Opinion Columns & Blogs

Accommodating both sides of the mob

I think I am opposed to removing Confederate monuments. I have no firm conviction on the matter. What appears to be festering wounds to a few amounts to participation trophies dedicated to a losing cause. And while I have no strong conviction either way, I have a very strong conviction that the move to purge the monuments is not really about the monuments and that once these monuments are gone the very same people will turn to Founding Fathers and others before turning on people. We are more or less going through an American cultural revolution by increasingly violent marxists and opportunistic politicians.

Most people I know do not care much about the monuments.

They are a part of history and a reminder of a history that still scars the land. They are landing pads for pigeon poop in most cases. But I am finding that as the left gins up more and more animosity toward monuments a lot of other people are suddenly finding themselves caring about them.

It has all the makings of a negotiation with terrorists for many. Either tear down the statues or be shamed, boycotted, or ruined. That pisses off a lot of people who might not otherwise care, but who may have a mild familial attachment to their heritage.

Unfortunately, the political left will not allow anyone to have a familial attachment to that heritage. It is all hate all the time. We must ignore the actual history and the actual men and women involved in the conflict.

We must reduce it to its simplest forms and everyone is expected to take the same side or be labeled a bigot or worse. Simply not caring is less and less an option. But that breeds a special resentment by those who do not want to care and resent being made to care.

That the Macon-Bibb County Commission is exploring taking down Confederate monuments is just our political leaders trying to find yet something else over which to morally preen. Many of the very politicians we can expect to run out and demand the removal of the statues have spent the last few years labeling former school board members Gary Bechtel and Lynn Farmer racists for daring to suggest Romain Dallemand was not all he seemed.

We have, in Macon, a group of white civic leaders who if not plagued by white guilt are certainly convinced they have to go through all sorts of civic and moral exercises to show the black community they stand together. Supporting Dallemand, who pillaged the black community’s children’s educations, was one way the leaders did it. Now they want to tear down monuments few people have thought about. It is all rather predictable.

What is also predictable is that it will not be enough. There will be something else to give in to. There will be some later cause and conviction that must be championed. Take down one statue and find it is only penance for a day. In the absence of God, both sides fight over who gets to be the “Grand Sez Who.”

Both sides’ mobs are out for that title and the mob is the only group that can claim the title in the absence of God. Along the way, the mob demands we give it moral status.

I don’t have a strong opinion on tearing down old statues. But I have a strong conviction that it will breed a lot of resentment we have otherwise moved beyond and it will only be the beginning, not the end, of accommodating the mob.

Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.