Should Every Statue and Monument Ever Erected Just Be Destroyed?

Another campaign has been sweeping across the United States during the spring of 2020 to literally erase reminders of the days when the Confederate States of America formed after Abraham Lincoln — who was opposed to slavery — was elected the 16th president of the United States in November of 1860.

Should Every Statue and Monument Ever Erected Just Be Destroyed?

A statue of Robert Edward Lee mounted on his horse Traveller was commissioned in 1917 and was commemorated in 1924 in Charlottesville; but the vice mayor of the city in Virginia called upon the city council for the removal of the statue back in the fall of 2017, as Robert E. Lee was a general for the army of the Confederate States of America, which is considered offensive to people such as descendants of those who were slaves.

A protest — which was called the Unite the Right rally — opposed to the removal of the statue became violent and resulted in the death of one woman and left 19 other people injured on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

That incident was key in accelerating the movement to remove statues and monuments throughout the United States…

…and almost three years later with the recent deaths of black people at the hands of police officers — such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks to name only three examples — the movement has ignited again as a result.

John Oliver of Last Week Tonight on HBO discussed this issue in this video back in 2017.

Who — or What — is Next After Christopher Columbus?

“In the wake of the Charlottesville incident, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio commissioned a 90-day review of all the statues in the city”, according to this article written by Mark Osborne of Good Morning America on ABC News pertaining to the removal of statues and monuments erected in honor of Christopher Columbus. “The Columbus controversy has been most prominent in New York City, where a 76-foot tall statue of the Italian explorer rises over Columbus Circle at the southwest corner of Central Park. The monument, designed by Italian sculptor Gaetano Russo, was officially unveiled in October 1892.”

Although Columbus Circle is not the most popular tourist attraction in New York, this expands a dangerous precedent of attempting to erase history.

Statue of Liberty

Photograph ©2007 by Brian Cohen.

Perhaps the Statue of Liberty is next for removal for any crimes committed by French people, as France gave the statue to the United States as a gift?

Washington Monument

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Can we uncover some nefarious information about George Washington so that we may tear down the Washington Monument and move on ahead with establishing the state of Jefferson — unless we uncover some torrid dirt about Thomas Jefferson or George and Louise Jefferson?

Auschwitz-Birkenau

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Even former concentration camps are not immune from this craziness. Marek Olszewski was fired from his role as the head of the Polish Tourist Organization after he allegedly told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper that Auschwitz did not promote Poland as an attractive tourist destination: “Auschwitz is not a tourist product but a place of martyrology, reverie and reflection, and we are promoting Poland as an attractive tourist destination”, according to this article written by Rosa Doherty for The Jewish Chronicle. “I do not need to expose places and events connected with the history of other nations.”

We should just destroy every statue and monument ever erected. This way, all of our problems will be solved and everyone will be happy…

…and why stop at statues and monuments? Let us remove and erase any physical depiction or reminder of history itself so that no one will ever be offended ever again.

By the way: who is supposed to pay for the removal of all of these statues and monuments?

Summary

Travel is not about just having fun. An important part of travel is about learning about the history of other cultures. Imagine no statue of Christopher Columbus at Columbus Circle in New York…

Arc de Triomphe Paris

Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

…no Arc de Triomphe in Paris…

Granite Monument of Victory Victory Square Minsk

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…no Granite Monument of Victory at Victory Square in Minsk…

Fortress Walls of Intramuros in Manila

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

…no Fortress Walls of Intramuros in Manila

Nelson Mandela Sandton South Africa

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…or no statue of Nelson Mandela in Sandton in South Africa.

Although I personally do not agree with erecting statues and monuments to honor people — the naming of airports after people even if there was a Brian Cohen International Airport is ridiculous, in my opinion — I do believe that we need to learn and remember significant moments and locations in history from which we should learn so that we can advance as a civilization and do not repeat mistakes from the past.

I understand those who oppose such statues and monuments do not want to glorify what they consider dark moments in history. I agree with that; but not to the point of dismantling any memory of those moments…

Stone Mountain Park

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…such as with the campaign to remove the carving on the face of Stone Mountain in Georgia. Rather, leave them alone for all to see — with the provision that an explanation presenting the unbiased facts in historical context pertaining to that statue or monument be clearly present so that those who observe them can learn from them.

Along that line of thinking, how about replacing the descriptions on the plaques which glorify some of the statues and monuments with more accurately truthful information as to the real history behind it as a starter?

