In the latest twist in the ongoing Culture Wars, monuments and memorials have become the focus of a heated debate over free speech, revisionist history, and the legacy of race relations in the United States.

Early this morning it was discovered that an anonymous vandal had spray painted an offensive slogan on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

But as the images of the vandalism were splashed across Twitter and other media outlets, it became clear that the message was simply in the eyes of the beholder. Progressives and liberals interpreted the incomprehensible message as saying “F**k Islam,” while conservatives see it as saying “f**k law.” What this simple, anonymous act of vandalism means appears to be based purely off what type of outrage the observer wants to experience based on their own politics.

Few other messages so short, and so unintelligible, could reveal the state of our politics as a nation more than this one. Everything about the graffiti could be interpreted in completely different ways. Even the chosen location for the graffiti can be interpreted in wildly different ways. Lincoln was a hero to some in the North, a tyrant to some in the South. He was the freer of slaves to many, or a racist white man who only used the Emancipation Proclamation as a military tactic to win the war to others.

To liberals, this “f**k Islam” message is clearly the result of the emboldening effect the Trump presidency has had on hate groups, like those who caused so much chaos in Charlottesville last weekend. They now feel safe to operate in the open, to spread their hateful message tacitly condoned by the President.

To conservatives, “f**k law” has come to embody the entire movement of modern American leftist thought. Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other far left political organizations have done nothing but sow discontent and encourage violence against law enforcement, the most sinister effect we saw play out with the murder of five police officers in the streets of Dallas last summer.

Or maybe for many people out there, whatever gibberish some malcontent spray-painted onto a treasured American monument ultimately means nothing. If it’s not already washed away by a National Parks employee, it soon will be. What is more concerning is the rabid outrage being generated in public discourse as a result of petty crime that may or may not mean anything.

Image via Twitter

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