- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 18, 2020

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday compared Americans dismantling Confederate monuments with members of the Taliban who destroyed ancient religious statues in Afghanistan.

The host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” likened the recent removal of Confederate monuments to the destruction in 2001 of the “Buddhas of Bamyan” during his show’s latest episode.

He also drew parallels between efforts to take down Confederate monuments with the destruction of art undertaken in China during the leadership of late Chairman Mao Zedong.

The conservative commentator made the connections after the racially charged killing of George Floyd last month rekindled efforts to remove monuments honoring the Confederacy.

“Political cults all have one thing in common, they just try to destroy history and culture to conform to their vision,” Mr. Carlson said. “It’s always year zero for them. We’ve seen it all over the world throughout history. In Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban dynamited 1,500-year-old giant Buddhas, they called them idols. They destroyed them.”

Mao’s Red Guards desecrated the graves of emperors and destroyed ancient art by the truckload. Now that same impulse to destroy art has come to the United States,” Mr. Carlson said.

“It started with Confederate statues but it moved very quickly,” he continued, recalling that controversial statues of Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus have recently been threatened for removal as well.

Mr. Carlson also noted that calls to remove Stone Mountain, a massive Confederate monument in Georgia, have ramped up recently. Carved onto the side of a mountain, the monument depicts two Confederate generals and its former president and was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, an American artist and former Ku Klux Klan member who also designed Mount Rushmore.

“Speaking of which, how long do you think it will be before they bomb Mount Rushmore?” Mr. Carlson asked. “Art is being destroyed on a greater scale than at any time in American history. No one is defending it.”

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after being forcefully restrained for several minutes by members of the Minneapolis Police Department in Minnesota. Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have taken place worldwide in the weeks since, as have brazen acts of vandalism targeting statues and other monuments associated with racism.

None of those monuments predate the “Buddhas of Bamyan,” however, which were carved into the side of a cliff in Afghanistan during the sixth century and stood there for ages prior to being obliterated by the Taliban earlier this millennium.

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