Kyle Smith of National Review Online reacts to the disturbing news from Durham.

The orgiastic glee with which protesters tore down, then beat up, a century-old monument to a generic Confederate soldier in Durham, N.C., this week was alarming. The mob seemed to have lost control of itself. Who wears out his foot kicking a lump of metal? The urge to destroy could get out of hand very quickly, especially given the mixed signals sent by authorities: Durham police stood by and did nothing. Only the following day, after an outcry, did the sheriff announce he intended to seek charges.

Where does this end? …

… [I]t is a characteristic of leftists that they are always pushing the culture wars into new territory, even territory that the Left itself would have called absurd overreach a few years previously. On Monday, the mayor of Baltimore agreed to take down its Civil War statues. By later Monday, that wasn’t good enough: The city council unanimously voted not only to remove but also to destroy the statues. One resident, Keith Scott, was skeptical about what is being accomplished here: “If you were prejudiced when it was up, you’re going to be prejudiced when it goes down,” he told the ABC affiliate in Baltimore. Prejudice hurts people. Statues just stand there, mostly unnoticed.