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Abolitionist Matthias William Baldwin’s Statue Destroyed


Stance on the Destruction of Union and Confederate Statues

I care little about Confederate Statues. But any attempt to vandalize, destroy and take down statues of ancient heroes of the ancient Republic and Greek Democracy or heroes in the Union’s history goes too far, and helps legitimize the Right’s propaganda. American history may be described as a semi-history or semi-fictional reality with mythical elements to the romantic story of the great American Revolution of 1776. Our Statues are a little different. They tell us history as we walk through the parks and into our cities. Some personages we know and others we do not. They introduce themselves to us as all art work in the galleries. We read their golden or silver framed descriptions and learn their names. I felt the urge to write this, because I could not help but notice, my blog article, The Roman Fasces of Cincinnati: Statue of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was being read. After hearing news of statues being destroyed, I thought, what if someone destroys the Cincinnatus Statue. They have already gone after George Washington, for whom although I make no excuse for on matters of slavery and attitudes towards native tribes. I am aware, that the Founders thought with the mind of conquerors, not their romantic portrayal as purely freedom fighters.

The act of tearing down the statues of heroes is symbolic and signifies dominance and dissolution of a particular cultural world. In the act of destroying monuments, one may in the process set ablaze the very symbols and ideals professed by the vandals embodied in those monuments of personages. I have not given my view of Antifa, since I have only read the intellectual side of their arguments and reasons to proactively fight against far-right and fascist influence. I know no one that is Antifa, and have never stood side-by-side with them. Then again, I came across some mugshots going around in Right-wing circles revealing what are basically lunatics and clowns hiding behind masks, and red-and-black spray painting over owner’s businesses and monuments.

I condemn, when in ignorance of history, one should go so far as to defame the statue of Matthias William Baldwin, a staunch abolitionist, considered the most influential locomotive designer in American history. Words read “COLONIZER” and “MURDERER” on Baldwin’s statue. Matthias William Baldwin, who funded the construction of a school for African American children in 1835, 20 years before the end of the Civil War, constructed thousands of trains before his death in 1866. Years after the schools he built for African American children, he payed teachers out of his own pocket. He continued to support abolitionism, even after the Southern railroads boycotted his company.

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