George Santayana — who was a Spanish philosopher also known as Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás — is quoted on a plaque at the Auschwitz concentration camp as saying “The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again”; and a variant of that aphorism was repeated by Winston Churchill in the form of “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

We need to stop being so sensitive and overly politically correct to what are considered offensive reminders of an unpleasant past and learn from them. That would go a long way towards tolerance, peace and a greater understanding for each other; create educational opportunities for generations to come; and result in travel becoming even more significant, rewarding and satisfying.

All photographs ©2005, ©2008, ©2014, ©2015 and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

90 thoughts on “Should Every Statue and Monument Ever Erected Just Be Destroyed?”

  1. ERADICATE THE GATE says:

    This is the Hannity of travel blogs.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      What is that even supposed to mean, ERADICATE THE GATE?

      Instead of being a coward and hiding behind some anonymous e-mail address with a perfunctory comment — and proving that I do not censor comments at The Gate — how about having the balls to have an actual dialogue with me?

      1. Lance says:

        Well said

        1. Barry Graham says:

          Agreed

      1. Brian Cohen says:

        Thank you for providing yet another opportunity to prove that I do not censor comments here at The Gate, momo.

        By the way, did you know that momo — when said a certain way — is how you politely greet women in the Baoulé language in Côte d’Ivoire?

        Hey — I had to figure out some way to make your comment halfway useful and interesting…

    2. Dave says:

      @ERADICATE THE GATE

      Bravo! Best moniker ever. Hannity has nothing on this guy (except a lot more money, of course).

  2. colleen says:

    ETG: Your screen name itself signifies Cancel Culture. Grow up and make a point rather than a shot.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Wasn’t Boy George the lead singer of Cancel Culture, colleen?

      1. colleen says:

        Culture Club. (I think; I’m THAT old). But this new movement to not hear opposing views is quite distressing. Editors dropping like flies. The things you can’t say…

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          It was Culture Club, colleen. If you really thought that I did not know that, I would have to ask you “do you really want to hurt me?”

          In all seriousness, I find the desire by certain people to either ignore or quell views in an era of social media rather ironic.

          In other words: with the ability of more freedom of speech, more people are trying to limit that very same freedom — which is rather sad and troubling, in my opinion, as I vehemently support the right of a person to express himself or herself…

  3. Tom says:

    Imagine equating the removal of statues honoring heroes of the racist Confederacy with the removal of a statue of Nelson Mandela. You’re just . . . terrible.

    1. ASM says:

      ALL STATUES MATTER

      1. Brian Cohen says:

        All statutes matter too, ASM.

    2. Brian Cohen says:

      I would say that your comment proves that reading comprehension is not your strongest attribute, Tom — but then, I would be jumping to conclusions like you just did.

      Thank you for being a reader of The Gate.

  4. Emma says:

    Are you actually this stupid? You need to dig up some dirt on the founders of America? Thomas Jefferson was a rapist in addition to being a slave owner. This is a county founded on utter bullshit. It should be burnt to the ground. Taking down the statues is just a small start.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      …then why do you live in this country, Emma?

    2. Donna says:

      Yeah, Emma! What’s next? Burn books that someone might be offended by! History is the past! Leave it there and move on by learning , not destroying!

  5. BLM says:

    The vast majority of the Confederate monuments were built during the era of Jim Crow laws. They were not built as memorials but as a means of intimidating African Americans and reaffirming white supremacy. If you don’t get that and simply try to make your arguments by invoking Mandela and Auschwitz, then, you are no better than any bystander allowing brutalities to happen and make excuses. This is not about statues. Just like kneeing is not about disrespecting the flag. Meet a Black person and listen. We don’t need another white person to comment on confederate statues, people of colors already know what they mean. Racism kills Black people every day. If you don’t get that, I would suggest you just stick to your travel blog and enjoy your white privilege. Don’t spend another minute talking about something you absolutely know nothing about.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      For you to tell me not to comment simply because I am Caucasian smacks of racism in and of itself, BLM.

      I will comment on what I want when I want however I want and as much as I want — whether you understand the context or not, which in this case you clearly did not — just as you have commented here as you wanted; and your comment is unedited…

      …and I could have exercised my right to not have approved your comment. I choose not to censor because I believe that everyone — even you — have a right to be heard.

      I live in the United States, where freedom of speech is still a right; and I will exercise that right as I see fit — just as you have the right to disagree with what I write or not read my articles altogether; and I will vehemently defend your right to do either.

      Too bad that you chose to comment anonymously instead of engaging in discourse — which is your right; and I will defend that as well.

