away from the school, only to return a couple of hours later to mock the statue lying on the ground. (The Hill)
A statue of Thomas Jefferson was reportedly toppled Sunday night outside a high school in Portland, Ore., named for the former president.
The statue’s base was spray painted with the phrase “slave owner,” as well as George Floyd’s name before the statue was toppled, according to local reports.
Jefferson High School was reportedly the starting point for a march organized by Rose City Justice as part of the nationwide demonstrations over police brutality sparked by the killing of Floyd.
I wonder how this event will stand up under the sniff test of CNN’s Jake Tapper, who recently admonished the President for standing up for “dead racist losers,” when referring to Confederate generals. Jefferson is certainly dead and he owned slaves, so I suppose you can tag him with the racist description from a 21st-century perspective. But he was hardly one of the “losers.” He wrote the Declaration of Independence and served as the country’s third president.
Of course, even while Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves over his lifetime, he used his political pulpit to argue against the practice of slavery. He was something of a walking contradiction in that regard. But the point is, this all took place long before the Civil War. The things he accomplished help build the road to a nation where all men and women can truly be equal, not just the white, landowning men who wrote the original rules.
But now Jefferson apparently doesn’t pass the test as someone worthy of commemorating. Shall we just chisel his face off of Mount Rushmore? While you’re there, you might as well scratch Washington off also. He owned slaves and only emancipated them after his death. Is he a “dead, racist loser” too?
The thugs who did this aren’t celebrating or commemorating anything. They aren’t correcting any perceived wrongs. Nearly all of the statues that have been torn down so far were public property. These are criminal acts and the cowardly elected officials who turn a blind eye and act as if this is just some sort of free speech should be held to account by the voters. The fact that the images of these types of attacks show up on the news every night is not some cause to be celebrated. It’s a sign that we’re slipping closer and closer to Mad Max territory on a daily basis. And the scales are only going to tip just so far before they start sliding back in the other direction.