George Washington Toppled At George Washington University

300px-George_Washington_University_seal.svgWe have been discussing the destruction of statues and public art in the recent protests, including a new column this morning. I have been highly critical of the defacing of our monuments and destruction of public art.  Now the destruction has reached my own campus.  The Hatchet reports that one of our iconic busts of George Washington was torn from its foundation on campus. It has not however been discussed by the University or attributed to protesters.

 

I have long opposed the sweeping efforts to dismantle or destroy historical monuments and statues. (Here and here and here and here and here and here and here). While I recognize that there are some statues that should be removed, my primary objection is to the lack of a public debate over how we should address these calls.

Other statues and memorials to Washington have been destroyed around the country.  The news of the toppling of our own statue received surprisingly little coverage by The Hatchet and I did not hear any public statement from our Administration. I would have hoped that our university would have denounced this criminal act as a senseless and unacceptable act.

It certainly would seem to warrant a tad more than “A GWPD officer found the head of a George Washington statue removed from a stand. The head was found laying at the base of the stand. GWPD called Facilities Services following the discovery.”

That sounds like the head was somehow temporarily misplaced or lost rather than being ripped from its foundation and tossed to the ground.  That would seem a rather important story for the university — worthy of not just note but actual discussion.  If this was not part of the destruction of public art around the city, it would be helpful to consider the alternatives . . . whatever they may be.  Toppling this giant bust is no easy task. It would take time and considerable effort.  Notably, it is in the virtual center of our campus.

Indeed, the incident would have gone without mention (beyond the empty stand) had it not been for a former GW student tweeting out the missing bust and then a later picture of the scene after the attack.

Kara Zupkus

@kara_kirsten

A stunning image– looks like GW may have removed George Washington’s head to protect it from riots in DC. Truly disconcerting times

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 

Kara Zupkus

@kara_kirsten

fingers crossed! better to be safe than sorry i guess.

Kara Zupkus

@kara_kirsten

Update: apparently he was toppled

View image on Twitter

Universities have been conspicuously silent or passive in the face of such destruction.  There seems a fear that any criticism of such attacks will cause a backlash and additional protests.  However, such acts create an environment of violence and intolerance on campuses.

Screen-Shot-2020-06-22-at-8.01.08-PM-1609144893-1592870575690-300x140

Last night, many of us watched at a huge crowd worked to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson, one of the oldest monuments in the city. It is near the White House and a few blocks from our campus.  The police did nothing as huge ropes were attached and the crowd pulled to topple the statue. Finally, the police arrived to stop the damage but not before the monument was entirely defaced.

Other universities have been transparent in their unwillingness to confront rioters. At the University of Oregon, famous statues of the Pioneer and Mother Pioneer were torn down. The University condemned the destruction and then promptly promised that the statues would be carted away and not returned.

The spectrum of action from universities seems to range from deafening silence to cringing compliance in the face of such destruction.  What is being lost is more than public art.  We are losing control of our campuses and the preservation of the environment that fosters intellectual, not violent, speech.

 

183 thoughts on “George Washington Toppled At George Washington University”

  1. It’s interesting that the statue of Lenin in Seattle seems perfectly acceptable to these folks! Hmmm!

  2. Unbelievable, when I was at GW, I saw this bust as a symbol of pride. Pride in the university and pride in the country. The first President after the founding of the country.

    It is amazing that others see it as something else.

    I have multiple photos next to it, one when I got to the university and the area, and another on graduation in hat and gown.

    It is pretty wild how bat shit crazy ppl are today. Everything offends and is offensive. What a bunch of delusional brainwashed narcissistic citizens, with the sensitivities of a small child throwing an epic meltdown.

    Heard of self entitlement and narcissistic rage. Yep.

    Narc rage, scapegoating dead Presidents, and lashing out on statues of them. What a fing joke these ppl are.

  3. For millennia, King Mob has targeted societies’ icons with varied goals and to varied ends, and few things are more foreboding than his desecration of civic art. Just as the targets have ranged from rulers to clergy, from tyrants to helpless, and from the guilty to the innocent, the outcomes have ranged from victory to defeat depending on the society’s strength and will. The promise of bloodshed coming alongside or following shortly after, however, is an historic certainty. The symbols of a people never satisfy: People themselves must always come next.

    In 1790, mobs looted and pillaged Paris’s treasured Notre Dame. To the revolutionaries, the cathedral symbolized everything that was wrong with France’s history and society — a history of kings, tradition and religion, and a society beset by royal injustice and systemic inequality. …

    A society that believes in itself builds monuments, a sick society does not, and a dying society watches as they are torn down. While Roman kings, French monks, American Tories, and Russian tsarists were unable to defeat the revolutions that first tore down their symbols, today in the United States we are simply unwilling.

