Some protesters tore down a statue of George Washington, others went after Thomas Jefferson. Sure, those men were instrumental in starting a nation that cemented democracy’s place in modern times and has been the key player in ending hostilities in two world wars, but hey, they did own slaves.
Now protesters are moving farther afield. It’s not historically bad actors in their crosshairs, it’s any statue that seems to be standing around.
In Madison, Wisconsin protesters grew angry when police arrested an activist, Devonere Johnson, for using a bullhorn to shout in a man’s face while carrying a baseball bat and following him into a restaurant. Johnson was calling the man, who is white, a racist, while going on about slavery and the pyramids.
The police took Johnson into custody, which angered his fellow protesters, who then took up their cause at the state capitol.
They soon found a target for their anger, statues of Wisconsin’s motto “Forward” and of Col. Hans Christian Heg, which were dragged away from in front of the statehouse. Heg was an anti-slavery activist who fought and died for the Union during the U.S. Civil War. His nearly 100-year-old sculpture was decapitated and thrown into a Madison lake by protesters.
The protesters also smashed windows and lights and set a small fire.