      Thank you for reading The Gate.

      1. Robert says:

        BLM movement is a racist movement by default like WLM or YLM would. They don’t even pretend that they arent (see some comments on this blog or their manifesto). What strikes me is how many people don’t see it… Thank you Universities for teaching students uncritical thinking, thank you politicians for sacrificing principles for votes, thank you TV for Kardashians…
        So far this is a free country, but if we let “political correctness” take over free speech, equality of opportunity replaced by equality of outcome, meritocracy by entitlement, capitalism by socialism, justice by social justice, science by pseudoscience, we will say goodbye to the longest streak of prosperity in human history and say hello to “equality in poverty”…

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Those are very haunting words, Robert. Thank you for your viewpoint.

          I personally would not go so far as to say that Black Lives Matter is a racist movement. As with all movements, radical thinking and actions by some individuals who may indeed be racist will inevitably result to diminish and dilute the goals of the causes.

          I am, however, concerned by “political correctness” — by blindly following the crowd with what is known as “virtue signaling” — take over free speech. I am also nonplussed by the blindness of people — especially in the United States — pertaining to the increasing danger of the acquiescence of our liberties for the sake of blindly following a cause…

  6. Larry says:

    This blog is a cesspool.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for proving once again that comments are not censored at The Gate, Larry — and thank you for being a reader.

  7. Craig says:

    Your privilege is showing. Let me guess middle aged suburban white male living in the south.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Your perceived ignorance is showing, Craig.

      Let me guess: another anonymous person who offers no solution or information of substance and wants to stir the pot just for the sake of doing so because it happens to be the cool thing to do instead of engage in a discussion.

      Thank you for reading The Gate.

  8. Mike says:

    WHAT ABOUT MOUNT RUSHMORE?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I likely would not have supported the idea of creating Mount Rushmore, Mike, as it has its own sordid history.

      Unlike the uninformed opinions of some apparently ignorant commenters, I am — and have always been — against the abuse and oppression of black people, native Americans, women, and others who have unnecessarily suffered throughout history.

    2. Sven says:

      It’s The Six Grandfathers (Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe)

  9. Tom says:

    Brian – I understand your point, and nuance is an important part of any discussion, but there are some things worth pointing out:

    First is that many of the monuments decorating Southern streets were erected in the early 1900s, specifically to intimidate black human beings — to put them in their place — by a Klan-affiliated, white-supremacist population that wanted to make it clear who was in charge. It’s understandable that dark-skinned people would not want to live their lives under the glorification of those who declared (and too many of their descendants who are still declaring, or are apathetic to the idea) that they are less than human. A mere plaque adding context doesn’t take the glorification, implied approval, or intimidation away.

    Second, let’s not forget that the Confederacy fought against the United States. They were not American patriots; they were the avowed enemies of our country…and of the dignity of human life.

    Third, if historical education is your goal, then the places for these monuments is in museums, as Auschwitz now is. History won’t be erased in a museum. But keeping these men in an exalted position in the public square is actually an example of attempting to forget history, which you say you oppose. Indeed, the normalization of these men is part of the reason that so many white Southerners feel that the cause of the Confederacy was justifiable.

    In a 2011, “CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll…roughly one in four Americans said they sympathize more with the Confederacy than the Union, a figure that rises to nearly four in ten among white Southerners.

    “When asked the reason behind the Civil War, whether it was fought over slavery or states’ rights, 52 percent of all Americans said the leaders of the Confederacy seceded to keep slavery legal in their state, but a sizeable 42 percent minority said slavery was not the main reason why those states seceded…

    “When broken down by political party, most Democrats said southern states seceded over slavery, independents were split and most Republicans said slavery was not the main reason that Confederate states left the Union.”

    As a rule, many of the people who dismiss the idea that slavery was the reason for the South’s secession and the war believe that the noble-sounding “States’ Rights” was the reason. But, South Carolina, the first state to secede — and the state where the Civil War began — said in its Declaration of Secession that its primary justification was “increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the Institution of Slavery”.

    Fourth, I don’t know if you’re Jewish, as I am and as your surname implies, but I would not feel safe living my life in a country where statues of Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering had prominent places in public squares, thus sending the clear message that their behavior is condoned by the populace (which would be the message, no matter how slyly worded a plaque might be). Would that be acceptable to you?