    Blood is already spilling, with civilian defenders, bystanders, workers, and rioters killed and seriously injured in cities all across the country. Without a committed and targeted crackdown on this disorder and its leaders, the committed and targeted killings of their opponents and critics will come next.

    The increasingly violent mobs in our streets are chanting for it, and the revolts of human history have come to it every time. You can be sure the ghost of King Mob will see it done. He always does.”

    IT WAS NEVER ABOUT THE CONFEDERATES AND THE DESTRUCTION OF MONUMENTS IS NOT LIMITED TO THEM. THE “WOKE” CROWD WILL BE COMING FOR ITS “UNWOKE” CITIZENS IN ANOTHER 10 YEARS.

    antonio

  4. The defacing and destruction of public monuments MUST be stopped immediately. It’s gone way too far already.
    Law enforcement (including campus police) are now in the hot-seat to cordon off and protect these symbols of public order. Anarchists must be jailed — the no-bail should not apply, because they are not petty criminals, but terrorists intent on the overthrow of American.

  5. Professor turley…are you just now waking up to the loss of our colleges and universities to the left? Have you not been following the almost total takeover of speech? The fact that there are no professors who are conservatives? Now, the left openly proclaims that they do not believe in free speech…they consider speech from conservatives to be dangerous and “negative”…they only approve of “positive” speech…..there are many articles explaining what this means, in their twisted minds.

    1. Professor Turley has written extensively about the limitations on free speech. Last week he covered an unfortunate episode at Syracuse University. It involved the firing of a student columnist for The Daily Orange. The student editor found her conservative commentary to be unacceptable. Censorship!

  6. The choice is clear now thanks to the over reaching nature of the radical left. Are the people in favor of tearing down the entire nation? I think not. A reaction to the madness of the left is coming. I’ve seen former die hard liberals shocked at the behavior of their fellow lefties say that they’ll vote for Trump.

  7. Aaron Zelinsky (originally part of the team prosecuting Roger Stone) will be testifying tomorrow before the Judiciary Committee re: “Oversight of the Department of Justice: Political Interference and Threats to Prosecutorial Independence” (https://judiciary.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=3034 ). Here’s Zelinsky’s written opening statement: https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/zelinsky_opening_statement_hjc.pdf
    Berman has an open invitation from the HJC to testify about this topic as well.

    1. Zelinsky’s statement about the pressure re: Roger Stone is really disturbing. Impeachment hearings should be initiated to consider impeaching Barr. I don’t expect that the Senate would hold a serious trial re: removing Barr any more than they did for Trump, but the House should still act and make public as much as possible.

      “Dear Members of Congress:
      “We write on behalf of the New York City Bar Association (the “City Bar”) in response to continuing actions by Attorney General William P. Barr that raise the most serious questions about Mr. Barr’s fitness for the high office that he holds. As described below, Mr. Barr’s recent actions in connection with the removal of Geoffrey Berman as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) continue — and exacerbate — a pattern of conduct that has undermined public confidence in the role of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in enforcing the rule of law in our nation. …”
      https://www.nycbar.org/member-and-career-services/committees/reports-listing/reports/detail/geoffrey-berman-removal-attorney-general-barrs-conduct

      “Law professors and faculty from George Washington University Law School, Attorney General William Barr’s alma mater, said in a letter Tuesday he has ‘failed to fulfill his oath of office to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’’ … In a bi-partisan statement signed by 65 faculty and professors from the law school, the group wrote that Barr’s actions as attorney general ‘have undermined the rule of law, breached constitutional norms, and damaged the integrity and traditional independence of his office and of the Department of Justice.’ Signatories to the letter include president and CEO of the National Bar Association Alfreda Robinson and interim dean of the school Christopher Alan Bracey. …”
      https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/23/politics/george-washington-law-william-barr/index.html

    2. Norm Eisenr: “Second DOJ whistleblower’s revelations to @HouseJudiciary are just as shocking. He says investigations were opened against innocent parties on the hostile whims of Trump or Barr. If they will abuse their power that way, where is the limit? https://t.co/G6RKX98B4y

      Meanwhile, “House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is preparing to subpoena Attorney General Bill Barr for his testimony on July 2”
      https://www.axios.com/house-judiciary-nadler-subpoena-attorney-general-bill-barr-4b3aa4de-a8cd-4bd9-93b2-5c51dd19c60b.html

      1. And exactly what do your three posts of drivel have to do with the toppling of the George Washington statue at GWU?

  8. The slaves and the foreign invader hyphenates said they wanted “free dom.”

    What they really wanted was “free stuff” from the white man’s money.

