by James L. Caton
The American Institute for Economic Research
Every week it seems I read new stories of mobs in the United States tearing down statues or of state and local governments choosing to remove these monuments. Sometimes these statues are of individuals who seem to be most wretched. Why does any city need to have a statue of Robert E. Lee? Do supporters of these statues yearn for a time when the South was supposedly free from the oppression of the North while half of the population in many southern states were slaves?
Or perhaps more charitably, do those sympathetic to Lee feel that he made the correct decision in choosing to lead the South instead of the North? Either sentiment is insufficient to oppose the demands of protestors that citizens of the United States need to express collective disapproval of this character from our history. The obvious identification of the South with the defense of slavery makes the defense of these profane memorials a losing proposition.