American Elephants


Cheap Virtue, Jumping on Bandwagons of Public Feeling* by The Elephant's Child

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Every time you think you have seen it all, something else pops up. In this case, it is protesters in Portland, Oregon who last night dismantled a statue of George Washington, after they wrapped Washington’s head in an American flag and set it all on fire. George Washington?

The statue was created by an Italian-American sculptor, Pompeo Coppini, and was installed in Portland’s Rose City Park neighborhood in the late 1920s. Many years ago I lived about ten blocks from there, though I had never been to that park. It seems like an odd place for a George Washington statue. It was also defaced with spray paint.

Sprayed on the statue was the number “1619“. That suggests massive historical ignorance, which unfortunately is more common than anyone would like to admit. The 1619 date would seem to be a reference to the New York Times’ embarrassing 1619 Project attempting to rewrite the nation’s history to make it ever so much more racist, and useful.

Democrats have been chafing for years by being reminded of the Civil War, and being on the wrong side. They were terrified that would lose their Black votes. Then they elected the First Black President, which absolved them of any previous errors. And now a policeman put a black man in a neck hold, and the man died, though from the neck hold, a heart attack or a drug overdose is not clear, the world exploded in anger, started looting, and attacking statues. Just how attacking a statue of our First President and Founding Father accomplishes anything is somewhat unclear, but it seems to be the most popular solution, after looting.

This seems to be how the common saying “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!” may have arisen.

*An appropriate phrase for the headline, borrowed from Hillsdale College.


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