Over the weekend, vandals smashed a sculpted bust of Breonna Taylor in Oakland, California, drawing scorn from its creator, who only installed the art a couple of weeks ago. In remarks to the local news, Leo Carson said the Black Lives Matter art was important to the community and that whoever destroyed it had only proven the need for BLM activism.
“This vandalism is an act of racist aggression, and it shows why sculpture and art matters,” Carson told KQED. “I made this sculpture to support the Black Lives Matter movement and while I’m overcome with rage and sadness at their cowardly act, their vandalism will make her even more potent.”
The news reported that the Oakland Police Department is currently investigating the incident.
As everyone surely knows by now, Breonna Taylor’s name has become a central rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement, owing to her death at the hands of police officers in Louisville, Kentucky back in March. Taylor’s fate continues to serve as one of the main legends that keeps the BLM movement afloat, though there is little reason to believe that her death was quite as senseless as the first stories made it sound. Not saying that she was guilty of anything more than being home at a bad time, but the fact remains that police had cause to open fire. None of the officers involved in the raid were charged with murder.
But, of course, Taylor’s individual case is not all that relevant in this instance. What we’re more interested in is this idea that the destruction of her bust was an act of “racist aggression.” As far as we can tell, there is no evidence for that. For all we know, this was a bunch of stupid teenagers just looking to make mayhem. Hell, from the way these stories so often turn out, we wouldn’t be surprised if the sculptor himself smashed the bust for some extra publicity.
But even if the person who smashed the bust was dead-set against Black Lives Matter and their ideological aims, it would not make this incident an act of racist aggression. In fact, seeing as how BLM and their activist allies have made part-time jobs out of destroying statues over the past few years, we’re finding it hard to see how they have any moral high ground whatsoever.
If the new rule of the street is that we can simply take it upon ourselves to tear down any monument we don’t like, what does anyone have to complain about in this case?