I woke up today wondering whether those who blindly applaud the carnage of the George Floyd Freakout are lying, frightened or ignorant. The late post last night on Commentary Magazine’s manifesto quickly attracted a comment from Rationalization #64 Land, where John Yoo’s Rationalization, “It isn’t what it is,” holds sway. Implicitly denying the editors’ substantive list of the mob’s acts, “Adam” wrote in part, “Art must be propagandist or be chopped away? (What art? Where? Who? Propagandist? How?)”
The growing movement to “chop away” at the memorials and statues to men, women and events whose interaction with history and culture no longer conform to what most or many Americans consider admirable (or politically correct) has been growing for years, with the clash of protesters in Charlottesville over a Robert E. Lee statue being only the most publicized of incidents around the country. “What art?” If a citizen is so ignorant of current events, he shouldn’t be registering an opinion until he educates himself.
Almost on cue (protesters have been very accommodating of late in confirming past Ethics Alarms analysis), a George Floyd mob in D.C. pulled down a perplexing piece of public art, the statue of Albert Pike (above), an obscure Confederate diplomat and general who wrote alternate, bellicose, lyrics to “Dixie.” Writing this morning about why the D.C. police stood by and permitted the vandalism, Althouse wrote,
[W]hy isn’t mainstream media delving into the details of why the police are not acting to protect city artworks and to restore order? Where’s the journalism?! My hypothesis is that the media want to help Joe Biden get elected, so they’re presenting a rosy picture of the protests and refraining from any negativity about the Democratic politicians who control the cities where the disorder rages. I’m sure the journalists realize that at some point the majority of Americans will prioritize their interest in law and order, but — I imagine — they hope to hold us back from that tipping point.
The second question I am musing on is when and whether there will be that tipping point, or if, in the alternative, a critical mass of oblivious or dishonest “Adams” will keep the public somnolent until it’s too late to tip, with disastrous consequences.
I am also wrestling my fingers to the ground to prevent me from sending a “Nyah nyah nyah! I told you so! I’ll accept your apology now!” note to a brilliant lawyer friend (who I’m pretty sure has blocked me on Facebook…he doesn’t like me any more since I refuse to join the “resistance”) who ridiculed the Ethics Alarms post of five years ago that held that removing Bill Cosby’s bust from Disney’s TV Hall of Fame would lead directly to culturally bulldozing memorials to the Founders. Then I wrote in part,
There is no stop to this slippery slope, and the political correctness mob will never stop. Yesterday the House of Representatives voted without dissent to ban Confederate flags from national cemeteries, as well as confirming the Park Service’s hysterical order that Confederate flags cannot be sold as souvenirs at Confederate army battlefields….
…Yes, it takes courage to oppose this tidal wave of political correctness—surely some in this country still have courage, right? I know it’s scary in an environment where the immense weight of the news media, the internet and the government [This was 2015, remember, and Obama’s government] are constantly teaming up to smear and destroy anyone who dares to take unpopular positions…or who tries to slow one of the unreasoning, destructive , runaway cultural freight trains that are bearing down on American society with increasing frequency. But prominent people stood up to Joe McCarthy, opposed popular wars, fought for civil rights, and have repeatedly risked reputation, employment, friendships and even their lives to insist on sanity, proportion and rationality when it was being swept aside by coalitions of the opportunistic, the Machiavellian and the ignorant. Surely there are prominent Americans who will stand up to this?
It’s killing me that it would be childish to send him this today: