What to do With Your Embarrassing Confederate Statue

So you’ve got an old Confederate statue you need to toss out. Don’t worry, many cities in America are going through the same spring cleaning you are. The relevant question is: what do you do with a marble effigy of an old bearded racist once you’ve knocked it off its pedestal?

The main argument against removing these statues hinges on historical preservation, that we shouldn’t dynamite historical artifacts whenever the Left gets tetchy. I agree with that in principle: If Michael Moore starts wandering around a Calvin Coolidge statue with a hacksaw, I’ll be the first to restrain him.

Most of these statues, however, are not memorials to the dead erected by their mourning relatives. They are tributes erected at the height of the Jim Crow era, basically big bronze and concrete middle fingers racists erected to protest integration. And if there’s one thing I really hate, it’s passive aggressive statuary.

That’s why I’ve provided these elegant solutions for all of the Confederate detritus you’ve got lying around. Discuss them with your mayor next time you run into him at a Rotary Club breakfast or key party.

Turn the Statue into Darth Vader

Eastern Europe is littered with statues of dead socialists. Lenin is the lawn gnome of Eastern Europe. Commie strongmen are less in vogue since the Soviet Union petered out, however, leaving people with a glut of memorials to murderous psychopaths who murdered millions of people, or alternately, to disastrous technocrats who murdered millions of people inadvertantly.

Ukranian artist Alexander Milov came up with the brilliant solution for all of the Lenin clutter: turn them into statues of Darth Vader. I’ve never visited Columbia, South Carolina but I’m fairly confident tourism would spike if only the city retrofitted its surplus of Confederate ephemera into Sith lords.

There could be copyright issues, but that’s an easy fix. If Disney protests, simply turn your statue of Stonewall Jackson into a velociraptor riding a Tyrannosaurus-rex. Stonewall Jacksons’s horse probably wasn’t racist, so there may be no need alter it. But if you’re already making one dinosaur, why not splurge and do two? A velociraptor riding a T-Rex makes an awesome cover for your tourism brochure.

Another nifty option is to weld boxy metal parts to your Jefferson Davis statue to make it look like a clunky 1950’s robot. Be sure to add a plaque that says, “Erected in Eternal Memory to the Robot Uprising of 2046.” Three hundred years from now won’t that be a great practical joke. Oh, and did I mention installing lasers in Ol’ Jeff’s eyes?

Build a Monument Over It

People are preoccupied with the celebration of institutional racism these monuments represent. But has anyone stopped to consider that Confederate statues celebrate losers? We don’t celebrate losers in the USA. That sends a bad message to the kids. We look up to winners.

Consider building an eighty-foot statue of Ulysses S. Grant triumphantly stepping on your now-dwarfed Stonewall Jackson statue. Voila, you’ve now got a Union monument.

Also makes a phenominal roadside attraction.

Donate It to a Third World Country

You know how Third World countries wind up with all the t-shirts from Superbowl teams that lost? Well here’s an idea: donate your statue to one of those countries. Do your research beforehand because many of them have their own peculiar reasons for disliking confederates.

Dump it in the Ocean

You might be tempted to round up all of the Confederate statues and put them in one place, say, somewhere like Fallen Monument Park in Moscow. The problem is your park is going to be swarming with bigots and their tiki torches. That’s a fire hazard.

Your park should be under water, maybe somewhere in the Florida Keys. That way if the Alt-Right wants to hold a rally, it’s going to have to leave the continental United States. Good.

Recycle It

Sorting garbage into organized piles of garbage is all the rage right now. No reason not to do the same thing with large bronze figurines, although it’s slightly more labor intensive and not very environmentally friendly. Melt down that unwanted bust of Alexander H. Stephens cluttering up your state capitol and recast him as Edgar Allen Poe. People mistake Poe for an Englishman (probably because he was moody and pale) but he grew up a son of the South in Richmond, Virginia and made his fame in Baltimore where they were tearing down Confederate statues just the other day. Seems like a natural to memorialize.

Why the fixation with authority figures? It’s more than a little disturbing that our culture has such a hard-on for generals. I don’t mean we shouldn’t honor veterans. I mean the ratio of generals and politicians to doctors, writers, chefs, and inventors is wildly disproportionate.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead, we erected more statues of people like Norman Borlaug? That man arguably saved more lives than anyone in all of history. He died a professor at Texas A&M, so the Lone Star State can claim him, but they’ll probably have to go halfsies with his home state of Iowa.

The South has Earl Scruggs, Booker T. Washington, Dolly Parton and many more, not one of them architects of an odious slavery. There’s no reason these figures should be overshadowed by misused scrap metal. Someday, God willing, we won’t associate the South with the Confederacy or racism. It will rightly celebrate bluegrass, barbecue, jazz, and friendliness.

And, of course, the Robot Uprising of 2046. Never forget.

This article was originally published on Reason.com 

 

 Andrew Heaton is a writer and standup comedian in New York City. If this post made you laugh or think, kindly "like" it on Facebook.

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