Yeah, Let’s Grind Those Confederate Statues to Dust

Silent Sam is finally silent forever.Left: SGM/ZUMAPRESS; Right: Julia Wall/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via ZUMA

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Students are coming back to school, and at some schools this means grappling once again with all those statues of Confederate generals:

Tim Huebner, a history professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., who has studied the legacy of Confederate memorials, recommends contextualizing Confederate markers with signs or new courses rather than removing them. “I don’t think you take all of these remnants of the past, take all these artifacts, and grind them into dust,” he said.

Allow me to politely disagree. I think that grinding them into dust is precisely what ought to be done. In fact, I’m surprised that kids at these universities haven’t torn down and pulverized a whole lot more of these statues than they have. It shouldn’t take much. Fill some frat boys with plenty of Bud Light and mint juleps, get ’em to drive a couple of F-350s out to the quad (or whatever) with plenty of rope, and then hit the accelerator. When the statue is down, everyone gets out their sledge hammers and starts pounding away until the campus cops arrive. Then they run away. Mission accomplished.

All it would take is a tacit understanding between the students and the administration that puts a few reasonable safety precautions in place but basically promises not to make trouble for any 2 am Confederate statue bashing parties. How hard is that?

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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