    As for statues of Jefferson, Washington and their ilk, they were flawed men, who did do some horrible things, but they were also heroic men who were instrumental in the founding of this country. A robust debate may be appropriate, and is worth being heard, but I think that most of us can understand how to draw a line between glorifying, on one side, self-proclaimed enemies of our country, and on the other, patriots who helped create it.

    In my mind, Columbus is a tougher call; whether to honor him is a discussion worth having in a society that has, as one of its virtues, regular re-examination of its values.

    Finally, regarding your reductio ad absurdum suggestion that statues of Nelson Mandela, Lady Liberty, et al, could be at risk if we go down this path, you undermine your argument by venturing into something that sounds like it could be logic, but we all know isn’t. Slippery slopes exist in any non-binary puzzle, but this one won’t slide that far, and I’m guessing you know that.

    1. How do I drop your site from my feed says:

      It’s your blog and you are entitled to your opinion, but this is highly offensive and as noted by Tom is so off base. It’s not worth the time to point out all the issues with your comments.

      The problem is that your blog is part of BoardingArea, which has other non-offensive bloggers. Unfortunately, in order to remove this from my RSS feed I have to drop the full site. Either BoardingArea needs to drop you from their site or perhaps there’s another setting to remove just one blogger. Anyone have info on how to make this happen. This blog has jumped the shark and I don’t want to see it again.

      1. NB_ga says:

        I find it perfectly easy to just not click on the multitude of BA blogs that I dislike – namely, blogs hosted by those who write low value articles simply to peddle credit cards, those who recycle stories from other writers, and/or those who pander to the lowest common denominator with sensationalist clickbait articles. Seems you could do so as well.

      2. Brian Cohen says:

        That is your prerogative, How do I drop your site from my feed — although I suspect that you were never a regular reader of The Gate in the first place…

    2. Brian Cohen says:

      I agree with you that a mere plaque adding context does not take the glorification, implied approval, or intimidation away from the original intended purpose of a statue or monument, Tom — and no, I would not feel safe either living my life in a country where statues of Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering had prominent places in public squares, thus sending the clear message that their behavior is condoned by the populace…

      …but the title of this article was the question “Should Every Statue and Monument Ever Erected Just Be Destroyed?” Perhaps the answer is yes. As you said, “As for statues of Jefferson, Washington and their ilk, they were flawed men, who did do some horrible things, but they were also heroic men who were instrumental in the founding of this country.” Let’s go one step further: do any statues of men or women without flaws even exist?

      Perhaps some statues and monuments should remain. Who gets to decide which ones and why? I suspect that the people who actually “deserve” to have statues and monuments erected in their memory probably would rather not have wanted them erected in the first place.

      I understand that the Confederacy fought against the United States and were the avowed enemies of the United States — but does that mean we tear everything down and erase history? Frankly, I find that more dangerous…

      …and as for the purpose being for historical education — moving the statues and monuments into museums rather than destroying them is an idea which I support.

      As for Auschwitz, I disagree with one minor point: that concentration camp — which I personally visited — may be a museum now; but it is also a tragic symbol of anti-Semitism. Should Auschwitz have been torn down, with its artifacts transported to a museum? I would vehemently be opposed to that. Standing there and realize that the atrocities occurred on the very spot on which I stood is so haunting and chilling — which I would hope sends such a powerful message to its visitors that the likelihood of something like that ever happening again diminishes…

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/gas-chamber-i-and-incinerator-room-at-auschwitz/

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/video-of-auschwitz-as-a-political-gaffe-a-positive-effect/

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/your-mother-went-up-in-the-smoke-a-sad-short-story-from-auschwitz/

      …but there are genocides and atrocities being committed on other people in other areas of this world to this day, sadly.

      Thank you for a very thoughtful and well-reasoned comment, Tom. Let me just say that I am not looking for people to agree with what I write. Rather, I am seeking thoughtful discourse towards a collaborative effort towards improving the world and our society overall from which all of us can learn — and the mob mentality which has been prevalent lately is not only not the way to achieve that goal of a better world, but actually presents a greater danger towards further polarization.

      1. Tom says:

        Brian –

        The more I think about our discussion, the more I am convinced that we are making a mistake by spending time on this topic, right now. It is a tangent, a diversion, a seemingly substantive intercourse, that’s really a form of mental masturbation, distracting us from focusing our eyes, hearts, minds, and efforts where they should be, right now: changing the culture of this society to make it equitable for all. The pundits on cable news have become expert in this form of misdirection. It’s time we stopped falling for it. We can discuss statues, later; in this moment, let’s train our attention on the more important issues. Anything else is a shameful waste of our precious seconds and life force, and dishonors the suffering of our fellow human beings, who deserve and need the best of whatever we can contribute.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          A very reasonable request, Tom; and I do not want to be like cable news — or much of the rest of the media — by any stretch of the imagination.

