Monumental rage: Cities endure statue removal frenzy, as Bill Clinton & Lenin sculptures targeted
As US cities grapple with a national movement to take down Confederate monuments, other symbols unrelated to the Civil War are now the source of controversy as well. This includes statues of former president Bill Clinton and Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin.
Charlottesville 'twisted totem'
On Friday, Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer called on Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) to urgently remove General Robert E. Lee’s monument, saying, “We can, and we must, respond by denying the Nazis and the KKK and the so-called alt-right the twisted totem they seek.”
Following the political violence in Charlottesville last week, which grew out of protests against the removal of the Lee statue, there have been nationwide demands to remove more Confederate memorials. And, either as a reaction or an escalation, all sorts of other public symbols are now also in the crosshairs.
Trump asked, is George Washington next? Others eye Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton may have nothing to do with the Confederacy or its support for slavery, but some have called to tear down his statue in South Dakota.
“I would like to personally use a sledgehammer on it, with the help of Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones,” Juanita Broaddrick, told the American Mirror. Broaddrick alleges that Clinton raped her in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1978 when he was running for governor.
Paula Jones, who alleges Clinton sexually harassed her, backed up Broaddrick’s call, writing on Facebook: “Yes I am 100% offended… and all WOMEN should be too.”
What is to be done in Seattle? Lenin monument to come down
On Thursday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray called for Russian communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s statue to be removed from public display, saying it represented historic injustice as well as hate and violence.
“In the last few days, Seattleites have expressed concerns and frustration over symbols of hate, racism and violence that exist in our city. Not only do these kinds of symbols represent historic injustices, their existence causes pain among those who themselves or whose family members have been impacted by these atrocities,” Murray said in a statement, MYNorthwest reported.
No brotherly love for Philly’s Frank Rizzo
In Philadelphia, calls came to remove the statue of former mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo, who critics say reigned amid police brutality toward African-Americans and members of the LGBT community. On Friday, police arrested a man suspected of spray-painting “black power” on the statue.
Close enough: Confederate flag look-alike tile in NYC subway is out
New York City’s Metro Transit Authority says it plans to “modify” tiles in a Manhattan subway station that people have complained look like the Confederate flag.
“These are not confederate flags, it is a design based on geometric forms that represent the ‘Crossroads of the World’ and to avoid absolutely any confusion we will modify them to make that absolutely crystal clear,” the MTA said, WNYW reported.
Not amused, Texas park messes with Confederate flag
Even an amusement park has come into the national spotlight with their decision to remove a Confederate flag. The Six Flags Over Texas amusement park in Arlington decided to take it down.
“At Six Flags Over Texas, we strive every single day to make people happy and to create a fun, thrilling and safe family friendly experience for our guests," the park said in a statement, according to KDFW. “We always choose to focus on celebrating the things that unite us versus those that divide us. As such, we have changed the flag displays in our park to feature American flags.”
Before this change, the park had flown flags from governments related to Texas’ history, such as Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the US and the Confederate States of America. Now, only the US flag will be flown.
Tar & feathers in Arizona
In Arizona, at least two Confederate monuments have been vandalized, one of them tarred and feathered. On Thursday, the Arizona Department of Public Safety was investigating the vandalism of the Jefferson Davis Highway memorial. Davis served as the first and only president of the Confederate States of America.
In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 1,503 Confederate “place names and other symbols in public spaces” around the US. They reported that there are 718 monuments or statues dedicated to the now defunct nation. The organization did admit that the list was “far from comprehensive,” though.