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Trump's anti-iconoclasm and Damnatio Memoirae, “why no one knows who won the American Revolution”

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Trump has just issued an executive order to protect statues. This faux martial law applies only for objects, and specifically protects by inference, right-wing extremism.

Because Trump wants to sanction only one side of those “very fine people” and protect appearance rather than substance in public spaces.

The farcical Trump regime is nearly gone, but not before pandering to lost cause Confederate sympathizers in his base, who would favor the extralegal killing of African-Americans. Trump even wants to re-erect the only statue of a Confederate general in the District of Columbia. 


“They’re tearing down statues, desecrating monuments, and purging dissenters. It’s not the behavior of a peaceful political movement; it’s the behavior of totalitarians and tyrants and people that don’t love our country.” – President Donald J. Trump

DEFENDING OUR SHARED HISTORY: President Donald J. Trump is taking action to defend our Nation’s historical monuments, statues, and memorials.
* President Trump has signed an Executive Order that ensures that any person or group that destroys or vandalizes a monument, memorial, or statue is prosecuted to the fullest extent.
* United States law authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment for the willful injury of Federal property.
* The Executive Order also directs that those who incite violence and illegal activity are prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law.
* State and local law enforcement agencies that fail to protect monuments, memorials, and statues will be subject to the withholding of Federal support.
* The Attorney General will take all appropriate action against individuals and organizations found to have participated in unlawful acts—related to rioting and the destruction of Federal property.
* The Federal Government will ensure personnel are available across the Nation to assist with the protection of Federal monuments, memorials, statues, and property.

COMBATING VIOLENT EXTREMISM: The President is fulfilling his duty to defend the life, property, and rights of the American people.
* President Trump will not tolerate the rampant violence and destruction that has occurred over the last 5 weeks.
* Left-wing extremists are rioting, looting, and calling for the destruction of the United States system of government.
* Through mob intimidation, these violent extremists are attempting to impose their ideology on the law-abiding citizens of this country.
* Some State and local governments are failing their citizens by not distinguishing between peaceful protest and violent chaos.

STANDING UP TO SENSELESS DESTRUCTION: In recent weeks we have seen rioters senselessly deface and destroy historical sites, monuments, and statues.
* Rioters have defaced and torn down monuments and statues honoring some of the most important figures in our Nation’s storied history.
* In Portland, mobs tore down statues of our Founding Fathers–George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
* In San Francisco, rioters tore down a statue honoring Ulysses S. Grant.
* There are even calls to remove statues of Abraham Lincoln in Boston and Washington, D.C.
* A statue of Hans Christian Heg, who died fighting for the Union Army during the civil war, was torn down in Wisconsin.
* These monuments memorialize the history we all share as Americans, and they deserve to be defended for future generations.…

On February 6th, I773 the General Assembly of New York passed an “Act to prevent the defacing of the statues erected in the City of New York under a penalty of five hundred pounds fine or one year in the common gaol.”

Equestrian statue of King George III, recreated by StudioEIS for the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Photo: Dianne L. Durante

For the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia (opening April 19, 2017), StudioEIS was commissioned to recreate the equestrian statue of King George III that once stood in New York. That one was a “him, too!” kind of sculpture. In the late 1760s, two American cities had sculptures of William Pitt, whom they honored for his push to get the Stamp Act revoked in 1766. The New York legislature voted on June 23, 1766, to have a sculpture of King George created as well, to commemorate

  • the innumerable and singular Benefits received from our most gracious sovereign, since the Commencement of his auspicious Reign, during which they have been protected from the fury of a cruel, merciless, and savage Enemy; and lately from the utmost Confusion and Distress, by the Repeal of the Stamp Act: In testimony therefore of their Gratitude, and the Reverence due to his Sacred person and Character: Resolved That this House will make Provision for an Equestrian Statue of His present Majesty, Our Most Gracious Sovereign, to be erected in the City of New York, to perpetuate to the latest posterity, the deep Sense This Colony has, of the eminent and singular Blessings derived from him, during His Most auspicious Reign. (The New York Gazette, June 30, 1766, quoted here. That gratitude and reverence didn’t last long: see “A Message from the King,” Hamilton Musical 15.)

The commission for the sculpture of King George III was awarded to Joseph Wilton, one of the founding members of the Royal Academy.

The gilt-covered lead statue, cast in England, was erected at Bowling Green (then the heart of New York) in 1770. It looked like … well, nobody is quite certain. We know it was similar to the equestrian portrait of Marcus Aurelius in Rome – the model for rulers who wanted to evoke dignity and longevity.

Marcus Aurelius, ca. 175 AD. This is the copy in Rome at the Campigodlio; original is in the Capitoline Museums. Photo: Wikipedia…

The thing is, those darn liberal democratic revolutionaries pulled it down because this country needed to be a republic.

