Letter: Mutually assured monument destruction

Graphic by Lori Deaton

It seems to be lost on a lot of us on the left that the right is taking its cue from us. Our mobs trash their monuments, so their mobs trash ours. The left-wing vandalism and violence against public symbols of the Confederacy that many progressives are cheering on has been followed like night after day by right-wing vandalism and violence against public symbols of democracy like the Capitol. No surprise: When we open the door on destruction, our opponents race through it right behind us.

There’s a reason that a balance is the defining symbol of justice: The law — natural and moral, if not always legal — applies to both sides. We’re right to rectify long-standing racial inequities such as the dearth of Black American iconography in the public square. But when we let frustration and fury drive us to demand retribution by destruction, we’ve moved beyond healing historic wounds to pushing the balance hard toward harm against others — and it’s bound to snap back as harm against us.

Our City Council is poised to entrench that vicious cycle in Asheville by demonizing the obelisk named for Vance as a “Confederate monument” (in contradiction to its builders’ intent) and demolishing it — rather than repurposing our city’s central landmark, as so many citizens are imploring it to do, by updating its name and signage to align with its actual historic role as Asheville’s Washington Monument, a symbol of our unity in diversity.

Bulldozing the historic signpost for our ostensibly tolerant city’s signature free-speech zone under the legal pretense of “public safety” wouldn’t only be an act of shameful (and seemingly unconstitutional) hypocrisy — it would also provoke escalating eye-for-an-eye destruction as white supremacists wreak revenge on the public symbols they demonize.

It’s time to back off from this symbolic civil war before it pulls us into a real one.

— Steve Rasmussen


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16 thoughts on “Letter: Mutually assured monument destruction

  1. bsummers

    Steve – pulling a thorn out usually involves some pain, but healing won’t start until you do it. I’ve gone back & forth on this, but I now believe the obelisk should be taken down. Not bulldozed – let it be done with some respect for those who still cling to the Lost Cause.

    As for righties claiming they are justified in attempting a fascist coup in the US Congress because a BLM protest somewhere got out of hand – don’t hamstring yourself from doing right because lying liars lie.

    • Stan Hawkins

      Steve is right calling out unlawful actions by any who perpetrated the destruction and disrespect for public and private property, along with the slippery slope that lays in wait.

      Just as our representative government cannot; I cannot imagine however , a private business owner with 20 + years of sweat and blood invested, would call it “getting out of hand” as he or she watched it burn.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    BLM and KKKlantifa infiltrated the Capitol crowd and were in the intitial first full throttle rush into the bldg causing destruction. I have repeatedly seen the online message instructing them to ‘dress in Trump supporting clothing’. But some of them had other costumes too…so it was bizarre and out of hand but not due to DJT nor any pro Americans … This was orchestrated by the left for the left. Blood on their hands.

        • bsummers

          “Facts are simple and facts are straight
          Facts are lazy and facts are late
          Facts all come with points of view
          Facts don’t do what I want them to”

    • NFB

      Oh, well gosh, if you saw it online then it MUST be true!

      Just curious….if MX is monitoring these boards, are you all cool with “alternative facts” or are there some standards in what falsehoods it will allow to be post in the name of the discourse of varying opinions? Now might be a good time to clarify.

    • DreadT

      Enlightened Enema, so now BLM and the KKK are working together? Sure, got it. Even if there was someone “tricking” the poor Trump supporters into breaking the law, it has never been a legal defense to a crime you commit.

  3. ashevillain7

    “our mobs” … “their mobs”

    You know there are more than two types of people in the world, right? Plenty of us don’t subscribe to this nonsensical duality.

  4. Peter Robbins

    False equivalence and hyperventilation are a bad mix. A better analogy would be to Melania’s makeover of the historic Rose Garden — except this time the wrecking ball will swing, if it swings at all, with public input and admirable intent.

  5. Shultz!

    Full disclosure from the writer would be appropriate. The author is a Wiccan & that obelisk is a religious symbol for them.

    • Big Al

      Is that supposed to a criticism? Having suffered my share of persecution by so-called Christians, I would accept a Wiccan monument in a flash.

      As far as who really wants this to come down, I would say the domestic terrorists in the ranks of BLM and Antifa are no better than the most rabid Confederates or yesterday or today.

      So by all means, keep it up and called it a “witching post”.

      • Shultz!

        Sorry I wasn’t clear. No, it’s not a criticism of his religion, just that he fails to mention his real angle on this – hence ‘full disclosure’.

        The symbol causes pain for our fellow citizens due to its historical significance & they would like it taken down because of this. Let us take it down for their sake. If at that point Steve wants to do a kickstarter & raise funds to get a full-on egyptian obelisk put downtown, then great, I would gladly donate! (as long at it’s actually cool like the Luxor one in Paris)

  6. Peter Robbins

    Another example of false equivalence. It’s unfair to compare the monument terrorism of today with the Confederate mischief of yesteryear. They didn’t have spray paint in the 1860s.

  7. James

    The author attempts to distract from the purpose of the monument by lying about his Confederate roots. The plaque on the statue reads “Zebulon Vance Confederate Soldier. War Governor.” The statue is dedicated to him BECAUSE of his treason and participation in the slaughter of 120,000 American troops not in spite of it. This would be like saying the attacks on the Capitol had nothing to do with Trump or the election.

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