A group of predominantly left-wing protesters tore down a monument to Confederate veterans in Durham, North Carolina, Monday night. The vandals claimed they were taking a stand against a symbol of evil.
But while radical leftists claim that Confederate monuments must be removed because they allegedly represent and promote hatred, their apparent comfort with and support for honoring mass-murdering communists suggest that their opposition to Confederate memorials has little to do with a principled opposition to “hate.”
In predominantly liberal Seattle, Washington, there stands a statue of a man who was, at least in part, personally responsible for the imprisonment, torture, and murder of millions of innocent human beings. That man is Vladimir Lenin.
Indeed, not only does Seattle’s Lenin statue stand unmolested, it has even become something of a beloved part of the local community. It gets dressed in drag during the city’s gay pride parade, and is often crowned with a red star on Christmas.
And it’s not even the only monument erected in a U.S. city to the Soviet revolutionary.
“There are a number of Lenin statues — at least five — that are in pretty high-profile places,” Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, told LifeZette. “There is a double standard between the crimes of any communist regime and all other forms of dictatorship or authoritarianism, and that’s not helpful.”
Of course, you can imagine the uproar if a statue of Benito Mussolini were found standing in a major American city. But not only do progressives tolerate statues of left-wing mass-murderers; many apparently view left-wing mass-murderers as role models to be emulated.
Thousands of young Americans walk around with Che Guevara, a red star, or the hammer and sickle emblazoned on their T-shirts or backpacks, and no one bats an eyelid. It’s not just unsuspecting college kids, either. In 2014, former White House press secretary Jay Carney was photographed for a profile in Washingtonian magazine. The photographs revealed that Carney decided to decorate his kitchen with old Soviet propaganda posters.
Marshall DeRosa, a political science professor at Florida Atlantic University and an expert on the Constitution, told LifeZette that there are three basic groups that protest Confederate monuments. These are “the useful idiots that actually believe the propaganda about the Confederacy and the quest to reestablish it, including slavery,” the “rabble rousers, paid and unpaid, to stir things up for the hell of it,” and finally the “political operatives, i.e., the puppet masters.”
According to DeRosa, it is in these operatives’ interest for Confederate monuments to be seen as evil while Communist monuments are seen as harmless.
“These people are the main beneficiaries in the political market,” he said. “For example, recent events have boxed President Trump into a corner. The electoral dynamics being what they are, the Left is clever enough to realize that voter suppression of an important segment of Trump’s support will be alienated by recent events.”
And while the mainstream media have given massive attention to the presence of Nazi flags at the Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville, during which two police officers died and one woman was killed, there has been hardly any mention of the communist imagery, and even radical communist organizations, that have participated in the protests against Confederate monuments.
“We need to shun passive, white liberalism,” Alissa Ellis, a member of the communist Workers World Party and participant in the Durham protest, told The Charlotte Observer, calling on left-wing activists to embrace a myriad of new, more aggressive tactics.
Smith, of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said the lessons of history, of all history, should not be forgotten.
“I think there is definitely a double standard,” said Smith. “There is an understanding that if we forget what the Holocaust was, it makes it more likely that we could have ethnic or racist violence that could end in genocide. We don’t want that future, so we’re very committed to learning the lessons of the past, and rightly so.”
Smith continued: “We should be equally as committed to learning the lessons of failed theories of social justice, called Marxism, that in the name of equality brought to the world a new form of slavery and killed over 100 million people. If we have a rhetoric by young people in this country that has not learned those lessons, and that is not aware of the political violence and widespread human suffering and death that those ideologies caused, we are more likely to have political violence in this country.”
(photo credit, homepage and article images of statue: Emil Venkov, Flickr)