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Old 7th June 2020, 08:42 AM   #1
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Tearing Down Statues Associated With Racial Injustice

Protesters in Bristol have pulled down a 19th century statue of a slave trader and thrown it in the harbour

Footage of it going in the harbour
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Old 7th June 2020, 08:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
"As a citizen concerned with waterway pollution..."
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Old 7th June 2020, 08:49 AM   #3
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I didn't know about the statue but I was glad to hear a while back that they were going to rename Colston Hall.
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Old 7th June 2020, 08:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I was just going to post that.

Equivalent of the US Confederacy statues.
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Old 7th June 2020, 09:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I was just going to post that.

Equivalent of the US Confederacy statues.
Analogous yes, equivalent no.
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Old 7th June 2020, 09:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Analogous yes, equivalent no.
While I would never argue that treason is worse than slavery, it only takes preschool math to figure out that slavery+treason is worse than slavery alone.
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Old 7th June 2020, 09:47 AM   #7
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Protesters have defaced a statue of Churchill, spraypainting "was a racist" after the inscription of his name
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Hard to claim he wasn’t. In fact pretty much impossible!

Reading the comments it is very apparent that the propaganda of the war years was more successful then its authors would ever have thought.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:12 AM   #9
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WRT the statue in Bristol: https://twitter.com/MartinMcgrail/st...69660611563521

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The statue was erected for his philanprathy in Bristol, not his crimes in the slave trade.
https://twitter.com/mattbaker103/sta...248323076?s=20

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Hi martin, am I alright building a statue of jimmy saville in your front garden? For his charity work obviously not his paedophilia
Saville is the go-to analogy ATM, it seems. For another example: https://twitter.com/sophielevin11/st...58817215725568

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There used to be loads of pictures and plaques up around Leeds commemorating Jimmy Saville, then people learned about what he did and took them down and that's all I have to say about the "should we have still statues celebrating *********" debate
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:14 AM   #10
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Oh, and Auswitz is the go-to of the other side:

https://twitter.com/KhaosByDesignUK/...76609717653504

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I always saw them as a reminder of *********, not a celebration, the same reason Auschwitz is still standing.
If people aren't reminded of the horrors of the past then they fall out memory, and as the old saying goes "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
https://twitter.com/sophielevin11/st...78348986433538

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Auschwitz is a monument to the *victims* of an atrocity, not the perpetrators. That's why the gas chamber doesn't have a statue of Hitler in it and I'm pretty sure we remember who he is without one.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:30 AM   #11
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Why are 19th century statues to bastards always given such hallowed status?
When they knock down council estates to build luxury flats for bankers. That's a ******* outrage.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:35 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:08 AM   #13
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Online Poll result says that the statue should be replace with one of Shaun the Sheep.
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:16 AM   #14
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In 1895, when the statue of Colston was erected in 1895 175 years after his death. That's the same year that Oscar Wilde was arrested for homosexuality and the Army was attacking the Ashanti Empire in modern day Ghana and slaughtering them into submission.

Appropriate that it was thrown in the dock as at least 20,000 of his ‘cargo’ died and their bodies thrown in to the sea.

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Old 7th June 2020, 11:32 AM   #15
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A crowd has climbed onto the statue of colonial King Léopold II in Brussels chanting “murderer” and waving the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
A crowd has climbed onto the statue of colonial King Léopold II in Brussels chanting “murderer” and waving the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Good on 'em!

For those who don't know why:

Congo Free State

Quote:
Failure to meet the rubber collection quotas was punishable by death. Meanwhile, the Force Publique were required to provide the hand of their victims as proof when they had shot and killed someone, as it was believed that they would otherwise use the munitions (imported from Europe at considerable cost) for hunting.[52] As a consequence, the rubber quotas were in part paid off in chopped-off hands. Sometimes the hands were collected by the soldiers of the Force Publique, sometimes by the villages themselves. There were even small wars where villages attacked neighboring villages to gather hands, since their rubber quotas were too unrealistic to fill. A Catholic priest quotes a man, Tswambe, speaking of the hated state official Léon Fiévez, who ran a district along the river 500 kilometres (300 mi) north of Stanley Pool:

All blacks saw this man as the devil of the Equator ... From all the bodies killed in the field, you had to cut off the hands. He wanted to see the number of hands cut off by each soldier, who had to bring them in baskets ... A village which refused to provide rubber would be completely swept clean. As a young man, I saw [Fiévez's] soldier Molili, then guarding the village of Boyeka, take a net, put ten arrested natives in it, attach big stones to the net, and make it tumble into the river ... Rubber causes these torments; that's why we no longer want to hear its name spoken. Soldiers made young men kill or rape their own mothers and sisters.[53]
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A reduction of the population of the Congo is noted by all who have compared the country at the beginning of Leopold's control with the beginning of Belgian state rule in 1908, but estimates of the death toll vary considerably. Estimates of some contemporary observers suggest that the population decreased by half during this period. According to Edmund D. Morel, the Congo Free State counted "20 million souls".[57] Hence, Mark Twain mentioned the number of ten million deaths.[58] According to British diplomat Roger Casement, this depopulation had four main causes: "indiscriminate war", starvation, reduction of births, and disease.[59] Sleeping sickness was also a major cause of fatality at the time. Opponents of Leopold's rule stated, however, that the administration itself was to be considered responsible for the spreading of the epidemic.[60]
A genocide for which Belgium has never adequately paid.

Of course, the U.S. has never adequately paid for several genocides either (Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc.).
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
A crowd has climbed onto the statue of colonial King Léopold II in Brussels chanting “murderer” and waving the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo
That one I agree with.

At least somewhat seriously.

