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Old 7th June 2020, 10:21 PM   #41
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The distance from where we are now to any statue of a white man, then any statue of any white person, then any actual living white person - receiving the same treatment as that statue, is not nearly so far as many may think.

People are playing with forces that cannot be appeased.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:27 PM   #42
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And, I have no special fondness for Edward Colston. I had never heard of him until this morning. I'm just not keen on mob vandalism as a sign of virtue. Congratulations. You tore down a statue. How very noble of you.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:54 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
The distance from where we are now to any statue of a white man, then any statue of any white person, then any actual living white person - receiving the same treatment as that statue, is not nearly so far as many may think.

People are playing with forces that cannot be appeased.
You wouldn't want to be treated that way on account of your skin color, you say?

It's not some mythical force waiting to be unleashed, it is in active practice. It's just happening in the other direction.
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:49 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
You wouldn't want to be treated that way on account of your skin color, you say?

It's not some mythical force waiting to be unleashed, it is in active practice. It's just happening in the other direction.
A complete lie.

Blacks are not abused for their race by police. Every single thing you hear about traces back to their actual behavior. With a very, very few rare exceptions.
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Old 8th June 2020, 12:28 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
A complete lie.



Blacks are not abused for their race by police. Every single thing you hear about traces back to their actual behavior. With a very, very few rare exceptions.
#thisisamerica

Freshly distilled essential oil extract of America.
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Old 8th June 2020, 12:53 AM   #46
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It's bloody stupid IMV. Colston was a slave trader, equivalent to a hedge fund manager today trading in arms dealing, polluting corporations and no doubt undercover drug and people trafficking fronts in shady offshore banana republics (cf the Panama Papers). Slavery was a blot in Britain's (and other countries') history. However, it is easy for us at our vantage point in history, social media, education and different cultural prism to condemn an historical economical set up. Throughout England we had the feudal system with messuages assigned to barons from Normandy with native Britons lying dead in the ditches after a brave defence against the invaders, Scotland had its lairds and land clearances uprooting communities established for generations, France and Russia kept its peasants and sans culottes in a state of miserable servitude with famine and pestilence rife, yet still expected to hand over tithes to the aristocracy of the day.

Colston is not really that different from Wilberforce who got slavery abolished via an Act of parliament. He was just doing what his class did. He bequeathed huge sums of money to Bristol in charitable causes. What he did was evil but was he as a person evil? You tell me.

O mores! O tempora!
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Old 8th June 2020, 12:58 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I reckon there are a lot of Britons who have learned more about the British slave trade since the statue got chucked in the Avon than they did at school.
The same is true on this side of the ocean. More people have learned more actual facts about those Confederate generals as a result of their statues having been pulled down than anyone learned from the statues themselves for as long as they stood.
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:01 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The same is true on this side of the ocean. More people have learned more actual facts about those Confederate generals as a result of their statues having been pulled down than anyone learned from the statues themselves for as long as they stood.
Next time you guys sing 'Amazing Grace', remember who wrote it!
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:07 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post

[...]

Careful people. We're getting close to the old Confederate Apologist "Oh so I guess we have to tear statues of Washington and Jefferson now too, since they owned slaves."

[...]
Would that really be such a bad thing though? I know "patriots" around the world would collectively have an aneurysm at the mere suggestion, but what purpose do such statues actually serve? There are some that arguably have some artistic value, but essentially they're there to glorify historical figures that were often very different from the idealised heroes people picture in their minds. What would be lost if they were gone?
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:18 AM   #50
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Do not like the vandalism but I don't see why things can't change. If the public no longer want a particular statue of Y in place X then move it or get rid of it. Sensibilities change all the time and we don't have to be held to want folks a 100 years ago thought was appropriate or right.
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:21 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
...snip....

Colston is not really that different from Wilberforce who got slavery abolished via an Act of parliament. He was just doing what his class did. He bequeathed huge sums of money to Bristol in charitable causes. What he did was evil but was he as a person evil? You tell me.

O mores! O tempora!
Colston: Direct Line? I need to make a claim on my business insurance - yeah we "accidentally" shoved a few thousands of our cattle off a boat and they all died, I know terrible "accident" it's cost me thousands!

Wilberforce: People aren't cattle.

Yeah no difference between the two of them.
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Old 8th June 2020, 01:32 AM   #52
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Well, since this was split off into its own thread it's taken a weird turn into slavery apologetics.

Yes, philanthropy is a good thing. No, that doesn't mean that there should be any statues to ******* slave traders.