          I have already moved on with other articles.

          1. Sven says:

            You lost me at “…but does that mean we tear everything down and erase history? Frankly, I find that more dangerous”, because we don’t erase history by removing those statues. History is still present in books, museums, documentaries and maybe even in the memory of people who have lived through that time.
            Most of these statues are hagiography and it should be considered what they stand for and what they meant to represent.
            Sure there are no people without flaws, but when the actual flaws are the things celebrated in these statues, a removal should be rather unanimous.
            The removal of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol for example lead to a deeper discussion of the colonial history of the UK than all discussions of it’s removal before. …and I can even understand the removal of the Ghandi statue in Ghana, because while he famously lead the non-violent resistance to British colonial rule in India, he was also pretty racist in his early years towards Africans, so in the context of an African university his statue might be misplaced.

  10. Thomas J says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you Brian. All history matters, all statues matter, all lives matter, not just some

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you, Thomas J — if only because all of us have a lot more to learn from all of this…

  11. Carl WV says:

    What about statues, currency, etc, of the 12 US Presidents that had slaves (including George Washington)? 8 of which had slaves when in office. Thomas Jefferson owned over 600 slaves over his lifetime, although he called slavery a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot”.

    If General Lee is the traitor, than General Grant is the hero? What of his 1862 General Order #11 to expel all Jews from his military districts? History has a lot of ugliness, Things can be carried too far. It’s not easy knowing where the line is.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Not having a clear threshold may be the best reason to not have statues and monuments erected in the memory of people in the first place, Carl WV.

  12. Ben says:

    Black lives matter, I fully agree with that and also that African Americans have not been treated fairly for a long time. I 100% agree that there should be no difference in anyone based upon race. But to hide history is also a grievous mistake. I fee everyone is hopping on a popular trend and not fully understanding what it means to hide a history for good or for bad.

    April 16, 1862 Was the day that slavery was abolished in Washington DC. A full year after South Carolina started the civil war. South Carolina made the statements noted above when they succeeded. So it is fair to say as the first state who succeeded that was one of the foundational items. But less then 1/20 white people owned slaves as of 1860 across the south. While I agree there was a strong decision to protect the institution of slavery I do not believe every confederate was fighting for that reason only. Many where fighting for what they considered their freedom, and while something vile like slavery has become intrinsically linked to that cause I feel the idea of standing up to the government is an innate American right, and was intended as part of the foundation for America.

    The emancipation proclamation only freed the slaves in territories of the south and not the border states where it would have been legal to do so. Remember like it or not until the end of the civil war the south was a separate country.

    In August 22, 1862 Lincoln wrote a letter to Horace Greeley. “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.”

    So why is everyone not crying out to tear down Abraham Lincoln statues? While he did a lot to “free the slaves” he also tolerated it right under his nose.

    My point is simple, history is more complicated then the white washing we give it sometimes. To tear down statues because of the current trend is not much difference then burning books in the

    For many southerners the late 1800’s was a horrible time. The northern reconstruction amounted to very little then a complete extraction of what little was left after the war. Remember the south was burned and stripped of almost everything during the civil war.

    The confederate statues were not erected to intimidate the black man, but I can understand why they would feel that way. They were erected to try and bring back some semblance of pride to the south.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I completely agree with your thoughtful and very well-stated comment, Ben. Thank you so much for posting it.

      If I had it my way, I would abolish all revisionist history and replace it with factual and objective information — for if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it again.

      I wish more people had open minds towards thinking which does not align with their own beliefs. Imagine what an amazing world in which we could be living if we were more collaborative as a species…

  13. NB_ga says:

    There seems to be a bit of confusion in the difference between a statue (erected in reference to a person or event in history) and a shrine (erected to be worshipped).
    Much of the history of the United States, as well as almost every other country, includes sordid, unflattering, and even reprehensible components. Evil should never be idolized. Choosing to ignore the nasty parts of our history does not mean that they did not happen but rather that we refuse to learn from them.
    Keep the statues, learn from the good and bad of our past, and concentrate on working together for the good of everyone. And stop looking for excuses not to exercise kindness and personal responsibility.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for that very powerful statement, NB_ga. I agree with you.

  14. Dave says:

    Brian, this is a terrible take and you should be ashamed.

