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To wonder why statues of historical figures are being torn down

(144 Posts)
Rosebyanothername19 Sun 14-Jun-20 18:55:28

But no one is addressing the issues of modern day slavery and child labour? Surely slavery is slavery and needs to be wiped out. The current movement is Black Lives Matter due to inequality and excessive violence by police at the moment which needs to change, so why attack historic statues?

My husband and I were just talking about it and thought I'd ask. We may have missed something. I will admit that I haven't been watching/reading the news excessively.

Just to note, I fully support BLM and I'm not trying to goad or be disrespectful.

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amijustparanoidorjuststoned Sun 14-Jun-20 19:00:49

You've got to start somewhere. That somewhere is taking down horrendous figures in history so that we aren't "celebrating" them. And once we address this, we can address modern racism and inequality.

letmethinkaboutitfornow Sun 14-Jun-20 19:02:03

Because that’s something they could and should about it.
But hey ho!
Who wants actually change the current situation?! Let’s just talk about things with some thugs making it even worse 😔😔😔

SandieCheeks Sun 14-Jun-20 19:04:24

It's not one or the other, is it?

No one wants a statue celebrating a slaver in the middle of their city.

ItsInTheShed Sun 14-Jun-20 19:06:04

Well the root of it all lies in history I guess?

Ohtherewearethen Sun 14-Jun-20 19:08:23

Why should people have to see statues/monuments, which are tributes to 'great men' (hideous murdering, raping, torturing racists) every day? Men who were actively involved in the slave trade? Of all the people on the earth who have done wonderful things for people, science, medicine, children, charity, etc, why do the bastard racists get themselves celebrated in iron, on a huge plinth? Do you really not understand why these statues have to go? Really? You are honestly puzzled why people don't want a celebration of slavery in UK city centres in 2020?

PicsInRed Sun 14-Jun-20 19:08:32

Because charity begins at home and our own people are being abused and murdered in our own countries? Modern slavery is a vital issue, but it isn't either/or. Unless you are looking for a reason for it to be.

MummytoCSJH Sun 14-Jun-20 19:09:07

You can care about more than one issue at a time. Why would you not want to take down statues which are of people who contributed to the slave trade? Their positive contributions to history don't outweigh their negative ones and the fact that real people are still dying is far more important.

hammeringinmyhead Sun 14-Jun-20 19:09:43

It's a relatively easy place to start. Local councils and the like can send out a statue-removal team on Tuesday. They can't send a team out to end world slavery. I don't mean this to be sarcastic btw.

Sparklesocks Sun 14-Jun-20 19:22:47

As others have said it doesn’t mean other issues are not important. But it’s a start, and it’s generally quite easy to do - but still symbolic.
You need to start somewhere. Otherwise why bother doing anything ever? Surely it’s better to take steps to change things, than just not bothering because of additional issues which exist?

TheVoiceOfReasonableness Sun 14-Jun-20 19:30:21

An over simplification of history is one of the problems.

Perhaps one way to decide whether someone is worthy of having a statue would be to work out how their balance falls in the “Ledger of Life”.

The Colston statue- fine. The man made his millions off the back of death and human misery. Charitable foundations don’t even come close to atoning for that. Pull the thing down.

Churchill on the other hand- often outspoken and expressed some off-colour views in his early career. Often mis-quoted too (see the full quote relating to poison gas and uncivilised tribes- he wasn’t advocating genocide or even using gas to cause death- but merely causing confusion to gain tactical advantage!) He was also able to learn and changed many of his perspectives over the course of his life. Responsible for warning the world about Hitler’s intentions and ultimately stopping him. Saved millions from
a real white supremacy death cult. I think on balance we have a hero whose statue ought to stay...

Mahatma Gandhi- British educated Barrister. Called to the Bar in 1891 (the British professions never had a colour bar). Expressed some obscenely backward views about women and Africans. Ultimately led his people to independence and espoused nonviolent resistance. On balance, hero. Keep the statue.

Rosebyanothername19 Sun 14-Jun-20 19:36:00

I understand that's it's easy but it's also vandalism. Why not put plaques on the statues saying what they did to earn their wealth and commemoratimg the people who lost their lives to make it happen. Effectively like putting them in the permanent stocks.
I know the two aren't mutually exclusive. It just annoys me when I see protesters talking about slavery whilst filming on phones and wearing clothes most probably made by modern day slaves.

