Most Americans don't really care or know much about Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and G.T. Beauregard, or their statues in New Orleans, especially outside of the South. So when the annual calls to remove or vandalize Confederate statuary in the South are sounded, it's not hard to get them to say "the war is over," or "those people owned slaves," or "those statues are racist anyway."
But you could probably get most Americans to complain when ISIS destroys ancient art and architecture. They're destroying history and identity!
In fact, when ISIS destroys museum collections, they are smashing art of persons and by persons who under today's regime of Western presentism would be considered exceedingly racist. And naturally, much of the art depicting ancient Mesopotamian kings and queens or other wealthy nobles or merchants is of people who almost certainly had "servants." When ISIS destroyed the temple complex at Palmyra, they were in all likelihood demolishing buildings constructed by slaves.
Or what about the poor giant Buddhas in Afghanistan that were dynamited by the Taliban? That made the world very unhappy, but there aren't even any Buddhist communities left in Afghanistan to appreciate those anyway.
But that's an outrage, yes? To see this other culture and its history savaged by violent mobs of terrorists and iconoclasts? To destroy the historical record and irreplaceable works of public art? Even when it is a product of defunct caste societies and slavery-practicing civilizations?
Why is the American South, Dixie, any different? Well two reasons. First of all, the art being targeted depicts White supremacists, and they are considered a uniquely evil category of people under today's regime of Western presentism. Second, the art depicts people who are exclusive to a unique White heritage in the United States and represent their community.
White identity is something only allowed in a negative sense. So memorials or other public statuary or monuments depicting Confederate statesmen, generals and soldiers, who comprised the leadership of the 19th century South, are absolutely odious. The statues, as much as they represent Southerners as an ethnic group and their leaders, also represent a period in Southern (and American) history of what could be termed "White rule." White rule is something that has been dismantled globally, from Africa to Asia to Latin America. It was only a matter of time before it had to be dismantled locally. And it has been.
Removing the statues is thus a campaign to destroy not only symbols of "bad people," but to erase an entire era from public memory. Except we know the era of slavery is not going to be wiped from the public memory. It must always be retained as the original sin.
What is being wiped out then is less memory of the Confederacy or White rule, both of which will be kept alive for guilt purposes, but positive memory of those things. Really, anything before 2008 was horrible if you think about it from a presentist point of view. In time there will be no reconciliation narrative as there was at the turn of the 20th century, but a narrative of only punishment. It doesn't matter that a colossal amount of fighting age men were killed and maimed or that the South took a century to start recovering from the economic damage done to it; what matters is that the evil racists were all killed and their monuments are finally being torn down to spite their descendants a second time.
We can't have White people pointing to a thing other than a bureaucratic multicultural managerial state and saying "that's what I identify with." And certainly we cannot have them identify with people who fought for their blood and soil. That kind of dual loyalty can only exist for other races and ethnic groups.
The use of blacks to make the case against Southern heritage and Confederate statuary must be noted, for they are largely not agents but props. Negropolitik is rent-seeking, not kulturkampf. The religious zealotry with which Confederate icons are attack comes from leftist Whites and Jews. Black "victimhood" provides a moral pretext for these people to attack the symbols of a class of Whites they already deeply dislike. Unlike leftist progressive Whites, the Southerners are not a reformed people. They, despite their gradual drift towards liberalism, are not progressive enough. They are a heresy of what a "good White person" ought to be, and as such are an embarrassment. Leftist Whites in that regard are not unlike mulattoes in how they regard their more authentic racial kinsmen. But they go further in that they derive a sense of moral righteousness from opposing the latter.
What we really need statues of are Martin Luther King and his rabbinical friends. That's progressive and definitive proof of one's racial piety and social reform.