ABC's 'Scandal' Wants 'Racist' Revolutionary War Statue Taken Down

October 19th, 2017 11:57 PM

We’re on the third episode of the last season of ABC’s Scandal, and I’m honestly surprised it took this long to return to something political. After covering the already trite free education argument from the season premiere, the show returns this week with another trite subject: controversial historical statues.

The October 19 episode “Day 101” focused on the life of Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) after his tenure as president in a small town in Vermont. Because that plot apparently isn’t interesting enough, the show decides to throw in the ever-popular subject of statues. A local protestor sleeps under the statue of a fictional Revolutionary War general/awful slave owner to convince the mayor to take it down permanently. As in real life, this story becomes popular news because the media love making “controversy.”



Reporter: You've been sleeping underneath this statue for 10 days now. Tell everyone why.

Steve: It's time America confronted its violent, racist history. General Raymond Cyst was a Revolutionary War hero, but he was also one of the most heinous and vindictive slave owners on record. He fathered slaves, which simply sugarcoats the truth. This man raped women he held captive and imprisoned his own children. Why is that not documented alongside this monument? Why, as a black man, should I be asked to celebrate someone who would have gladly kept me in chains?

Reporter: Certainly a hot take, but how long are you planning on staying out here?

Steve: I'll sleep in the freezing cold until this statue comes down. There you have it. I'm Chad Buddenholzer. Now back to the S--

Of course, after an aggressive conversation with protest-admirer Marcus (Cornelius Smith Jr.), Fitz uses his position to give attention to the cause, eventually leading to the taking down of the statue in the final few minutes. After all, he notes that the student activist is “doing the right thing.” In history, I learned doing the right thing included standing up to immoral laws and risking jail or worse, but now I guess it has expanded to making publicity stunts on Instagram. Maybe we haven’t come as far as I thought.

It's hilarious that even with the range of actual Civil War slave owners and their statues to pick from the show chooses to portray a fictional Revolutionary War general in Vermont. Not only does this completely bypass the actual racially-controversial war, it chooses to highlight it in Vermont, the first colony to ban slavery in the first place. Perhaps they wanted to keep from being “too” political for viewers by attacking someone real, but all this shows me is that no place is safe from liberal scrutiny.

Living close by New Orleans, one of the major hotspots of all statue activity in the county, I have heard every range of comments ever made on the topic. Let me sum the whole thing up: no one cares. When people are out of jobs and taxes are high, the last thing the average person, even the average black person, cares about are 100-year-old statues. These wannabe activists and media acolytes who keep harping on them only highlight their own out-of-touch-reality with real issues. Scandal, of course, is no different.