Allow me to Godwinise the thread: the Nazis had a massive amount of welfare programmes. I don't think this opens up the debate as to whether or not Hitler was really all that bad, and I certainly don't think that makes an argument that Germans should put up statues of him.

There are plenty of people throughout history who managed to do good things without being mass-murderers, and without enslaving others. How about a statue of Roy Hackett, Owen Henry, Audley Evans, Prince Brown, and Paul Stephenson, instead?
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:10 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Farage commenting on the toppling of the statue of a slave trader

"A new form of the Taliban was born in the UK today. Unless we get moral leadership quickly our cities won't be worth living in."
Of course Farage's idea of "not worth living in" might be considered an endorsement to many.

Still, at least he's not spouting rubbish about donning khaki and grabbing a rifle this time.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:20 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Well, since this was split off into its own thread it's taken a weird turn into slavery apologetics.

Yes, philanthropy is a good thing. No, that doesn't mean that there should be any statues to ******* slave traders.

Allow me to Godwinise the thread: the Nazis had a massive amount of welfare programmes. I don't think this opens up the debate as to whether or not Hitler was really all that bad, and I certainly don't think that makes an argument that Germans should put up statues of him.

There are plenty of people throughout history who managed to do good things without being mass-murderers, and without enslaving others. How about a statue of Roy Hackett, Owen Henry, Audley Evans, Prince Brown, and Paul Stephenson, instead?
The ruling classes get to put up the statues.

Churchill is considered a great man of history in the UK (no.1, I believe) because he won the war. Full stop. End of.

Here in Finland Field Marshall Mannerheim is idolised with his certificates framed and hung up in every church and cathedral, streets and lodges are named after him. If he were alive today, he would be considered an ultra-conservative right wing **** who oppressed the socialists. Indeed, at the end of his life he was moving from country to country, dying in Switzerland, to evade all the vigilantes of every shade after him. But hey, he got the Russkies and the Jerries out of our country, so he is a hero.

Having said that, until recently, he had his own Finnish Flag Day, Marsalka Day and there has been a modern day concession in that its name has been changed to Defence Forces Day, the flag day was just the other week.

However, try to pull down his statues and you'll have an angry mob after you.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:21 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Do not like the vandalism but I don't see why things can't change. If the public no longer want a particular statue of Y in place X then move it or get rid of it. Sensibilities change all the time and we don't have to be held to want folks a 100 years ago thought was appropriate or right.
There would barely be a monument left in the UK. No doubt you have been to Westminster Abbey. Is there a monument or tomb there which doesn’t offend a group of people today? Churchill, the greatest Brit of the 20th Century (yes, I know about his role in Gallipoli) has had his statue defaced. Is that fair enough?

Christ, what is being achieved here? Where does it stop?

There are statues of footballers and cricketers outside stadiums here and elsewhere. If someone really, seriously didn’t like Shane Warne, can they pull his statue down?

Or is there some list of “dontlikeisms” where I can check to see if some ancient historical figure deserves his or hers likeness to be destroyed? Joan of Arc was responsible for killing people. Pull down her statue. Boudica was a terrorist. Remove her image forever more.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:28 AM   #56
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Nice goal post move there lionking.

But that aside and if we now talk.about your new scenario, so what if people want stuff taken down because it offends them, its only stuff.

And a big PS for folk, Churchill's status today is a result of the propaganda started during the war years, he was not considered the greatest Brit of all time before during or immediately after the war.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:30 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The ruling classes get to put up the statues.
And people can pull them down again, given the right circumstances. It really looks like we're living at a time of change. In part, that works to overcome inertia. Bristol's Mayor (who is black) has said that he considered the statue to be an affront.

So why hadn't it been torn down before? Inertia, politics, and other things of that nature.

Well, now there's impetus, and action has been taken. Good. Times change, and inertia is not a good reason to advocate for everything to stay the same while they do.

Quote:
Churchill is considered a great man of history in the UK (no.1, I believe) because he won the war. Full stop. End of.
That's not an argument for not re-examining our own past and those who we hold up as heroes. In fact, it's actually kind of an argument for doing exactly that.

If for no other reason than perhaps if British people were more informed about the darker side of their own history it might help to stamp out this bloody stupid exceptionalism that permeates through our society and leads to things like the ridiculous self-sabotage of Brexit and our godawful coronavirus response.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:31 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nice goal post move there lionking.

But that aside and if we now talk.about your new scenario, so what if people want stuff taken down because it offends them, its only stuff.

