Toppling Edward Colston’s statue is unlikely to be enough to stop public anger

6/11/2020 1:09:00 AM

Toppling Edward Colston’s statue is unlikely to be enough to stop public anger

Toppling Edward Colston’s statue is unlikely to be enough to stop public anger

Few imperial icons, including Churchill, are safe from the need to reappraise Britain’s past

Published on Wed 10 Jun 2020 18.Tear it down! Campaign launched to remove 'toxic' Bristol statue of.George Floyd protests: Boris Johnson says anti-racism demonstrations 'subverted by thuggery' During the course of his involvement, it is estimated it was responsible for shipping 84,000 men, women and children to be slaves in the Caribbean and the Americas - of which more than 19,000 died.Shares The Edward Colston statue was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol Pictures posted to social media appear to show a group of white men attempting to retrieve the statue of Edward Colston that was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest.

11 BST The toppling of slaver Edward Colston’s statue has electrified a longer term – and already deeply polarised – debate among British historians and academics, with some celebrating a “moment of history” as others warned of dark consequences for society.Inaction over figures such as Colston had bred anger that would be felt “all over Britain”, said Andrea Livesey, a historian specialising in the study of slavery and its legacies and who described the events in Bristol as “wholly justified”..Her employer, Liverpool John Moores University, which has agreed to rename a building named after former prime minister William Gladstone due to his views on slavery, had been “relatively shielded” from the most recent debates on statue toppling and renaming because of its status as a post-1992 university, she said.Although this information was omitted entirely from a plaque attached to his statue when it was first created, it was due to become the focus of a replacement plaque announced by Bristol City Council in 2018.“Yet we have origins going back to 1823 to people who benefited the most from the Atlantic slave trade,” she said.The 5.“Our case is symbolic of Britain’s memory of slavery: shielded from view, far away from the plantations of the US and Caribbean, and only visible to those who have taken the time to educate themselves.Advertisement Advertisement Colston’s slave trade company moved 100,000 people from Africa to the Caribbean as slaves – including women and children – many thousands who were branded on their chests with the name of his company, and some 20,000 who died en route.

” The statue of slave trader Edward Colston being pushed into the Avon on 7 June.There is an inscription explaining the statue is a"memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of the city".It left out a reference to 12,000 children estimated to have been among those the Royal African Company transported as slaves.Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images toppling of Colston was described by the Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal as an example of young people in particular “dealing with history in an honest way” and taking radical action to remove a monument that politicians and others had been unable to dislodge.Like others who were supportive of the moves to reappraise the monuments and statues of Britain’s imperial past, she was in no doubt that the primary focus should be on that of Cecil Rhodes.In the past week, an online petition calling for the removal of the Colston statue gained thousands of signatures.“What I am hearing, even from administrators at Oxford, is that it is now not a case of if but when Rhodes will be gone, and that is something to be celebrated,” said Gopal, a reader in colonial and postcolonial literature at Cambridge University, By contrast, there was deep unease among defenders of British imperial heritage, such as Nigel Biggar, a Regius professor of theology at Oxford, who said there were three problems with the “current fancy” for toppling statues."The second says his wealth came from sugar etc and he was 'also involved in the transportation' of slaves - rather as if he sort of built boats but didn't know what was going on.“First, it lacks democratic legitimacy.“Yet we celebrate and commemorate him with a statue in our beloved city centre.

It’s not right that a zealous crowd in Bristol, however well-intentioned, gets to pull down Colston at will.Because if the left have the liberty to do that, then the right will take it too.” The petition also read: “He does not represent our diverse and multicultural city."That was in spring 2019 and the plaque has been under discussions ever since.The result? Bloodshed on the streets.“Second, it’s historically false.Police are investigating the incident, which Home Secretary said was"utterly disgraceful" and 'undermined" anti-racism protests.Judging by the campaign in 2015-16, those calling for Rhodes to fall are propelled by a caricature of him as South Africa’s Hitler.Image: Protesters throw the statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour But those in favour of its removal will point to the fact that the seemingly intractable nature of the debate over its future would otherwise almost certainly have ensured his continued commemoration without even an acknowledgement of the central role he played in the enslavement and death of many thousands of people.

That’s nonsense – and worse, it’s a slander.Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees has said the statue will be retrieved and put in a museum.“Thirdly, pulling down statues does nothing to rectify real injustices and redress the unfair disadvantages that some black Britons suffer from.” Melissa Gustin, an art historian with an expertise in sculpture, said that all public sculpture had a natural life cycle, which even its creators accepted..A protest movement called Rhodes Must Fall that was formed at that time continues to campaign for other statues in his honour - including one at Oxford University - to be taken down.A focus fell on Colston because he was a “particularly egregious” example, but she said no statues were safe forever as a debate evolved to bring in figures such as Gladstone, Robert Peel and even Winston Churchill.“I’m worried about the idea that people are saying this is ‘erasing history’.we will obviously take the statue out.

