First thing first, ISIS destroy artefacts because they want the world to forget ancient history; they want to ensure they are the only ones who leave a legacy on mankind. On the other hand, the protesters want to tear the Confederate monuments down because they hate how the statues mislead the public with whitewashed histories.
Yes, some of them are fucktards who unwittingly tear down statues of abolitionists. But, regardless, their intention clearly distinguishes them from ISIS. The fact that an explanation is needed shows how some people lack the cognitive capability to properly join a contentious conversation; I am surprised they are smart enough to not stab their own wee-wees.
Second, ancient sites like the pyramids and the colosseum are not politically relevant to our contemporary world. Yes, they often symbolise human oppression. But, I have yet to hear about contemporary humans using ancient historical rulers to justify their problematic politics.
The confederate monuments, on the other hand, still leave a bitter legacy. They compel Americans to wear rose-coloured lenses when seeing contemporary race relations. They either think racism -especially the systematic one- is over* or past racism is not as bad as we think it was.
As a result, they believe their shit hole country is fine as it is and they see activists as SJWs or even traitors who want to destroy the country with something called moving fucking forward.
Okay, not the full story.
There are indeed cases where people use ancient history to justify their problematic politics. The alt-right love to use the crusades to justify their Christian nationalism and hatred of those violent Muslims, even though the the crusaders were also violent; some also love to use the Vikings to justify their white nationalism, even though the Vikings were more tolerant than the rest of Europe.
If I dig deeper, I am sure I would find similar cases.
But, that’s the thing: the fact that I need to dig deep shows how rare such phenomena are. They almost exclusively occur among fringe groups. Their politics is not mainstream. They are ‘special’ people.
Oh, and even if those ancient artefacts do inspire mainstream politics, I still don’t think they are comparable to the historically insignificant Confederate monuments. Not only many were constructed during the civil rights movement era, they are also meant to represent the ideals of the Confederacy, which existed in the 1860’s.
Yes, 1865 was a long time ago. But, in the grand scheme of things, 155 years is anything but a long time. 19th century history is modern history. Bygone, but not that bygone.
The secession is also a part of the history of the USA, a country that still exists to this day. If you tear down the monuments, it would still be relatively easy to find sites and documents that document the historical event (more accurately). We would still know a lot about it.
Not the case with ancient history.
Mind you, there are such thing as lost films and TV shows (and the BBC has lost many TV episodes). If we have already lost quite a lot of very recent history, it is safe to say we have already lost much of ancient history.
As we know little about it, destroying the sites means we will know even less… or worse, almost nothing. Their destruction will definitely be our loss.
*Due to cognitive dissonance, they believe racism is over while simultaneously insisting the Democratic party is still the racist party.
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