    People like you are always like “where do we draw the line?!?!” and try to turn this into a slippery slope argument.

    You know where I draw the line? Statues of literal traitors that took up arms against the USA. That’s my line, right there. Perhaps these statues should be in museums, that would be fine. But they should NOT be in places of prominence such as town squares. I wouldn’t want a statue of Hitler in my town any more than I would want one honoring a traitor like Robert E Lee or Jefferson Davis.

    I agree with others that Boarding Area should reconsider your inclusion on their site. Half your articles are of the “check out this FlyerTalk thread!!!” variety. The ones where you DO try to come up with your own content (instead of stealing from FT) end up with this drivel.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      What a shame that you took what could have been a legitimately well-reasoned comment and included statements where you lose all credibility, Dave.

      No, I am not ashamed. In fact, I asked a question and solicited opinions with the article…

      …but comments such as this one which you provided only further prove my point, sadly.

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/free-breakfast-e50-credit-per-stay-with-radisson-summer-2020-in-europe-africa-and-the-middle-east/
      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/earn-up-to-1000-bonus-mileageplus-miles-by-shopping-for-summer-2020/
      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/50-percent-extra-cash-added-to-your-etihad-travel-voucher-purchase/
      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/stay-twice-and-earn-up-to-8000-points-with-choice-privileges-summer-2020/

      These are just some of the articles written within the past three days at The Gate which do not conform to your assertion that “Half your articles are of the “check out this FlyerTalk thread!!!” variety. The ones where you DO try to come up with your own content (instead of stealing from FT) end up with this drivel.”

      Perhaps you accidentally missed them? If so, please consider my inclusion of links to those articles — and more, if you want them — as a complimentary service to you so that you do not need to spend unnecessary time and effort looking for them.

  15. The Taliban says:

    Remember 20 years ago when the Buddhas of Bamyan statues were blown up by fundamentalist zealots and everybody condemned their destruction as barbaric?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Please provide some more historical context about that from which all of us can learn more, The Taliban.

      Thank you in advance.

    2. Sven says:

      Difference is though that the statues commemorating confederate Generals have no artistic or historic value whatsoever and their main purpose was and is to intimidate the Black population in the South of the US, while Buddha’s message was one of peace and understanding.

  16. Joey says:

    I agree about naming airports after people. I think it’s silly. I’d much rather name the airport after… the city itself! I live in NYC and for the longest time I never knew Laguardia was the name of one of NYC’s past mayors. I

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am glad to see you commenting here at The Gate again, Joey. Welcome back!

      Here are two articles which better pertain to your comment, if you have not already read them:

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/naming-airports-people/
      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/name-airports-people/
      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/yet-another-reason-airports-should-not-be-named-after-people/

  17. Nun says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    No one seems to be aware this push to erase history is a lot like what the Chinese communists did in the Cultural Revolution, and what came next. Have you once heard this discussed on any news/talk program? Someone can make an incredible contribution to mankind, such as George Washington, and still have a terrible sin. That doesn’t negate the achievement.

    By today’s standards, everyone from the past is racist. That means these extremist demands will never end until civilization is erased.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      “By today’s standards, everyone from the past is racist. That means these extremist demands will never end until civilization is erased.” Wow. I cannot argue with that rather scary statement, Nun.

      Would you please provide some more context pertaining to the Culture Revolution in China with links for others to read?

      Thank you in advance.

    2. Sven says:

      Have you ever heard of this strange new invention called “books”? I guess people will still be able to read about Robert Edward Lee and his band of traitors when all of his statues are removed.

  18. ABC says:

    As John Oliver has said, “where does it end?”, “somewhere”. statues of Hitler of Symbols of nazis were removed from town squares in Germany after the war was lost. The confederacy lost. So no glorified statues of their leaders. Keep it simple.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That sounds like a good start, ABC — but I am not sure that what you propose is all that simple…

  19. zozppelin says:

    Just checking in to see if you were able to fit a credit card referral link cherry on top of this shit sundae of an article.

    Tone deaf to say the least. Now is a time for listening and empathy at a minimum.

    Like the police, Boarding Area appears to have some bad apples.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Who said I was not listening?!?

      Tell you what, zozppelin — if you can find one single credit card referral link in any of the almost 8,400 articles I have written here at The Gate over the past almost 14 years, I will forward to you every penny of my earnings from them — and I will personally commission a statue to be erected in your honor.

      If you are going to lambast me, at least do a modicum of research to get your information correct.

