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Trump Was Right, The Woke Mob Is Coming For The Washington Monument

I&I Editorial

Remember a few years ago, when the left scoffed at President Donald Trump for suggesting that mobs tearing down Confederate statues wouldn’t stop there?

“This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself: ‘Where does it stop?'”

NPR even did a “fact check” to prove Trump was nuts for saying that. Others blasted the president for comparing the nation’s founders to slave-loving traitors, suggesting that it was another example of Trump’s racism.

Well, a working group appointed by Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser released a report this week that called for removing or relocating (or “contextualizing”) the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial because Washington and Jefferson have been deemed “persons of concern.”

The DC FACES report says the two founders fall into a broader group of historical figures who’ve now been found guilty of “participation in slavery, systemic racism, mistreatment of, or actions that suppressed equality for, persons of color, women and LGBTQ communities.”

The report also calls for toppling statues and scrubbing the names of Ben Franklin, George Mason, Andrew Jackson, Alexander Graham Bell, Francis Scott Key, and many others from D.C. buildings and parks. (The complete list of undesirables is below.)

In their place, the report says, should be names that “include more women, people of color and LGBTQ Washingtonians.”

After she got the report, Bowser tweeted that “I look forward to reviewing and advancing their recommendations.”

Strangely, the working group was silent on the monument to FDR, even though he rounded up and interred 120,000 Americans during World War II for the crime of having Japanese ancestors. He was also named one of the 11 most racist presidents in the nation’s history by the Huffington Post.

Nor does the late Sen. Robert Byrd make the list of “persons of concern.” Byrd, you might recall, was an “exalted cyclops” in the KKK and filibustered the Civil Rights Act. There’s a statue of Byrd in the U.S. Capitol.

The group also managed to miss Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger – a vile racist who in 1939 described her abortion mission as an effort to “exterminate the Negro population.” There’s a bronze bust of Sanger in the Smithsonian.

One wonders, too, how JFK isn’t a “person of concern,” given his flagrant mistreatment of women.

But then again, this isn’t about racism or sexism. This is about advancing a radical leftist agenda that aims to rewrite our nation’s history, banish anyone from the public who isn’t leftist enough, and bully everyone else into silence. Anyone who’s helped advance the left’s agenda gets a pass for their sins, even if they happened only decades – not hundreds of years – ago.

When a fury erupted over the DC FACES report, Bowser retreated a bit from her initial enthusiasm, saying she wants the group to “clarify and refine their recommendations … so no one attempts to confuse the Working Group’s focus on contextualizing, not removing, important monuments and memorials in D.C.”

And, in a weird bit of irony, the DC FACES group responded by removing the page from its report that called on the federal government to “remove, relocate, or contextualize” the monuments to Washington and Jefferson.

We had downloaded an original version of the report before the group managed to airbrush that page out, and you can read it here.

As a reader service, here’s the complete list of “persons of concern” whose names the DC FACES working group thinks should not be allowed to appear anywhere in the nation’s capital. (Names targeted for multiple removals are indicated in parentheses.)

  • Henry Addison
  • James D. Barry (2)
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • William Benning (3)
  • James Birney
  • Francis Preston Blair, Jr
  • Robert Brent (3)
  • Jehiel Brooks (2)
  • Arthur Capper
  • Daniel Carroll
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Charles William Eliot
  • Matthew Gault Emery (3)
  • Henry Foxall
  • Benjamin Franklin (2)
  • James Greenleaf (2)
  • William Henry Harrison
  • Anthony T. Hyde
  • Andrew Jackson (2)
  • Thomas Jefferson (4)
  • Francis Scott Key  (2)
  • George Mason
  • Guy Mason
  • John Walker Maury
  • James Monroe (2)
  • Francis Griffith Newlands
  • Albert Pike
  • William Winston Seaton
  • Melvin Sharpe
  • Benjamin Stoddert (4)
  • Zachary Taylor
  • Strong John Thomson
  • John Tyler (2)
  • Abel P. Upshur
  • John Peter Van Ness
  • George Washington
  • Joseph Rodman West
  • Woodrow Wilson (2)

Trump was right to wonder where the cancel culture stops. Now we know that it doesn’t. But will any of the fact-checkers who mocked Trump three years ago admit that they were wrong?