What is actually happening is that history is being made by these acts in themselves.As part of the East India Company, he is credited with seizing control of vast swathes of the Indian subcontinent by overthrowing existing rulers before looting their treasures, to make himself one of the richest businessmen in the world.” Fiona Cosson, a history lecturer at Bournemouth University with an interest in public history and heritage, said Colston’s toppling had sent a ripple effect through the country." Related articles Former US Secretary of State blasts Trump over handling of protests He added: “What's happened to the statue is now part of that statue's story.In some cases, she suggested contentious statues could be removed from prominent public and civic positions, and re-sited in new public museum parks “to become a place of education, criticality, and debate about the history of the British empire, rather than the ‘set-in-stone’ history that they had seemed to represent up until now”.Others venturing a view included Ashley Jackson, professor of imperial and military history at King’s College London, who said he would have preferred “due process” to be applied in the case of the Colston statue and was concerned about where the current campaign would stop.“What I would also recognise though- and it's important to do so - is that many people are dismayed by the tearing down of the statue and as a city, it is our job to unite those voices too.He is, however, also described as a"vigorous defender" of the slave trade and sought to use his influence to counter Britain's abolitionist movement.“There is an issue around where you stop apologising, or where you stop destroying,” said Jackson, who added that those who shared his position felt particular anxieties about speaking about them publicly in the current climate.

“If Colston must fall, or Rhodes, then the logic might follow that Victoria and Churchill would come into question as well.“So we as a city need to now have that kind of discussion with ourselves about what we are as a city and how we all make sure we have a sense of place and ownership.You have to deal with all of the past in all of its complexity and it’s why we need to revisit our approach to the teaching of history.The best known among five public statues of him in the UK sits outside the House of Commons.“For too long, for example, we have had a division in the teaching of history between Britain in itself and the British empire.” Topics.

Read more:
The Guardian »
Loading news...
Failed to load news.

Hi, could you please support this petition that seeks to embed equality in uk teaching and decolonise uk curriculum. Sign and share would be appreciated. The public anger is just getting started against the far left! uno reverse pleaseletthisblowup The guardian must have a sweat on no? I mean your founder is in clear breech of wrong think!

Lets face it, some of these people from the past whose statues we look upon, were real nasty mo fkers. It takes a certain type, to exploit their fellow humans to make a buck. Like a lot of powerful people, they're not right in the head. Anti-whites aren't demanding removal of Genghis Khan statues in Mongolia. Anti-whites aren't demanding removal of Saladin statues in the Middle East. They are ONLY demanding removal of statues of white people in white countries. Their bottom line is the white race has to go.

The public aren't 'angry'. The bubble is angry. Get out of it now and again. Typical of the headlines this month, trying to make news rather than reporting on it. You have certainly opened my eyes. Left / Right it’s all the same. Cancelled my subscription. On the lookout for a paper that just reports the news any ideas ?

Public outrage at the Guardian's historical revisionism. Mainstream headlines get more surreal by the day. The more statues are toppled, the more public anger will grow. The Guardian expressed the public's anger over Corbyn's alleged antisemitism. But can it explain away its own involvement?

Edward Colston: Who was Edward Colston? Why did protesters attack his statue?EDWARD COLSTON has become a recognised name amid ongoing protests around the UK following the death of George Floyd in the USA. But who was Edward Colston? BreakingNews :-New Zealand Prime Minister JacindaArdern says when she heard there were no more active coronavirus cases in the country she started 'dancing ......... Anti-racist activist Lee Jasper: 'It was white people who pulled the statue' of slave trader Edward Colston down, but 'it's being pinned on the BlackLivesMatter movement.' Right or wrong .. history is history and should remain .. or loose the millions of Americans that travel to UK to see the history .. if you remove then why travel

Will this ‘news’ paper be closing because of its links to the slave trade?

Edward Colston: Why toppled statue was hated by many - and other controversial UK monumentsMayor of London Sadiq Khan tells KayBurley he suspects a commission reviewing London landmarks will recommend the taking down of a number of statues, such as those to slavers. AveryAbrams Gutting their City. shouldn't be up to that KHAN to touch or REMOVE ANYTHING of BRITISH HISTORY. He's NOT BRITISH! Wow Gandhi, Cromwell, Gladstone, Churchill will there be any statues left? Meanwhile crime in London rockets well done Khan

Group of white men 'try to save Edward Colston statue from Bristol harbour'Pictures emerged on social media of a group of men appearing to be trying to fish the statue out. This is racist flag it ! wow here comes the anti-white racism from zoelouisedrew His statue should be retrieved and here is why, Colston used his wealth to support and endow schools, hospitals, alms houses and churches in Bristol, Charitable foundations inspired by ones he founded still survive. Not all bad.

Banksy's creative solution for what should replace Edward Colston statueBanksy wrote: 'Here's an idea that caters for both those who miss the Colston statue and those who don't.' Inspired.....both camps happy... AsimC86 Are you banksy And how could we be sure it would not itself finish up in the river?

Nigel Farage says slave trader Edward Colston was a 'philanthropist', so it's wrong to tear down his statueNigel Farage has caused outrage after he attempted to speak out against the removal of Edward Colston's statue in Bristol because the slave trader was a 'philanthropist'. During an appearance on Good Who and who? Hmm I wonder where he got his money from?

Edward Colston: Why toppled statue was hated by many - and other controversial UK monumentsMayor of London Sadiq Khan tells KayBurley he suspects a commission reviewing London landmarks will recommend the taking down of a number of statues, such as those to slavers. AveryAbrams Gutting their City. shouldn't be up to that KHAN to touch or REMOVE ANYTHING of BRITISH HISTORY. He's NOT BRITISH! Wow Gandhi, Cromwell, Gladstone, Churchill will there be any statues left? Meanwhile crime in London rockets well done Khan