And a big PS for folk, Churchill's status today is a result of the propaganda started during the war years, he was not considered the greatest Brit of all time before during or immediately after the war.
I don’t think so.

Quote:
If the public no longer want a particular statue of Y in place X then move it or get rid of it
I was responding to this. No qualifiers there.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:33 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
The ruling classes get to put up the statues.

Churchill is considered a great man of history in the UK (no.1, I believe) because he won the war. Full stop. End of.

Here in Finland Field Marshall Mannerheim is idolised with his certificates framed and hung up in every church and cathedral, streets and lodges are named after him. If he were alive today, he would be considered an ultra-conservative right wing **** who oppressed the socialists. Indeed, at the end of his life he was moving from country to country, dying in Switzerland, to evade all the vigilantes of every shade after him. But hey, he got the Russkies and the Jerries out of our country, so he is a hero.

Having said that, until recently, he had his own Finnish Flag Day, Marsalka Day and there has been a modern day concession in that its name has been changed to Defence Forces Day, the flag day was just the other week.

However, try to pull down his statues and you'll have an angry mob after you.

That may happen in some of the former Confederate states, too. I don't think it's an argument against pulling down statues meant to glorify slave owners and slave traders.
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:35 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
There would barely be a monument left in the UK. No doubt you have been to Westminster Abbey. Is there a monument or tomb there which doesn’t offend a group of people today? Churchill, the greatest Brit of the 20th Century (yes, I know about his role in Gallipoli) has had his statue defaced. Is that fair enough?

Christ, what is being achieved here? Where does it stop?

There are statues of footballers and cricketers outside stadiums here and elsewhere. If someone really, seriously didn’t like Shane Warne, can they pull his statue down?

Or is there some list of “dontlikeisms” where I can check to see if some ancient historical figure deserves his or hers likeness to be destroyed? Joan of Arc was responsible for killing people. Pull down her statue. Boudica was a terrorist. Remove her image forever more.
Just go look on twitter....
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Old 8th June 2020, 02:35 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And a big PS for folk, Churchill's status today is a result of the propaganda started during the war years, he was not considered the greatest Brit of all time before during or immediately after the war.
Indeed, he was voted out of office in 1945.
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:00 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
And people can pull them down again, given the right circumstances. It really looks like we're living at a time of change. In part, that works to overcome inertia. Bristol's Mayor (who is black) has said that he considered the statue to be an affront.

So why hadn't it been torn down before? Inertia, politics, and other things of that nature.

Well, now there's impetus, and action has been taken. Good. Times change, and inertia is not a good reason to advocate for everything to stay the same while they do.



That's not an argument for not re-examining our own past and those who we hold up as heroes. In fact, it's actually kind of an argument for doing exactly that.

If for no other reason than perhaps if British people were more informed about the darker side of their own history it might help to stamp out this bloody stupid exceptionalism that permeates through our society and leads to things like the ridiculous self-sabotage of Brexit and our godawful coronavirus response.

Surely, statues do not need to be 'torn down'.

Whatever happened to going through the proper channels?
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:01 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Just go look on twitter....
My twitter feed at the moment:

Trends for you
Trending in Finland
Edward Colston
511K Tweets
Trending in Finland
Churchill
412K Tweets
Trending in Finland
Lenin
35.2K Tweets
Politics · Trending
Stalin
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:10 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That may happen in some of the former Confederate states, too. I don't think it's an argument against pulling down statues meant to glorify slave owners and slave traders.
In the case of Bristol and Edward Colston, they are surely glorifying his philantrhopy in funding half the schools and hospitals (instead of bequeathing it to his chidlren).

My friend in Tennessee glorifies the Confederate generals and volunteers. The state has whole museums dedicated to it. I was shocked by the confederate flag on the lawn and her taking shooting lessons. Otherwise, she is a perfectly nice normal person. Just views life through a different lens from the chattering classes of Islington. She had ancestors who fought in the Civil War. We see her side as the wrong side. However, we are all proudcts of history and whilst I disapprove, I can understand why she honours her 'heritage' (sorry to use my pet hate word) and remembers her history.

As devil's advocate, for all you know, Edward Colston his done more good for Bristol than some semi-literate thug who thinks Love Island is the height of culture. The people stomping on Colston's statue didn't look oppressed to me. One had a long blond pony tail. Probably mostly ex-public school boys turned revolutionaries.
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:11 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I don’t think so.



I was responding to this. No qualifiers there.
That is right but then you said - " Is there a monument or tomb there which doesn’t offend a group of people today?"

Which changes it entirely. I never said that because "a group of people" was offended was grounds for the removal. That is your goalpost moving.

