DC Mayor Tries to Remove Statues, So Hillsdale College Puts Up More
Not long after the untimely death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, America seemed to go on a rampage, seeking to tear down any and all reminders that life isn’t always fair, whether they held historical or educational significance or not. Key among these were statues of our founding fathers. And while some movements have moved on from the disgracing and tearing down of these monuments to our freedom to rioting and lootings, it has become apparent that to some, the idea is not lost.
Take the mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, for example. While her city has most certainly experienced some unrest, including riots and “peaceful protests,” she is still determined to make our nation’s capital less offensive and more inclusive. And apparently, that means that a total of 153 public spaces, including street names, schools, parks, bridges, and so on, must be renamed because they currently hold the name of a man or woman who doesn’t conform to her standards or values.
A report recently submitted by her working group titled, “Commemorative Expressions Working Group” or DC-FACES notes that some 70 percent of the entire metropolis’s buildings and statues honor white men only. And most of those, according to Bowser and her group, should no longer be honored because of their policies, systematic racism, participation in slavery, or legislation passes that helped to oppress people of a particular color, sex, gender identity, religion, or age.
This means that if a school or street is named after anyone like Thomas Jefferson, Francis Scott Key, Woodrow Wilson, Alexander Graham Bell, or James Monroe, it must be renamed.
Furthermore, the mayor’s group is pressuring the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission to “remove,” “relocate,” or “contextualize” memorials that honor those men. This would include world-renown historical structures like the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, a federal statue of Benjamin Franklin, and another of Christopher Columbus.
Beyond being extremely expensive and burdensome to do, the idea of “relocating” or “removing” something like the Washington Monument flies in the face of everything our nation stands for and ever did. Or at least that’s what Hillsdale College in southern Michigan believes.
While Bowser is busy trying to rid her city of our nation’s history, this small liberal arts college is only adding to their collection of American monuments.
For years, Hillsdale has boasted what they call their Liberty Walk. Strolling through the area, visitors see statues of Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and, of course, George Washington, all men and women who have fought to keep liberty and justice for all throughout the world. In fact, the college has North America’s only statue of Margaret Thatcher, England’s first female prime minister.
And every year, the school adds to its collection. Every semester, students are asked to send op-ed pieces to the school’s student newspaper – the Hillsdale Collegian – with suggestions and reasoning as to what the college’s next historical statue purchase or creation should be.
But this isn’t the only way the school is refusing to abide by the cancel culture of the radical left.
They also have refused to say they support the Black Lives Matter movement, which they were asked to publicly endorse. Instead, the school noted that any “statement” on what they believe in and support could be learned by merely looking at what they do. After all, actions are better than words.
They wrote in response to the demand that they make a statement of support for BLM:
“Postgraduate programs with the express aim of advancing the ideas of human dignity, justice, equality, and the citizen as the source of the government’s power, these are all statements. And all of these statements are acts, deeds that speak, undertaken and perpetuated now, every day, all the time. Everything the College does, though its work is not that of an activist or agitator, is for the moral and intellectual uplift of all.”
The leaders and I’d wager to say, most Hillsdale students, understand that public statements and the eradication of our nation’s history does nothing to make our country a better place. It does not change how people look at one another, it does not add more diversity, and neither does it make our future more secure. If anything, it only jeopardizes it more.
How is our country to learn from our mistakes if we refuse to look at our past? How do we teach our young about the values we should hold dear if we “cancel” men and women who exemplified those standards?
Thank God, Hillsdale refuses to let that become their future.