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How do we think about removing controversial statues in the US?
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This movement is led by violent, angry mobs.

We should not consider this movement credible, because it is led by an angry, violent mob. Protesters are not toppling statues because they want racial injustice to end. They simply want to be destructive. Another variation of this view argues that this is an intentional attempt to attack Western democracy.

The Argument

Although the statue removal movement is presented as an attempt to rid our public spaces of racist symbols, it is actually just the work of angry, violent mobs. Since the movement lacks any meaningful leadership or organization, it is likely that people are using it as an excuse to be destructive. It is wrong to assume that this movement operates from a cohesive principle or ideology. Rather, it is comprised of frustrated people who want to express their anger. If statue removal reflected an organized social movement, protestors would rally for these monuments to be removed by their elected officials in a legal, appropriate way. Instead, they take matters into their own hands and destroy public property. Given society's recent suffering because of the coronavirus, it is likely that this movement is simply a means of expressing anger and unrest. People are scared about the future. They are angry about the government's handling of this crisis and want to express it. Tearing down monuments is currently an acceptable outlet for violence and anger, so people are seizing this as an opportunity to blow off steam. A variation of this view argues that this movement is indeed led by angry, hedonistic mobs, but they have intentional, malicious purposes. They do not actually want to remove racist symbols, and they are not looking for an outlet for their anger. Instead, this mob wants to destroy liberal democracy and Western civilization.

Counter arguments

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The statue removal movement is led by angry, violent mobs. [P2] These mobs lack any unifying principles and are using indignation at racial injustice as an excuse for violence.

Rejecting the premises

References

This page was last edited on Monday, 13 Jul 2020 at 00:57 UTC

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