Yeah, Let’s Grind Those Confederate Statues to Dust

Silent Sam is finally silent forever.Left: SGM/ZUMAPRESS; Right: Julia Wall/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via ZUMA

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Students are coming back to school, and at some schools this means grappling once again with all those statues of Confederate generals:

Tim Huebner, a history professor at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., who has studied the legacy of Confederate memorials, recommends contextualizing Confederate markers with signs or new courses rather than removing them. “I don’t think you take all of these remnants of the past, take all these artifacts, and grind them into dust,” he said.

Allow me to politely disagree. I think that grinding them into dust is precisely what ought to be done. In fact, I’m surprised that kids at these universities haven’t torn down and pulverized a whole lot more of these statues than they have. It shouldn’t take much. Fill some frat boys with plenty of Bud Light and mint juleps, get ’em to drive a couple of F-350s out to the quad (or whatever) with plenty of rope, and then hit the accelerator. When the statue is down, everyone gets out their sledge hammers and starts pounding away until the campus cops arrive. Then they run away. Mission accomplished.

All it would take is a tacit understanding between the students and the administration that puts a few reasonable safety precautions in place but basically promises not to make trouble for any 2 am Confederate statue bashing parties. How hard is that?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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