    Generational Welfare, Affirmative Action Privilege, Forced Busing, Obamacare, etc., etc., etc. have served it up in great abundance.

    American women stopped making Americans and America has created (i.e. imported) a voracious, burgeoning, dependent “monster!”

    Whatever shall we do?

    Thanks a lot, Abe!
    _______________

    “If all earthly power were given me,” said Lincoln in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, “I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution [of slavery]. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” After acknowledging that this plan’s “sudden execution is impossible,” he asked whether freed blacks should be made “politically and socially our equals?” “My own feelings will not admit of this,” he said, “and [even] if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not … We can not, then, make them equals.”5

    One of Lincoln’s most representative public statements on the question of racial relations was given in a speech at Springfield, Illinois, on June 26, 1857.6 In this address, he explained why he opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would have admitted Kansas into the Union as a slave state:

    There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races … A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation, but as an immediate separation is impossible, the next best thing is to keep them apart where they are not already together. If white and black people never get together in Kansas, they will never mix blood in Kansas …

    Racial separation, Lincoln went on to say, “must be effected by colonization” of the country’s blacks to a foreign land. “The enterprise is a difficult one,” he acknowledged,

    but “where there is a will there is a way,” and what colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest. Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and, at the same time, favorable to, or, at least, not against, our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.

    – Abraham Lincoln

  9. There is a solution to this distorted representation of idols. This is crux the of the subject matter.

    The GW public art can be replaced. With a bust of Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, George Floyd, Hunter Biden or Rev. Al Sharpton.

    It is with this intrinsic access that high quality can be achieved.

    1. Nancy Pelosi et al. most certainly constitute the equivalent of George Washington, however inverse the character of their equivalency.

      George Washington established a great nation.

      Nancy Pelosi et al. destroyed a great nation.

  10. The effort to end a policy of salutary neglect led us to our revolution. Today, the Leftist’s policy of salutary neglect is intended to lead us to a revolution. Sadly, the revolutionaries of today are fighting for exactly the opposite of what our founding generation wanted. We are right about here: It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution — some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding. Bastiat

  11. This is the equivalent of the bombardment of Fort Sumter.

    America is in a condition of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion.

    President Abraham Lincoln seized power, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Union.”

    President Donald Trump must now seize power, neutralize the legislative and judicial branches and rule by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Republic.”

      1. I am in favor of a society of laws.

        The law, in 1863 and upon the issuance of the illegal and unconstitutional Emancipation Proclamation, compelling the immediate deportation of freed slaves as illegal aliens, which they became after their legal status as “property” was terminated, understanding that the Naturalization Act of 1802 was in full force and effect that citizens be “…free white person(s).” “Crazy Abe” Lincoln, himself, knew this and proposed it.

        Women may be considered the “chattel” of God who designed them to perpetuate the species, however unfortunate women believe that assignment to have been. Chinese and Indian women did their duty exponentially for their nations. American women issued a “death warrant” for their country. Women need have no concern for suffrage. Women have seen to it that there will be no nation and no need for a vote. The fertility rate of Americans is in a “death spiral” and the population is imported. Interestingly, invaders, terrorists, insurrectionists, BLM activists, rioters, looters, extremists, hyphenates, anarchists and women all have the same objective – the destruction of America.

        1. Oh and all citizens have the same rights and unconstitutional “…individual Welfare…” is not constitutional “…general Welfare.”

          Affirmative action, welfare, food stamps, WIC, TANF, etc., are all unconstitutional social engineering and redistribution and are only legal as charity conducted in the free markets of the private sector.

          Competition only exists on a level playing field – not one tilted in any party’s direction.

          Abortion is murder.

          Women get away with murder in America, quite literally.

  12. Many do not understand that Antifa and BLM are primarily a twisted mess of anarchists and Marxists. They used the horrific death of George Floyd as a tool to promote and expand their very radical agendas. If anyone thinks anarchy and communism are preferable to the world’s greatest (and longest running) experiment in representative republics, I refer you to the trash heap of history and the billions of deaths and economic devastation that resulted from the aforementioned systems.

  13. This needs to stop & all Universities & their Boards need to condemn. Charge all who deface/destroy anything in campuses or in cities with a Federal crime & 10 years in prison minimum. Also defund any university that allows this to happen. Demand equal # of liberal & conservative profs & assistant profs on campus. Classes on Constitution & American History mandatory pre-req for any declared major/minor. Universities must once again teach students how to think/learn; not what to think/learn. College students today all look like idiots as they riot & destroy our history. Do any of them even know the leaders of BLM describe themselves as trained Marxists? Look at what happened in Russia, China, Italy, Germany & Venezuela. All have failed miserably. Wake up America!