There have always been people offended by things, I bet there were some people back when Colston's statue was originally put up that were offended or objected to it.
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:12 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Surely, statues do not need to be 'torn down'.

Whatever happened to going through the proper channels?
Nothing. Who has said there is anything wrong with going through the proper channels?
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:15 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
In the case of Bristol and Edward Colston, they are surely glorifying his philantrhopy in funding half the schools and hospitals (instead of bequeathing it to his chidlren).



...snip...
I strongly suspect that the people involved in putting the statue up are not doing that and have not been doing that for a long time. They are dead. Why do the living have to be manacled by the dead?
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:20 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Surely, statues do not need to be 'torn down'.
Apparently they do.

Quote:
Whatever happened to going through the proper channels?
The statue in question has long been controversial, and even the Mayor considered it a personal affront. Yet there it remained. For all the reasons I listed above, and more.
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Old 8th June 2020, 03:22 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
As devil's advocate, for all you know, Edward Colston his done more good for Bristol than some semi-literate thug who thinks Love Island is the height of culture. The people stomping on Colston's statue didn't look oppressed to me. One had a long blond pony tail. Probably mostly ex-public school boys turned revolutionaries.
Oh, Christ. Okay. I see I'm not going to be able to have a sensible conversation with you.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:14 AM   #70
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https://twitter.com/KateWilliamsme/s...13381973516290

Quote:
People who say - authorities should take statues down after discussion. Yes. But it isn't happening. Bristol'sbeen debating #EdwardColston for years and wasn't getting anywhere. In 2018, it was agreed that statue would bear a plaque noting his involvement in the slave trade. BUT

Then it proved impossible to find a wording that everyone accepted. The first plaque that it bore, added when it was erected in 1895, said 'Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city'. NO mention of slavery. (2)
The thread continues, detailing the history of the statue and the last 2 years of trying to get the plaque changed.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:17 AM   #71
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Thoughts on statue removal.

If the people of today do not want a statue, by all means take down the statue. We aren't required to be slaves (no pun intended) to the past. However, that decision should not be made by a mob.

It is foolish to judge people of the past by the standards of today. The entire British Empire was racist, not to mention the other "deplorable" characteristics. The whole concept of a colonial empire is inherently racist. Edward Colston's connection to that racism and slavery is more tangible than many other people who lived at that time, but everyone who participated in that society, who benefited from trade, who participated in colonialism, was tainted to some degree or another with the sins of the time. If we took down all the statues of people from those times who did not meet our standards, we would have to take down all the statues.

On the other hand, I agree with a sentiment expressed in another thread (I didn't see it moved to this one, perhaps I missed it) that if the only things for which a person is remembered is an attempt to preserve the relics of the past that we find deplorable today, then perhaps those monuments should be torn down, preferably after a vote of the city council or other relevant authority. In other words, Confederate generals probably shouldn't be the subject of adoration today.

Finally, being born today, and adopting the majority positions held today, does not make you virtuous. Your anti-slavery stance is not exactly a sign of commendable virtue. It's a pretty easy stance to take. This is true even if you really, really, really, hate slavery, so much so that you demand that statues of slave owners be torn down. At some point it just becomes a brand new form of holier than thou attitude.

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Old 8th June 2020, 07:19 AM   #72
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Google maps briefly had an updated location for the statue.

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Old 8th June 2020, 07:20 AM   #73
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https://twitter.com/BristolCouncil/s...79066984878082

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We have collected all the signs that were laid in the city after yesterday's #BlackLivesMatter protest so we can preserve them for display in the
@mshedbristol
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:24 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Colston: Direct Line? I need to make a claim on my business insurance - yeah we "accidentally" shoved a few thousands of our cattle off a boat and they all died, I know terrible "accident" it's cost me thousands!

Wilberforce: People aren't cattle.

Yeah no difference between the two of them.
Okay, fair enough. Point taken. However, Wilberforce was a politician and thus was in the right place to make changes via parliamentary democracy. together with being a Christian.

Colston came from a family of merchants and was a Tory MP (so no surprise there). However:

Quote:
In 1680, Colston became a member of the Royal African Company, which had held the monopoly in England on trading along the west coast of Africa in gold, silver, ivory and slaves from 1662.[5] Colston rose rapidly on to the board of the company and became deputy governor, the company's most senior executive position, from 1689 to 1690; his association with the company ended in 1692.[6]

This company had been set up by King Charles II and his brother the Duke of York (later King James II), who was the governor of the company, together with City of London merchants, and it had many notable investors, including John Locke (though he later changed his stance on the slave trade), the English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the "Father of Liberalism", and the diarist Samuel Pepys.[7][8]
wiki

Question: so should the statue of John Locke be torn down and the bust of Samuel Pepys, in the City of London?
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:26 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
If the people of today do not want a statue, by all means take down the statue. We aren't required to be slaves (no pun intended) to the past. However, that decision should not be made by a mob.
Who should it be made by?

