The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


Jeff Jacoby on Confederate Army and Red Army statues


Jeff Jacoby (The Boston Globe) writes:

AMID THREATS of violence and white-supremacist protests, the city of New Orleans has begun removing four Confederate monuments, among them statues of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, the supreme military and political leaders of the Southern rebellion against the United States.

The Confederate monuments are memorials to the vilest cause in American history. The South went to war for one reason above all: to perpetuate the enslavement of black Americans. The dismantling of the statues is a long-overdue act of moral hygiene; it is appalling that they were ever erected in the first place….

[T]he Confederate monuments … stood for bigotry and racial backlash, and for the willingness to take up arms in defense of human bondage….

It isn't only in America that monuments to brutal past oppressors are belatedly being removed.

For more than a year, Poles have been debating whether to keep or get rid of the hundreds of monuments to the Red Army erected in their country after World War II. The memorials were put up to thank the Soviet Union for liberating Poland from the Nazis, and they went unchallenged during the 40-plus years of communist rule that followed that "liberation." …

Read the whole thing, which strikes me as quite right.