Since When Friday

Since when do we bend to the politics of violent extortion?

(BenQQ 8.18.17) In the middle of the night can a statue be taken away, hidden from the eyes of the population who might have second thoughts--or even first thoughts? In Baltimore, city crews removed iconic statues on city property.

First thought: doesn't this look a bit like Stalin who liked to cut out figures in photos of previous cronies who had the misfortune to be associated? Or perhaps, even though we see the open deceit of politicians to secretly solve an issue that should be in public discussion, we'll give them a pass on this one. Its just too hard to talk about, right?

Hauling the alleged offending statues away in the middle of the night reveals not only a dark base fear in the new politics of violent extortion after Charlottesville but a psychological unwillingness even to talke about it. More immediately, the politicos are no doubt afraid of the Black Lives Matter, communists and Antifa members as well as smaller bodies of Klan and Nazi afficionados. Both have succeeded in replacing debate with violence. So better to protect public safety, they rationalize, as did Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh (D) than enter into a socially layered and legally complex discussion.

Pugh in the Washington Post: “I said, ‘We want to do it tonight, away from fanfare,’  We all are seeing lessons via the media of uprisings and violence, and violence is not what we need in our city.”

She's not without reason. Instead of having considered community discussion, "activists," of whom in their ranks are paid communist agitators gleefully performing violence for cameras, rush to the public symbols of historic figures that would not come close to meeing approval by most Americans today. Hauling away the statue of Roger B. Taney, the U.S. chief justice who authored the devastating pro-slavery Dred Scott decision, could not have been particularly painful. And, we've got to remember, many of these statues were put up in the civil rights era as a political statement.

OK, so its a thorny issue. There are still over 700 Confederate statues that still stand, according to

People should talk about it. Use these statues to discuss history and their meaning today. Then, after public discussion, find solutions from resettlement to "adding context" as suggested by Richmond, VA Mayor Levar Stoney.

“For me, it’s about telling the complete truth. I don’t think removal of symbols does anything for telling the actual truth or changes the state and culture of racism in this country today,” he says.

Richmond faces a demonstration held by the Americans for Richmond Monument Preservation at the statue of Robert E. Lee next month.

"I would make the request that in light of the events that happened in Charlottesville that we take a deep look at whether or not this is something that should go forward on Sept. 16," Stoney said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Rioting and removing them in the dead of night are both lousy cowardly solutions disrespectful to all.