Quote:
It is foolish to judge people of the past by the standards of today. The entire British Empire was racist, not to mention the other "deplorable" characteristics. The whole concept of a colonial empire is inherently racist.
Okay, so let's not celebrate the British Empire.

Quote:
Edward Colston's connection to that racism and slavery is more tangible than many other people who lived at that time, but everyone who participated in that society, who benefited from trade, who participated in colonialism, was tainted to some degree or another with the sins of the time. If we took down all the statues of people from those times who did not meet our standards, we would have to take down all the statues.
Slippery slope fallacy.

Quote:
[...] preferably after a vote of the city council or other relevant authority.
See the twitter thread linked above.

Quote:
Finally, being born today, and adopting the majority positions held today, does not make you virtuous. Your anti-slavery stance is not exactly a sign of commendable virtue. It's a pretty easy stance to take. This is true even if you really, really, really, hate slavery, so much so that you demand that statues of slave owners be torn down. At some point it just becomes a brand new form of holier than thou attitude.
This is a very odd straw man.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:27 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...e48d52aa8f.jpg

Google maps briefly had an updated location for the statue.

Apparently Colston's wiki entry briefly stated he had "won the inaugural Bristol diving championship of 2020 with a well received forward tumble scoring 8.8 points".
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:35 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Question: so should the statue of John Locke be torn down and the bust of Samuel Pepys, in the City of London?
Sure. Why not? Replace them with statues of abolitionists or notable black people, since black people's contributions to history have long been erased.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:40 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Who should it be made by?
The elected representatives of the people.


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Okay, so let's not celebrate the British Empire.
Or anyone in it? Ever?


Quote:
Slippery slope fallacy.
Not even close. No connection to a slippery slope at all.



Quote:
See the twitter thread linked above.
The one that said that because the elected representatives weren't doing what she wanted, the mob had to do it. That doesn't seem to end well, but I suppose specifics on what that could lead to would be called a slippery slope, perhaps even properly.

To me, the fact that the council had not acted might suggest that the issue was more complex. I doubt that the Bristol town council, or whatever they are called in Bristol, consists of supporters of the slave trade. (Interestingly, in America, the situation might be slightly different with regard to Confederate statues. While I'm fairly confident that most elected officials do not support slavery, the reluctance to remove Confederate statues may in fact be related to clandestine support for the legacy of slavery.)




Quote:
This is a very odd straw man.
Your fallacy bingo card has some inaccurate entries.

Perhaps you don't see the connection, and perhaps I will elaborate later. The comment you are referring to was a general observation about the topic of this thread. Yes, I do think that opposition to statues of racists is often a form of virtue signaling, a "holier than thou" attitude. That may not apply to a particular person or a particular statue, but when it comes to general demands for public art removal, there's a lot of it.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:46 AM   #79
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Okay people.

If we have to have the "Well if we get rid of the statue of Tommy Slave Trader, don't we have to also get ride of the statue of Johnny Slave Owner as well?" discussion we have to have it AFTER we agree to get rid of the statue of Tommy Slave Trader.

Again this is what the Confederate Apologist in the states have been playing for years now. Every time we talk about taking down the statues of the Racist Traitors who fought a war against their own country to keep owning slaves, some dingus runs in wringing his hands to the heavens with some "Well oh Lordy me if we're going to do that shouldn't we get rid the statues of the people of people who just owned slaves? Guess we can't have statues of Washington or Jefferson anymore, such a shame" routine.

And my response is always the same. "That's just swell. We can have that discussion after we agreed to and get ride of the statues of the race war starting traitors."

And that should be the response here as well.

I keep having this problem more and more discussions. People... you all understand that when someone runs into a dicussion doing this: *makes some big dramatic wringing my hands gesture* that they aren't actually suffering from some moral "where do we draw the line" crisis right? They do it, almost always, for the sole purpose of shutting down the discussion we're currently having by pretending like we have to have the one after it now.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:51 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post

[...]

Or anyone in it? Ever?

[...]
Works for me.

Why would we have to celebrate individuals? What does it actually accomplish?
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