Today’s politics seem to be about changing everything we know: Pronouns are offensive, free speech is evil, the Second Amendment is dangerous, and rewriting history appeases the offended. But lessons are learned by studying successes and failures made by our ancestors. Removing or replacing a historical artifact, statue, or memorial does not change the past, yet politicians today seem to think out of sight out of mind is the go-to fix-all. Now, a New York official thinks it’s a good idea to remove male statues from Central Park and replace them with female versions.
Hank Willis Thomas serves on the Public Design Commission and is also a painter. Currently, the famous park has 23 male statues, and the commission has been tasked with updating the monuments to include females as well. Thomas said there are five or six of the male figures that could easily be torn down and exchanged with famous women. He even pointed out a few he thought were prime candidates for destruction, including Christopher Columbus and Scottish poet Robert Burns. His argument for these particular choices was that most people wouldn’t miss the poet’s statue anyway and Columbus already has a monument a “few hundred yards away.” However, Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t want to remove any of the monuments. He just wants female additions to enhance the park.
Twitter responses show just how unpopular this idea to replace men with women is.
Don’t these people ever get exhausted at being perpetually upset about some perceived injustice? FFS, go for a walk, watch some reruns of Alf, anything but sit around and make up new things to be woke about.
— Respectable Username (@somethi79963647) September 17, 2019
Le_Barbillon wrote: “How about you concentrate on real problems – like the homeless epidemic? Stop the useless virtue signaling. Who votes for these destructive incompetent overpaid fools?”
The fight for politically correct parks is not new, even for Central Park. In June, actress Jessica Chastain made a video of the area, bemoaning the lack of female monuments. She jokingly suggested having a statue of Oprah Winfrey erected.
Ironically – or maybe not – Thomas’ commission tabled and shelved a proposal to update the park with statues dedicated to women’s rights. The committee decided against it because there had not been a black woman suggested as a candidate.
So now, instead of reinstating the proposal and drawing from a larger pool of suitable contenders that would include black women as well as women from other nationalities and sexual orientations, Thomas wants to just get rid of some of history’s most iconic males. Because, as he said, most people wouldn’t care if a poet disappeared – how poetic of him.
Out with the old and in with the new shouldn’t apply to history and what it can and does continue to teach us, not just about what happened, but about what can happen again if we make some of the same old mistakes our ancestors did.