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Sparklesocks Sun 14-Jun-20 19:37:02

Well a lot of the slaver statues are now being taken down by councils, so it’s not all vandalism.

FrippEnos Sun 14-Jun-20 19:37:41

Will those advocating the removal of statues also be advocating the pulling down of churches, Mosques and other religious buildings?

TulipsInAJug Sun 14-Jun-20 19:38:52

just annoys me when I see protesters talking about slavery whilst filming on phones and wearing clothes most probably made by modern day slaves.

I agree.

I wish people were marching and protesting to end modern day slavery, but they're not.

GreytExpectations Sun 14-Jun-20 19:41:45

The current movement is Black Lives Matter due to inequality and excessive violence by police at the moment which needs to change,

This is not all BLM movement is about so yes you have missed something. Its also about the systemic and institutionalised racism that is currently continuing to keep black people oppressed. Having statues of slave owners and racists still displayed in town centres just reinforces that fact that both countries have not accepted racism as an issue and refuse to take down statues with such a vile history

user1471453601 Sun 14-Jun-20 19:46:58

The two things are not mutually exclusive.

People in Bristol have been asking for a long time for that statue to be removed. It doesn't mean that they don't care about modern day slavery. Anymore than the rest of us who applauded blm demonstrations care about modern day slavery.

Your post smacks of whataboutary

Rosebyanothername19 Sun 14-Jun-20 19:56:15

@GreytExpectations

I am aware that I was being very brief with my summery of the BLM movement as it was not my main point. However as you have raised it, can you please clarify exactly which organisations you are referring to when you state:
'systemic and institutionalised racism'? And why are they not being held directly accountable and called out and instead people are going after statues who cant be held accountable as the people depicted have been dead for a very long time.

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TheVoiceOfReasonableness Sun 14-Jun-20 19:56:25

@Rosebyanothername19

Now that is a great idea! smile

GreytExpectations Sun 14-Jun-20 19:59:53

Rosebyanothername19

*@GreytExpectations*

I am aware that I was being very brief with my summery of the BLM movement as it was not my main point. However as you have raised it, can you please clarify exactly which organisations you are referring to when you state:
'systemic and institutionalised racism'? And why are they not being held directly accountable and called out and instead people are going after statues who cant be held accountable as the people depicted have been dead for a very long time.

OK, firstly you really do not understand what is meant by systemic and institutionalised racism. So no, i cant give you an exact list of "organisations" because that's not what it's about and it's not that simple. You have completly misunderstood what it is.
There is a long history, about 400 years old, that you need to research. I couldn't possibly explain it all to you in one post.

Rosebyanothername19 Sun 14-Jun-20 20:04:18

@user1471453601 apologies, I dont mean it to sound like whatiboutary. I'm just trying to get my head round why historic slavers are being targeted but modern day slavers/enablers aren't.

Is the whole slavery issue not detracting from the BLM movement?

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GreytExpectations Sun 14-Jun-20 20:05:30

Is the whole slavery issue not detracting from the BLM movement?

No, because the history is a part of it.

PicsInRed Sun 14-Jun-20 20:08:41

Rosebyanothername19

I understand that's it's easy but it's also vandalism. Why not put plaques on the statues saying what they did to earn their wealth and commemoratimg the people who lost their lives to make it happen. Effectively like putting them in the permanent stocks.
I know the two aren't mutually exclusive. It just annoys me when I see protesters talking about slavery whilst filming on phones and wearing clothes most probably made by modern day slaves.

How about we put the statues in actual stocks?

No? Just want a plaque no one reads and continued celebration of slavers in bronze?

LynnThese4reSEXPEOPLE Sun 14-Jun-20 20:10:56

Because if you make a big show of taking down statues, you can then conveniently not actually tackle the problem of systemic rascism and societal inequality.

WakeAndBake Sun 14-Jun-20 20:13:31

I was wondering whether countries outside of the US/UK also have a habit of naming things after people with problematic morals from a few hundred years ago?

It is worse than I thought!

Whole COUNTRIES are named after slavers and imperialists.

Colombia = Christopher Columbus
Mauritius = Maurice of Nassau
Mozambique = Mussa Bin Bique
Philippines = Philip II of Spain
Saudi Arabia = Muhammad bin Saud

To name but a few... What offensive statuary they must have!

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