      Talk about not listening. You just proved that you have no idea what you are talking about…

      1. zozeppelin says:

        Well if you have listening down, maybe a good time to focus on reading, I’d start with trying to find where I said you use credit card referral links.

        I simply stated I was curious if this trainwreck of an article surely wouldn’t double down on the dumb and attempt to add commissionable links. Congrats, it didn’t, thus your article isn’t the worst!

        Like most of us, your blog is the noise we skip over in the boarding area feed, but this was just too stupid to pass up.

        And don’t forget about the empathy. Based on your responses to the comments, probably a good time to step away from the keyboard before you get into the unboarded area.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          No offense, zozeppelin, but with all due respect, I will choose not to follow your advice pertaining to stepping away from the keyboard — as well meaning as you intended it to be.

          I have empathy for many groups and causes. You just seem to refuse to see it, and that is your prerogative.

          Thank you; and have a great day!

  20. Tom says:

    Well this is one way to boost your readership. Not a good way, but perhaps an effective one.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is your opinion, Tom — and I defend your right to voice that opinion.

      Thank you.

  21. Trent says:

    Man, watching you rage over every comment is hilarious. Keep it up. Hopefully that blood pressure will get the best of you.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      “Rage”?

      Au contraire, Trent. I find the vacuously vapid ill-informed comments to be rather humorous.

      I just have one question for you, as there is one part of your comment which I did not completely understand: are you hoping that I die from high blood pressure; or are you simply seeking that I suffer from a long debilitating disease?

      Thank you for the well wishes, Trent — and for the record, if you ever needed platelets, you are more than welcome to mine.

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/how-donating-blood-has-changed-during-the-pandemic-of-2019-novel-coronavirus/

      Why? Because that is who I am as a person.

      So tell me, Trent: what have you done lately to serve humanity?

  22. Bill n DC says:

    You are a racist asshole. You should be dismissed from Boarding Area! 🙁

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Why, thank you for that very informative comment, Bill n DC — and for being a loyal reader of The Gate over the past almost 14 years.

      Thank you also for once again giving me the opportunity to prove that comments are not censored or edited here at The Gate — but you already knew that, of course.

      Have a great day!

  23. iv says:

    I think statues that do come down should not be destroyed. We cannot erase our history, we must acknowledge the past if we want to move forward as a society.

    Having said that, we should place the statues in a museum so that the younger and future generation can trace our progression.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I cannot argue with your thoughts, iv.

      Thank you for taking the time to post your comment.

  24. doc says:

    You asked….Washington and Jefferson owned slaves. That is, under today’s current standards, enough reason to remove their monuments and statutes.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did ask, doc — and thank you for providing an answer…

      …but again, who should determine what statues and monuments should be removed — and which ones should remain?

      Does a statue or monument of someone who is perfect exist? If not, why not remove all of them and display them in museums with the unbiased truth inscribed on a plaque?

      1. doc says:

        You asked.
        I personally don’t agree with it, and have been flamed many times over this issue, including losing several friends.
        By erasing them, we erase them from memory. Those that don’t learn from the past….

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          I am sorry to learn that you lost several friends over this issue, doc.

  25. Wind Surfer says:

    I used to live in a Chicago suburb so occasionally wonder how many black-on-black killings there have been in Chicago YTD? Last time I checked it was like a bad week in Kabul How come this nearly completely Democrat run blue state and city hasn’t had a BLM meltdown by now?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Please accept my apologies, Wind Surfer, as I cannot answer your questions — but perhaps a fellow reader of The Gate can answer them…

  26. Brutus says:

    You have at least one good point in this article. I would support moving all of the Confederate monuments to the “Museum of Treason and White Supremacy,” ideally located in Richmond.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I cannot argue with your viewpoint, Brutus.

      As long as we do not erase the history and the truth, for that would doom us to repeat it…

      1. Sven says:

        How would it even be possible to erase history if we don’t live in a truly Orwellian country (which probably is true at the moment just for people in North Korea and Turkmenistan)?
        I am German and there were numerous streets named after nazi politicians before and during WWII, but we never forgot the atrocities they did (with support of a major part of the German population back then), even though all the streets have been renamed.
        I am pretty sure there wouldn’t be a more nuanced discussion in Russia about Stalin’s heritage if his statues would have been left alone by Khrushchev and would still be in public places.
        The grave of Franco was for years a place of pilgrimage for Spanish fascist (until the remains were removed in October 2019) even though the Spanish state made it pretty clear for years what they thought about this kind of worship.
        A simple plaque (which maybe even is in place in a some of the controversial pieces) doesn’t do the trick here.

