When I first saw Robert Ariail’s Aug. 17 cartoon, I thought I must have been misinterpreting it. He seemed to be implying that ISIS and the Taliban fell into the same category as the people wanting to take down Confederate statues. Then in her Aug. 22 column, “Here’s a better way to deal with offensive monuments,” Cindi Ross Scoppe doubled down, saying “the idea” behind the Taliban’s destruction of a giant sandstone Buddha near Kabul and was “the same” as removing Confederate statues.
The Buddha statue was more than 1,500 years old and part of a UN-designated World Heritage site. Most Confederate statues were erected in the early 1900s during the Jim Crow era; credible historians say their purpose was to glorify the mythical “Lost Cause” and remind former slaves and their descendants that they should not expect the same rights and protections as white citizens.
One would think (and hope) that, after the president’s unfortunate conflation of neo-Nazis and those who opposed them, The State would exercise greater caution and more common sense before making such comparisons. There is no equivalence between the Taliban and the people who want to remove symbols of white supremacy from places of honor. To suggest otherwise is appalling.