The statues war

He’s not into any of that namby-pamby weenie-peenie Bring Us Together shit, he’s into saying THOSE DIRTY OTHER PEOPLE ARE ENEMIES and we gotta crush them like bugs.

Standing beneath Mount Rushmore on the eve of American independence day, Donald Trump staged a defiant celebration of what critics say is white identity politics and warned the nation’s history is under siege from “far-left fascism”.

Having it both ways, isn’t it. Fascism is by definition far-right, not any kind of left.

The US president defended the symbolism of statues and monuments before a packed crowd at an event that revelled in political incorrectness calculated to enflame the country’s current divisions and enrage liberal critics. There were few face masks and even fewer people of color on stage or in the stands.

It didn’t revel in political incorrectness, it reveled in open racism and authoritarianism.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Trump said. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

That is naked white supremacism right there. We’re not campaigning to “wipe out” our history, on the contrary, we’re campaigning to broaden and correct it. Yes, “correct”: correct the biases that ignored women, minimized slavery and the expropriation of Native Americans, paid more attention to the owners than to the workers, and the like. We’re campaigning for a much larger, fuller history, and against a version of history that emphasizes “heroes” on horseback.

It’s not “defaming our heroes” to note which one were slaveowners, which ones fought on the side of the slave states, which ones committed genocide against Native Americans, which ones fought in aid of an imperialist foreign policy.

It’s not “erasing our values” to campaign for more attention to racism and sexism in our past – on the contrary, it’s expanding and improving them.

Statues of people like Andrew Jackson and Jefferson Davis are not “our most sacred memorials.” Not even close.

In an effort to fight back, he announced a surprise executive order establishing “The National Garden of American Heroes”, a vast outdoor park featuring statues of “the greatest Americans to ever live” – a selection sure to provoke debate and controversy.

No, let’s not do that.

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