        1. Barry Graham says:

          This is so far from an Orwellian country. I know what an Orwellian country looks like. Many Americans do not appreciate how blessed we are.

          1. Sven says:

            Exactly. No knowledge of history will be lost when these statues don’t stand in public places anymore

        2. Brian Cohen says:

          Actually, I do not disagree with your thoughtful comment, Sven. Thank you.

  27. Blind Squirrel says:

    Brian, how long have you been volunteering your time to assist black entrepreneurs as they venture into the unpredictable business world through Emory University’s outreach program. On your own time. On your own dime? 3 years? 4 years?

    I’ve known you for 10 years and worked with you, walked with you, traveled with you, and never heard a racist comment from you.

    Mob mentality has seized the day and many of the commenters on this blog. I pity the future of free thought if this mindset becomes de rigeur in our culture. Let’s hope the intellectual depravity being spewed by many on here is the flavor of the month.

    Blind Squirrel

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The answer is 6 years, Blind Squirrel — not to mention other volunteer endeavors with which I have participated over the years…

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/more-holiday-gift-ideas-of-a-different-kind-2017-from-micro-entrepreneurs/

      …but if people want to believe that I am racist, so be it. That is their prerogative.

      They are wrong. I treat other people with respect — regardless of race, religion, age, gender, sexual preference, or other. I am vehemently against racism and oppression. Always have been. Always will be. Period. End of story.

  28. OxyTrojan says:

    For real? A guy with the last name Cohen asks this? Germany has no Hitler statues as that is a part of their past they don’t want to dedicate statues to. Shame on you, not standing up against racism the same way I assume you would against anti semitism.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      You can shame me all you want, OxyTrojan. Like some of the other commenters, you are free to express your thoughts any way you like as often as you like here, as I believe in discourse…

      …but first you have to find definitive proof that I do not stand up against racism in the almost 8,400 articles I have written over almost 14 years at The Gate.

      Here — let me help you get started:

      “Derek Chauvin did not uphold his main purpose of being a law enforcement officer; and George Floyd should not have been needlessly killed.”

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/this-is-what-happens-when-populations-are-locked-down-for-months/

      Oops. My mistake. I instead offered one of a number of specific examples where I definitively stood up against racism.

      Let me try again:

      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/dachau-a-photographic-essay/
      https://thegate.boardingarea.com/dachau-more-photographs-in-honor-of-holocaust-remembrance-day/

      Oops. Silly me. There I go again. Not good examples to help your argument.

      You’re right. Shame on me. Please accept my apologies…

  29. Gina Fleck says:

    Holy shit. I thought this was a travel blog. This is offensive. Should Germany have statues of Hitler for the sake of “history”? No, because he was a bastard who murdered innocent people. It doesn’t mean the time and history isn’t taught, remembered, and acknowledged. It means it isn’t revered. Can you imagine being a citizen of a country that has monuments, statues, flags, hell – re-enactments of the time (not so long ago) that your ancestors were literally stolen from their homeland, enslaved, raped, and murdered?? I truly cannot understand how you can minimize this. It is time to wake up. And for me, time to unfollow, although I’m sure you don’t care. Good day.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do care, Gina Fleck — but you already unfollowed, as is your prerogative.

      1. Issac jones says:

        Brian I just want to say this is the best article I have seen a travel blogger write and finally someone who doesn’t back down to the mob mentality because they dont like what you write. your the definition of America freedom of speech unlike the people who claim to be all about freedom but the second they write something they dont like they want to be thrown to the dogs and about the person who wrote it will never come down to Mandela statue getting removed if you would of told me 10 years ago that people wanted Columbus statue removed everybody would say your nuts and now it’s on the table to be removed we are not far away from anything of being removed and that’s why your 100% right and keep the great work and ignore the mob

  30. Barry Graham says:

    Not having been born here, I don’t know enough about American history to understand this issue completely. But as I see it, unless a statue was erected specifically to condone oppression, it should not be removed. According to many opinions, Christopher Columbus was Jewish (despite the name) so that’s another point to consider as to the real motive for its removal.

  31. Sara J says:

    Statues in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park were targeted. The news focused on those torn down. Vandalized was a Cervantes statue made by Jo Mora (1876-1947), an immigrant born in Uruguay. He admired the Navajo and Hopi, lived with them, learned their languages, and used his artistic skill to document their lives. I don’t know who will act or how this could have been protected. Art preservation and regular people need to figure something out.

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