  14. when vandals get away with this stuff, don’t ask, “where were the police”

    THE POLICE HAVE BEEN ORDERED TO STAND DOWN

    I GUARANTEE IT. I WAS TELLING YOU THIS MANY MONTHS OR MAYBE A YEAR AGO
    remember some people pouring blood red paint on a statute and cop stood by and let her do it.
    that was a clear indication that this was GREEN LIGHTED SOME TIME AGO — FROM ABOVE

    dont waste energy worrying about who the vandals are. they are on a mission. directed and enabled by leadership

    who is leadership, who are the failed custodians of GW university?

    HERE ARE THE FAILED GW UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES

    read this and draw your own conclusions

    Roslyn M. Brock, MS ’89
    Chief Advocacy Officer
    Bon Secours Mercy Health System

    Mark Chichester

    Mark H. Chichester, BBA ’90, JD ’93
    Co-founder, Atlas Research, LLC
    Vice Chair, Atlas Research Board of Directors

    Amr ElSawy

    Amr A. ElSawy, MSEE ’81
    President and CEO
    Noblis, Inc.

    Peter Harrison
    Former Chief Executive Officer, Snag, Inc.

    Donna Hill Staton

    Donna Hill Staton, JD ’82
    Co-Founder and Partner
    Decision Point Strategy Group, LLC

    Co-Founder and Partner
    Staton & Nolan, LLC dba Decision Point Law

    Michael Hoffman

    A. Michael Hoffman
    Co-founder and Chairman
    Palamon Capital Partners

    Madeleine S. Jacobs, BS ’68, HON ’03
    Retired Executive Director and CEO
    American Chemical Society

    Todd Klein

    Todd Klein
    Partner
    Revolution Growth

    Thomas LeBlanc

    Thomas J. LeBlanc
    President (ex-officio)

    Chelsea Lenhart, BA ’14, MPA ’16
    Analyst
    United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General

    Judith Rogers

    Judith Lane Rogers, AA ’74 (MVC)
    George Wellde

    George W. Wellde, Jr., MBA ’76
    Retired Vice Chairman of the Securities Division
    Goldman, Sachs

    THEY MUST BE PUNISHED. WITH ALL LAWFUL MEANS AND SANCTIONS OF COURSE.

  15. Jonathan: We should not be surprised that symbols of the Confederacy are either being officially removed or torn down. One of the byproducts of the killing of George Floyd is the willingness of millions of people around the country to finally confront our history of slavery, racism and bigotry. Now public outrage has finally reached your own campus with the toppling of the bust of George Washington. You think there should be prior “public debate” before any “public art” is removed. Unfortunately, when citizens rise up in rebellion against oppressive conditions they often start with the destruction of the symbols of their oppression. They don’t bother with prior debate. It happened in 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine when a statue of Lenin was torn down. It happened in 2003, shortly after the US invasion of Iraq, when a statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down with the aid of US marines and a tank.

    So from Charlottesville to Washington University the symbols of slavery and racial oppression are being removed or torn down. If you are a black student at Washington University and walk by George’s bust you are reminded every day that university officials have refused to confront Washington’s legacy as a slaveholder. Certainly, prior “public debate” would be desirable but this often means years of hesitation and red tape by bureaucracies concerned about “public art” preservation. And then come the lawsuits from white preservationists who want to drag out the process.

    The forceful removal of symbols of racism are happening because people are tired of waiting for public officials or university administrations to acknowledge black outrage over the presence of the symbols of racial oppression. They want action now. Of course, it will take more than removal of a few statues to address the continuing racial oppression in this country. It means investing more money in black and other minority neighborhoods–from health care to education–and less money for jails and prisons. But your concern is only with the “deafening silence and cringing compliance” by universities. You apparently are more concerned that “we are losing control our campuses” rather than addressing the real cause of the poor treatment of George’s bust!

    1. Dennis, you fool, this is not about racism. It is about a planned destabilization campaign to get rid of Trump

      The method is by inciting lumpenproletariat intimidation against Trump voters, and by disrupting law and order so that the election goes against him.

      It’s a “color revolution” in short, engineered by the one who perfected the blueprint. you are his pawn

      https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/10/soros-pumps-28-million-democratic-groups-2020-179367

  16. Here are the trustees of GW. Do they look like they care?

    They might care if they had to come home to mob of angry peasants with pitchforks

    https://trustees.gwu.edu/trustees

    Where’s the big money donor class to demand action, or that these failed trustees be sacked?

    Gee, looks like some big money guys are right there on the trustees list.

    If they don’t speak up then we know– THEY WANTED THIS

  17. America needs a Phoenix program, a krypteia. And it needs to strike at the financiers of this chaos.

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