12 June 2020

Dumbass vandal defaces statue of abolitionist

Matthias W. Baldwin was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church and a consistent donor to religious and secular charitable causes throughout his life. In 1824 he was a founder of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. 
In 1835, he donated money to establish a school for African-American children in Philadelphia and continued to pay the teachers' salaries out of his own pocket for years thereafter. Baldwin was an outspoken supporter for the abolition of slavery in the United States, a position that was used against him and his firm by competitors eager to sell locomotives to railroads based in the slaveholding South. 
Baldwin was a member of the 1837 Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention and emerged as a defender of voting rights for the state's black male citizens.
Discussion thread here.


  1. Agreed that this ignorant and foolish. Can we agree that the defacing of all of these statues and monuments is, also, foolish? I'm sure we don't agree with all that any of those honored by monuments/statues have believed or accomplished. But it seems like a dangerous precedent to start tearing down every monument to anyone we disagree with.

    1. It's an interesting phenomenon to think that "today's ethics" automatically equals "the correct ethics". Not saying I agree or disagree with today's ethics, but statistically speaking the co-occurrence is quite unlikely.

    2. Drabkikker, your comment implies the existence of a timeless correct behavior. At the moment I can't think of any ethical standard that could reasonably be other than "today's" - like saying there is an absolutely correct standard for spoken English that doesn't change with time.

    3. Yes, I absolutely agree with you, Stan - the analogy with language evolution is spot on. But many people do seem to think there is something like timeless correct behavior.

  2. Well... perhaps those who concur with the laissez faire "a few bad apples" approach to policing, can also apply it to this misguided individual.

  3. I have found that the voice of outrage often drowns out the voice of reason.

  4. There is a certain amount of energy in the protests that is fueled by the iconoclastic tendencies of youth... "tear down the past to make way for our future. Any celebration of the past is an anchor holding me back."

    I certainly felt it when I was that age, still do sometimes, though I expressed it in less focused ways... just being generally obnoxious. If there had been demonstrations readily at hand I might have joined in and happily torn down things I had no solid reason to.
    Emotions born of frustration, looking for a target.

  5. On a par with the monument to a black regiment that fought on the union side which was covered with red paint.


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