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • It was Santayana, I think, who famously said “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. By denying history, by erasing those parts of history which are uncomfortable, which do not agree with some warped yardstick of what’s right, the woke so-called culture is dooming us to ignorance and rendering us unable to learn and grow beyond those people and events they find so terrible and terrifying. Removing statues, expunging names, rewriting history (can you say 1619 Project?) to fit their twisted agenda .. all that denies us and future generations the ability to speak and learn from the past and become better.

    A plague upon them and their enablers.

    • Why would you defend statues and the celebration of those who enslaved others?

      I think political prejudice forces us to do silly stuff.

      • Why defend the celebration of those who enslaved others? Because they have done *something* else that places their participation in slavery completely in the shade by any rational comparison. Slavery is vile. It is far from the worst human behavior, however. Even far worse things than slavery might be ignored in praising someone for helping raise humanity out of the dependence hierarchies of the agrarian societies that were the norm before the massive change in human affairs that was the industrial revolution.

      • Many of these people, such as Washington, Jefferson and Franklin, built this country and invented the legal system that, in time, would free the slaves. If we want to understand our history, we have to understand those who built the country, even if they were not always perfect or politically correct.

  • And this will make the lives of Blacks and other minorities trapped in Blue city Hell holes better, how exactly?

  • Name all the DC City buildings whatever you want. Karl Marx PS-1 through whatever. But the federal monuments don’t belong to the mayor. Hands off!

    • leave the monuments, move the buildings and jobs out.

      Note they did not list all those offensive Federal building. e.g. JE Hoover building, and all those Congressional office buildings named for Dixiecrats.

  • A local committee makes preliminary recommendations on monuments under Federal control. Okay.
    I admit I’m uncomfortable with some recommendations. In the same way as when I heard Trump wanted his image on Mt. Rushmore, or when he uses the People’s House for naked political gain. I do believe in some contextualization of certain monuments. Historically, societies have always done this. It’s always angered those people whose view of the past is forever cemented. Push too far in either direction and you’ll lose the people’s vote and be punished politically. At least that’s the way a democracy is supposed to work. Guess we’ll see in Nov.

    • I have to admit I never considered how blacks would feel about seeing Confederate monuments, statues to slavery.

      We all have a lot to learn from and about each other.

  • PS: The was just the lit of buildings, places and monuments. They didn’t list all the street names, e.g. Foxhall Road, some places, e.g. Van Ness Metro, and Key Bridge

  • The lefties are engaging in this nonsense when whites still comprise about 65% of our population. You can imagine what they will do when whites are no longer the majority.

  • I actually agree that Woodrow Wilson should be removed, but only because he was the socialist to impose the personal income tax that has facilitated the financial rise of socialism in the US. Further he was also the one that denied the state legislators the power to elect their federal Senators, and turned them to mob rule elected “At Large” super representatives.

      • All of which the OP pays for my one means or another. The social programs are not free.

        BTW the return on my SS “investment” is basically zero over the life of the program and assuming average life expectancy. Would be happy to get all my contributions back (they go back to when I was 12 BTW), be exempted from future contributions, and invest it.

  • FDR dedicated a statue of Robert E Lee in the mid 1930s I believe. He praised Lee as a soldier and an American.

    POTUS Eisenhower had the pictures of three men in his office. Lee was one of them. One can read Ike’s spirited defense of Lee in 1959. Its an easy search.

    One D, one R. Oh my. Anyone who feels the Republic must be absolved of the sin of slavery 155 years ago and that it can done by simply casting the South into the abyss is very foolish. Two POTUS, both major political parties, and neither FDR nor Eisenhower was from a Southern state.

    That the Confederate statues are just milestones on a longer road to a more important destination ought to be obvious now to all but the truly obtuse. That some like National Review and Mark Levin persist in the face of open demands to remove or demolish and the recent desecration of the WWII and Lincoln Memorials just proves how estranged the pundit class really is.

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