For people hunting for statues to tear down, the South is a target-rich environment. Every city of size seems to have a statue. Perhaps statues of founding members of the city. Maybe an old bust of a former U.S. president from the area. Or a Franklin or Hamilton or other founding father of the nation, who've given their names to so many cities, counties, schools and buildings around the country.
In the last few months, the protests and civil unrest have been overshadowed only by the deadly covid-19 bug. In any other year, the protests would lead the paper, above the fold, every day. And one sidebar to those stories would be: statues.
People are in a tear to tear down. And sometimes it seems the mob doesn't even consider what it's doing. Such as when the mob gets carried away and starts destroying memorials to people who, if they only lived today, would probably agree with the progressive left. But that's what happens when mobs get carried away.
A person is smart, the man in the movie said, but people are dumb, panicky animals. Which explains why statues of U.S. Grant, Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi have been targeted. There are those who want a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Washington to come down. Lincoln!
For a different approach on how to approach various opinions about statues, memorials, and how to handle these things without spray-paint or arrests, we give you Pine Bluff, Ark.
Only a few days ago, a memorial marker to the Confederacy sat on the north side of the Jefferson County courthouse. The 20-foot statue of an infantryman was moved there from Pine Bluff High School in 1974. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
And instead of tearing the thing down, a la Saddam Hussein, it was quietly taken down after an agreement between the county judge and representatives of the local United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter. The county judge, Gerald Robinson, a black gentleman, had vowed a year ago to have the statue removed.
And for a year, the chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, lead by mainly local white women, raised money to have it moved to a cemetery. It's not quite there yet, because money is still being raised, but the statue is off public property and is being cleaned and repaired.
It wasn't that hard.
The folks in Pine Bluff have provided an exemplary example to the rest of us. And a lesson: People working together are more efficient than working against each other. It's a characteristic of the use of power. Both mechanical and political.