In 1776 following a reading of the freshly written Declaration of Independence, a group of New Yorkers descended on Bowling Green in lower Manhattan and physically pulled down a statue of King George III.
Two hundred and forty two years later, this moment would be resurrected as a meme in the debate concerning the removal of statues of confederate figures across America. Directly challenging those who would keep the statues in place for the sake of preserving history, it reads: “After hearing a reading of the newly adopted Declaration of Independence, New Yorkers “Destroy History” by toppling a statue of King George III. And that's why no one knows who won the American Revolution.” Americans are being asked to confront their historical legacy and make a decision about the cultural symbols they want in public spaces. On its surface, the meme demonstrates the shallow connections these statues have with our recorded history—after all, history cannot be undone. But the meme also highlights the significance of cultural mythologies and symbology which become clearer with a closer understanding of the statue and its rippling impact.
The statue of King George III was dedicated on April 26th, 1770 at Bowling Green in New York City. It had been erected not out of true reverence for the sovereign, but as a means of accomplishing another goal: dedicating a statue to William Pitt. Pitt had been instrumental in repealing the Stamp Act in 1766. He was regarded as a hero and friend to the colonists. However, it seemed improper to erect a statue of the King’s advisor where no statue of the king existed, so the General Assembly commissioned both statues. George III would stand in Bowling Green and Pitt was placed at the intersection of William Street and Wall Street.
That said, the statue of George III was modeled after Marcus Aurelius as depicted on the Capitoline Hill in Rome. Crafted by English sculptor Joseph Wilton, who was already working on statues of both men, it mimicked the gestures and clothing of the original ancient piece. Marcus Aurelius was known as the Philosopher Emperor, which made him an ideal model for George III, the latter being a constitutional monarch. The power of symbology is such that Wilton and his contemporaries felt that by using Marcus Aurelius as a model, it would encourage others to view George III as possessing the qualities assigned to the ancient leader. (It was a selfie before such a thing became a thing: the idea was to portray to individual in the best possible light and emphasize the traits that were suitable for public consumption.)

The statue of King George III stood for six years. And then the Declaration of Independence was read to a crowd of American troops and colonists; the document formally severed the colonies from Great Britain and clearly cast George III as the “Royal Brute of Great Britain” with twenty-six indictments against him. Passions inflamed, the group marched to Bowling Green where ropes were used to bring the statue down. A Philadelphia paper reporting on the incident said that the leaden statue would be melted down to create bullets for the coming war—42,088 bullets, to be exact.

The statue of King George III by British sculptor Joseph Wilson was dedicated August 16, 1770, at Bowling Green, at the southern tip of Manhattan. William Walcutt's 1857 painting depicts the destruction of the monument by New Yorkers and George Washington's troops following a public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 9, 1776.…

50 THE NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY The Declaration of Independence which was read on July 9, 1776 at the head of each brigade of the Continental Army posted at New York brought destruction to the King's statue the same evening through the joyous demonstrations of soldiers and inhabi- tants. For in the words of the press of the day we read that "the equestrian statue of George III which tory pride and folly raised in the year 1770, was by the sons of freedom, laid prostrate in the dirt; the just deserts of an ungrateful tyrant! The lead wherewith this monument was made, is to be run into bullets, to assimilate with the brains of our infatuated adversaries, who, to gain a pep- per-corn, have lost an empire. 'Quos Deus vult perdere, prius de- mentat. Lieutenant Isaac Bangs under date of July 10, 1776 wrote: "Last night the Statue on the Bowling Green representing George Ghewelph alias George Rex was pulled down by the populace. In it were 4,000 pounds of Lead and a Man undertook to take off 10 oz. of gold from the Superficies, as both Man and Horse were covered with Gold leaf. The Lead we hear is to be run up into musket balls for the use of the Yankees, when it is hoped that the emana- tions of the Leaden George will make as deep impressions in the Bodies of some of his red coated and Torie Subjects." . . .^° This Act met with the disapproval of General Washington who expressed himself in the general orders to the army on July 10, 1776, viz.: "Though the General doubts not the persons who pulled down and mutilated the Statue in the Broadway last night were actuated by zeal in the public cause, yet it has so much the appearance of a riot and want of order in the army, that he disap- proves the manner, and directs that in the future these things shall be avoided by the soldiery, and left to be executed by the proper authority." ^^ The statue of the king was broken up and sent to Litchfield, Conn., where according to the Wolcott family papers was moulded into bullets by the ladies of that village and a memorandum made as follows: 29 Pennsylvania Journal and the Jl'eekly Advertiser, July 17, 1776. ^^ Journal of Lieut. Isaac Bangs 1890, page 57. "^ Ford's Writings of JVashington, Vol. 4, page 226.

Between Monday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 24, Fox News’ prime-time shows—the ones with big racist names like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham—spent three times as much of their broadcast covering the “toppling of statues” as they did covering the recent (and far more problematic) surge of COVID-19 cases across the country.

According to Media Matters, those three shows spent a total of one hour and 21 minutes railing against the fall of the fucking Confederacy, while only 25 total minutes were spent on the coronavirus pandemic even though more than 86,000 new confirmed cases across the country took place over these three days.

Instead of tackling the very real problem—that as a country we are failing miserably at containing the virus and protecting the public—Carlson, Hannity, and Ingraham freaked out about how statues of historic American figures like ethnic cleanser and slave master Andrew Jackson and big time slave master and war general who led the single most treasonous war against the United States Robert E. Lee were being brought down by activists across the country. The calls for racial justice, like most things concerning equality in our country, fell on deaf racist Fox News hosts’ ears. The need for Americans to be more vigilant about our public health crisis has never been more pressing than it is now, and Fox News is so lazy, so intellectually devoid of any rigor or virility, that all it can do is lean back on the hundred-year-old trope of fearmongering and race-baiting their aged white audience.

I guess Fox News executives feel like they can continue to get the same ratings from their viewership from hospital beds.…



Or was it the weather report for Bedminster; darn that lawn order.


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