The new face of ‘statuegate’: Tearing down statues because they depict men

The new face of ‘statuegate’: Tearing down statues because they depict men
Statue commerating confederate soldiers killed in battle being toppled in Durham, N.C. (Image: WNCN video screen grab)

When the Left’s obsession with tearing down statues first became a thing several years back, the motivation behind the wanton acts of destruction was said to be to erase reminders of unpleasant chapters in American history. Despite the futility of  the practice — in the end, history is both indelible and largely resistant to rewriting — the desecration’s defenders could at least make the argument that some of the figures so memorialized could be said to be in some sense “evil.”

Not so the current crop of public sculptures potentially slated for eradication. The only “crime” of which five of the six historical figures in New York’s Central Park are guilty is that of having been a man. (The sixth figure, Christopher Columbus, has been in the cross hairs of the PC police for some time for reasons other than his sex so he will be omitted from the present discussion.)

The proposed removal of the statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns and other non-controversial men is actually tied to an earlier plan cooked up by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, who complained back in June that New York has too few statues of women. But according to Hank Willis Thomas, a painter and member of the city’s Public Design Commission, two birds could be killed with one stone by not just adding the new statues of women but replacing the existing ones of men.

According to the New York Post, Thomas defends his recommendation by opining, “I don’t think that there are many people who will miss the Burns statue.” Which may be true but begs the question of why there is a need to clear out the old statues before installing the news ones of Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Helen Rodríguez Trías, and Katherine Walker — whoever they are. Central Park is situated on 842.6 acres. Surely, there is enough vacant space to accommodate the new statues while leaving the old ones intact, even if they are of dead white men.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.