Statue-Toppling Gangs Target Ulysses S. Grant, National Anthem Lyricist
The statue smashing melee continues…
During this time of cultural revolution, the angst of the youth is being scattered across a wide swath of American history, most notably in the toppling of various statues and monument around the nation.
It all began with the iconography of the American Confederacy, which has been deemed racially insensitive by those protesting in the name of equality. Around the nation, statues, plaques, and memorials are coming down – some via official municipal work, and others at the hands of vigilante vandalism.
Soon, however, the Confederacy was not enough.
Christopher Columbus was soon a target, thanks to his uncouth enslavement of native peoples he encountered during his travels.
Then it was George Washington, the first President of these United States.
Today, it appears as though the statue-smashing gang is having a free-for-all.
Protesters in San Francisco on Friday toppled the statue of former President Grant, who led the Union Army during the Civil War, in Golden Gate Park.
San Francisco police said that approximately 400 people gathered around 8 p.m. to take down the statue, though no arrests were made, according to NBC Bay Area.
Also torn down in the park on Friday were the statues of St. Junipero Serra and Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.
The targeting of Grant’s visage was surprising to many who saw him merely as one of the men responsible for beating the Confederacy into submission.
“Grant did in fact own a man named William Jones for about a year on the eve of the Civil War,” Sean Kane, interpretations and programs specialist at the American Civil War Museum, said in an article. “In 1859, Grant either bought or was given the 35-year-old Jones, who was in Grant’s service until he freed him before the start of the War.”
Kane also noted that Grant married into a slaveholding family that owned dozens of slaves.
As far as Francis Scott Key goes, the national anthem lyricist was himself a slave owner who was known to have defended his right to own slaves in court.
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