Down With Genocider Statues – It Is Right To Rebel!

Comrade Andy

As the uprisings across the so called United States have continued for not only George Floyd, but Breonna Taylor and Elijah McClain, many monuments to the white supremacist imperialist order have been torn by protesters. From statues of Christopher Columbus, the first modern imperialist and genocider, slave owners and human traffickers, butchers of Indigenous people to pigs like Frank Rizzo of Philadephia, many have come down in the past three weeks. Reactionaries are frightened that the masses have taken measures into their own hands to take down these idols of suffering. This was apparent on Saturday, June 27, 2020 on Art Hill at Forest Park in St Louis, as protesters and reactionaries clashed over the statue of Louis IX. Local activists demanded the statue be removed. On the other side, reactionaries such as “Proud Boys” and “Trad Catholics” argued the statue should stay because Louis IX is a saint in the Catholic Church. We also saw the masses driving off Proud Boys and reactionaries with fists and sticks. Many people who have imbibed the Eurocentric narrative in St. Louis would ask: “Why is Louis IX so controversial, he is our City’s namesake, and a Saint” which are both true. However, Louis IX was a medieval perpetrator of misery. Since he believed he was a “Lieutenant of God”, he went after “infidels”, which meant Jewish and Muslim people in France and Palestine. Louis IX was fervent in his oppression of Jewish people during his reign, from extorting money, to making Jews wear badges, to burning 12,000 Jewish scriptures like the Torah and Talmud in 1243. During the Crusades, any “infidels” in Louis IX’s army’s path were slaughtered. Despite the fervor, both Crusades failed at the attempt to retake the Holy Land, and eventually lead to Louis’s death. None of this history is on the statue, all we receive is a sanitized narrative which is provided by the city of St Louis itself. However, to the many people who challenge the keeping of the statue due to his sainthood, there are many Catholic figures who are more holy and positive to the Church then Louis IX. Saint Ursula was taken from veneration in 1969 due to her “legendary” status, despite having been the Saint of women’s education, or Camilo Torres, a Colombian Liberation Theology priest who quit the priesthood to fight with the oppressed and was martyred for it. So what is the Maoist perspective on the statues? For one, tearing down the statues of of historic figures that committed atrocities against marginalized people will not “erase history” as reactionaries claim, but will rid history of idolatry towards suffering. Second, we do not believe in cult of personality, but looking at history through the lens of dialectical materialism. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of idolatry, especially idolatry of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic butchers. Down with the genocider statues! It is right to rebel!

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