Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, January 9, 2020
President Donald Trump recently threatened to bomb 52 sites that are “important to Iran & Iranian culture.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper demurred, saying American troops would “follow the laws of armed conflict.” The 1949 Geneva Convention Protocol, amended in 1977, says “any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples” are war crimes. Countless government officials and commentators condemned the President. The Los Angeles Times, Vox, and the Washington Post criticized him.
“They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people,” President Trump said. “And we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way.”
It does work that way. “The deliberate destruction of heritage is a war crime,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in 2017. “It has become a tactic of war to tear societies over the long term, in a strategy of cultural cleansing. This is why defending cultural heritage is more than a cultural issue, it is a security imperative, inseparable from that of defending human lives.”
“A nation that willfully destroys another country’s heritage would be no better than the criminals who have destroyed irreplaceable sites in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere in recent years,” wrote Sara Bronin in the Los Angeles Times.
The Daily Beast showed a sudden reverence for Christianity in an article entitled, “Biblical Sites, Ancient Wonders, the Last ‘Garden of Eden’: Here’s What Trump Just Threatened To Bomb in Iran.” “[D]estroying sites in Iran is no less horrific than bombing the Valley of the Kings in Egypt or the Colosseum in Rome,” wrote Candida Moss.
CNN’s Brandon Tensley said an attack on a cultural site “chips away at the very identities and histories of their targets.” “Preserving cultural artifacts speaks to a vital kind of world-building,” he continued.
The Washington Post’s Phillip Kennicott said cultural sites are “about the soul of a culture or a people, their inmost essence, their fundamental values.” He concluded that the president hadn’t just threatened “Iranian cultural sites,” but “culture” itself.
Why doesn’t this apply to Confederate monuments in the South? The same Mr. Kennicott wrote a cheerleading story about “Rumors of War,” a statue by affirmative action artist Kehinde Wiley, and called Richmond’s Confederate statues “the city’s great public art shame.” As the story explains, Mr. Wiley “proposed the idea of a statue that would question, or mock or somehow displace, the reflexive deference those statues have commanded for decades.” The director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts called that “the best idea I had ever heard,” which says a lot about the state of modern art.
Mr. Wiley (and/or his assistants) produced an equestrian statue of, in Mr. Kennicott’s words “an African American, depicted heroically.” The hero is in Nikes and dreadlocks. Mr. Kennicott hoped “Rumors of War” will “take up the challenge of destabilizing a city’s stultifying landscape of racist imagery.”
He may be disappointed. If a “racist” wanted to make a statue mocking blacks by satirizing their self-aggrandizing historical fantasies, he might well copy Mr. Wiley. Yet this statue was not designed to celebrate blacks, but to mock whites.
At least Mr. Wiley intended only symbolically to destroy Confederate monuments. Many Virginian lawmakers want to tear them down or move them. The AP reported that the “army of Confederate monuments” might “soon start coming down after Election Day gave Democrats control of the General Assembly for the first time in decades.” Replacement migration and demographic change brought this victory. Virginia is occupied — again.
Richmond city council has already petitioned state officials for permission to “take down or modify” Confederate monuments. Vandals spray painted “this is racist” on Jefferson Davis’s statue just hours later. They also spray painted “God is gay” on Stonewall Jackson’s statue. (A local pastor said the message is “exciting” and bragged about this “inclusive message.”)
Charlottesville officials want to remove Robert E. Lee’s statue, and Governor Ralph Northam wants a different Lee statue removed from the United States Capitol Building. A statewide coalition is already mobilizing against Confederate monuments. About 100 people rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday, calling for the state to let localities remove statues.
The would-be statue smashers do not care about their cultural value or the Virginians they honor. Lisa Woolfor is “an activist and University of Virginia professor,” though I don’t see the difference. She says the statues are “racist relics forced upon communities who do not worship the white supremacy they enshrined.”
Salon says Virginia “must amend” its law so that localities won’t be “forced by the state to continue displaying racist speech in the form of these statues to the Lost Cause myth of the Confederacy.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on an art exhibit of proposals about what to do with the statues. These included replacing the generals heads with horses, putting them in ridiculous poses, or just melting them down to build a memorial for slaves.
Sally Hudson, the state representative for Charlottesville, blamed the statutes for somehow provoking “threats” against lawmakers.
Liberals don’t care about destroying monuments that represent white Southerners, who are being replaced and outvoted in their own region. They don’t care about Southern culture — our culture.
While Iranian mosques represent “culture,” tributes to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson must be destroyed because they offend non-whites. It won’t stop there. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Columbus, and many others are next.
Some may say these statues are “offensive” or don’t fit with the times. Yet Islamic Iran doesn’t destroy the tomb of Cyrus the Great, nor did Christians smash the Colosseum. We recognize that parts of our history — even if they represent past values — are still part of our identity.
Liberals, generals, and government officials were right to condemn President Trump’s barbaric threat to bomb Islamic cultural sites. It would be an attack on a people and their identity. Yet in the Old Dominion, a hostile government that took power through demographic change is preparing to take down monuments that represent the identity of white Southerners.
We should take liberals at their word. What they say about Iran is true of the South. Destroying cultural sites and historic monuments are tantamount to destroying a people. Toppling a statue, insulting a hero, or sandblasting a breathtaking work of art represents a “cultural cleansing” of whites. What’s next? Whites must fight these efforts, and start raising new monuments to our heroes, North and South. It’s time to take a rebel stand.