Yeah, Let’s Grind Those Confederate Statues to Dust

Silent Sam is finally silent forever.Left: SGM/ZUMAPRESS; Right: Julia Wall/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via ZUMA

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Students are coming back to school, and at some schools this means grappling once again with all those statues of Confederate generals:

Tim Huebner, a history professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., who has studied the legacy of Confederate memorials, recommends contextualizing Confederate markers with signs or new courses rather than removing them. “I don’t think you take all of these remnants of the past, take all these artifacts, and grind them into dust,” he said.

Allow me to politely disagree. I think that grinding them into dust is precisely what ought to be done. In fact, I’m surprised that kids at these universities haven’t torn down and pulverized a whole lot more of these statues than they have. It shouldn’t take much. Fill some frat boys with plenty of Bud Light and mint juleps, get ’em to drive a couple of F-350s out to the quad (or whatever) with plenty of rope, and then hit the accelerator. When the statue is down, everyone gets out their sledge hammers and starts pounding away until the campus cops arrive. Then they run away. Mission accomplished.

All it would take is a tacit understanding between the students and the administration that puts a few reasonable safety precautions in place but basically promises not to make trouble for any 2 am Confederate statue bashing parties. How hard is that?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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