Inside the America

June 27, 2020 - 15:9

All across America, people of conscience are trying to tear down statues that memorialize and honor a hateful history of oppression.

TEHRAN- All across America, people of conscience are trying to tear down statues that memorialize and honor a hateful history of oppression. Most notably in the news is the attempt to bring down the statue of Confederate War hero and former president General Andrew Jackson, located in Lafayette Square, directly in front of the White House. That particular statue is 168 years old, but the current resident of the White House has also hung two portraits of Andrew Jackson as well as placing a miniature of that same statue in the Oval Office. Donald Trump, it seems, is a big fan of former U.S. President Andrew Jackson and is seeking the maximum penalty against persons who intend to harm or destroy these so-called “historical monuments”.

Trump tweeted a warning that a ten year prison sentence awaited persons guilty of the “disgraceful vandalism”on the “magnificent statue”, referring to the 2003 Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act.

Arizona Republican Senator Tom Cotton chimed in to urge the President to even deploy federal troops to protect the statue and “stop the mob”.

It is not surprising that persons who have risen to power on the backs of the labors of others would consider a statue to the institutions of slavery and genocide a fitting marker glorifying our nation’s history—-like all the other land-owning gentry, Jackson’s wealth was due to the efforts of his slaves. And he is not the only slave-holding president. Twelve of the earliest presidents owned enslaved persons and eight of those owned slaves during their terms as president. Only presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams did not own enslaved people. This makes it somewhat difficult to honor any early president without also honoring slavery, it seems. And considering how the 13th amendment has been turned into the perfect clause to create the For-Profit Prison Industrial System, it is obvious that slavery is still being practiced by legislators today. If the intention behind protecting these memorial statues is an issue of honoring and protecting our veterans, why do they hide behind a red-herring pretense when there’s so much neglect and so little concern for those who have “served their country”? Why do they pretend to not notice the dissatisfaction that is demonstrated by vet participation (or even organization) is seen in a large portion of post-Viet Nam war protests? Like the detractors of Colin Kaepernick, who intentionally misrepresent his protest message, the persons who want their memorials protected while continuing to allow Black Lives to be endangered throw up a false agenda of caring about veterans in order to keep society polarized. They believe that by sending the message that all the protestors care about is tearing down white society, instead of acknowledging that policies in place hurt the impoverished of all colors. Nonetheless, that understanding has already been reached by many in American society and we can see it by the numbers of White, Latino, Asian and Indigenous participants in the recent uprisings.

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