Statues honoring members of the Confederacy, known racists, and slave owners are being torn down by protestors across the country as unrest continues in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Now, Popular Mechanics has published an article on the best way to safely bring down these types of monuments.
In the controversial guide from the magazine, mechanical engineer Scott Holland shares tips with James Stout on how groups of up to 70 people can topple statues without "getting hurt."
This includes advice on how to tie straps around the head or neck of a statue to bring it down and how to use chemicals to melt monuments.
"Should you happen to find yourself near a statue that you decide you no longer like, we asked scientists for the best, safest ways to bring it to the ground without anyone getting hurt — except, of course, for the inanimate racist who's been dead for a century anyway," Stout begins. He then details Holland's recommendations.
"To break the statue from its base, split into two teams on either side and work in a back-and-forth motion," the article continues. "Most statues are attached to the base by 2 to 3 feet of rebar, so you'll actually be breaking it at the bronze above the rebar — not the rebar itself."
There is also the chemical route, Stout noted.
"Maybe you're operating with an even smaller team — or, bless your soul, toppling the statue all by yourself. In that case, your best bet is melting the damn thing," he wrote.
The article raised more than a few eyebrows on social media. Among those questioning the instructional piece was conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.
"I look forward to Popular Mechanics putting together a primer on how to make a Molotov cocktail," he tweeted.
Another Twitter user noted that the magazine was not what it used to be when it used to feature guest writers like Buzz Aldrin.
"How lame," he wrote.
"I used to love it growing up. Wtf," author David Reaboi replied.
Author and philosopher Christina Sommers also weighed in on the matter.
"Popular Mechanics goes full Taliban," she wrote in a tweet. "Several engineers chime in on how to destroy statues. I always thought @PopMech was about building things."
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