Another day, yet another statue of a military hero is reportedly under fire. This figure astride a horse was vandalized with the spray-painted words “Tear It Down.”
Who was this historical figure? General Lee? Stonewall Jackson? Nathan Bedford Forrest?
No, this was a figure who hails from the north.
The phrase “Tear it Down” was hastily sprayed in black paint across the base of the golden Joan of Arc statue on Decatur Street in the French Quarter sometime earlier this week. It has since been removed, with only the vaguest traces of the paint remaining.
The “Tear it Down” tag would seem to relate to the debate surrounding the city’s ongoing removal of four Confederate monuments. But the statue of Joan of Arc, a 15th-century military leader, martyr and Catholic saint, hasn’t been mentioned in the controversy to this point.
Amy Kirk Duvoisin, the founder of the annual Joan of Arc parade that ceremonially pauses at the statue on the first day of Carnival season, says she’s confused by the vandalism.
“Surely, people realize she’s not related to American history,” she said referring to the French icon.
Nah, I wouldn’t be so sure.
In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard someone declare the Constitution was passed in the middle of a war, and that the Second Amendment was there solely so farmers could defend their crops from enemy aggression. And someone else declared that the NRA is selling black-market fully automatic weapons that also release poison gas. So I assume nothing.
It’s also possible that this was the result of someone being intentionally ridiculous. After all, while removing statues of Confederate leaders is the big thing, there are also movements to remove a Thomas Jefferson monument from outside of Columbia University and a Teddy Roosevelt from outside of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. So maybe someone is just trolling these lunatics.
That said, it’s more likely that someone really thinks Joan of Arc is problematic. Maybe she was against transgender women using the women’s room.