My opinion of all these people who are declared to be bad men because they were racists is that we cannot judge people based on standards of today. If they did great things, and they were racists, I'm not going to say that they were bad people if the entire culture in which they lived consisted of bad people. I can honor them for what they did, if they did something worthy of honor, even if not everything they did was worthy of honor.

I had to look up Edward Colston, and everything I know about the man is from one Wikipedia article, but it seems to me that he started a bunch of charities, and some of the charities he founded still existed at the time the statue was erected, and still exist today. That's worthy of praise. That remains true even if the source of the funds was a profession which today we find reprehensible. Reprehensible or not as we see it today, at the time it was a perfectly respectable profession, and had he stopped doing it, the same money for the same "goods" would have gone to people who would not have founded a hospital with it. He did good, even in the midst of a society that was rotten to the core, and even if he shared some of the rot.

As for Leopold of Belgium, I don't know too much about the man, but from my understaning, pretty much all he did was to grab a colony for Belgium, and to do so with incredible cruelty and bloodshed. In other words, I don't know of any great thing he did. The only thing he is remembered for was something that today we would find to be evil. So, very well, take down the statue.

So, if someone is honored for doing something evil, even if he did it very well, and the people of his day did not consider it evil, then take down the statues. If, on the other hand, someone did something that we consider great, but they lived in a time where evil was considered acceptable, and they participated in the evil, leave it up.

Churchill, Lincoln, Washington, apparently some fellow named Colston are not being honored for being racists or being slave owners or slave traders, even though they may have been those things. They are, and ought to be, honored for the good that they did.

In the case of Leopold II of Belgium, I'm not aware of anything worthy of honor. Maybe there was something and I'm just not aware of it.
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:50 AM   #18
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To relate this all to the today and more directly to this thread topic....

there are a lot of people out marching and tearing down statues who are patting themselves on the back for opposing slavery and tearing down statues of people associated with slavery. Well, lah-dee-dah. Congratulations, but that's a pretty low bar to set. By all means work to fight modern injustice, and I'll congratulate you for it, but don't get all holier than thou about having mainstream, middle of the road, very easy to hold, values.
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:53 AM   #19
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Colston founded his charities with the money he got for selling men. Over 20,000 of them died on his ships and were thrown in to the sea.
hr got paid out on insurance for them.
How does spending some of his blood money on a few charities make him good in any way?
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Old 7th June 2020, 11:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Colston founded his charities with the money he got for selling men. Over 20,000 of them died on his ships and were thrown in to the sea.
hr got paid out on insurance for them.
How does spending some of his blood money on a few charities make him good in any way?
Because he could have spent that money on lavish parties and fancy clothes. (Of course, he probably did, but he could have spent all of it that way, and never founded multiple hospitals.)
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Because he could have spent that money on lavish parties and fancy clothes. (Of course, he probably did, but he could have spent all of it that way, and never founded multiple hospitals.)
Easing his conscience.
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:05 PM   #22
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Leopold's hands.

https://twitter.com/AaronBastani/sta...70999483650048
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Because he could have spent that money on lavish parties and fancy clothes. (Of course, he probably did, but he could have spent all of it that way, and never founded multiple hospitals.)
I'm sure all those slaves are looking down now and, like George Floyd, are appreciative of the employment numbers.
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
That's the thing with Leopold - even by the standards of the time, he was judged by his contemporaries to have been too cruel in the management of the Congo. I mean, there is a reason Conrad chose that setting for The Heart of Darkness.
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:18 PM   #25
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I sincerely hope no one decides to desecrate the Eleanor Roosevelt memorial in Riverside Park. I respect her a great deal despite her flaws.
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:27 PM   #26
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I would like to point out another point of contention is that a number of statues were erected as part of Jim Crow.
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Old 7th June 2020, 12:32 PM   #27
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I'm getting too old for this, but if anyone wants to come to New Hampshire and take down a few Franklin Pierce statues, I certainly won't stand in your way.

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Franklin Pierce (November 23, 1804 – October 8, 1869) was the 14th president of the United States (1853–1857), a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation. He alienated anti-slavery groups by supporting and signing the Kansas–Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, yet he failed to stem conflict between North and South, setting the stage for Southern secession and the American Civil War.
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Old 7th June 2020, 02:18 PM   #28
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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."
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Old 7th June 2020, 02:34 PM   #29
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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."
Maybe they can find the ringleaders of the group who hauled the slave trader's statue down and threw it into the dock. If that's not moral leadership, what is?
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Old 7th June 2020, 02:40 PM   #30
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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."
My God, Farage is such a wanker!
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Old 7th June 2020, 03:08 PM   #31
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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."
Calm down, Nigel. I heard the statue had underlying health problems.
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Old 7th June 2020, 05:15 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
It wasn't thrown; it tripped and fell into the water.
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Old 7th June 2020, 05:23 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by BillC View Post
It wasn't thrown; it tripped and fell into the water.
It was heard shouting "I can't form a patina" before it expired.
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Old 7th June 2020, 06:05 PM   #34
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delete, error
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Old 7th June 2020, 07:38 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Statue deserved to go down. The guy was a freaking slave trader he is more directly guilty then the Confederate generals (though their statues should go also.
Of course a dirty little secret is that a lot of the great British Trading Fortunes were founfrf on "The Blackbird Trade".
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Old 7th June 2020, 07:48 PM   #36
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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."

I think for now we can just go "Okay racists traitors who fought a literally war against our country for the sole reason of keeping slaves, their statues can go" and not jump at the first chance to start splitting hairs.

If owning slaves or protecting the institution of slavery was the only reason you're remembered, yeah you can go. But let's not start already applying the next layer.

Yeah everyone born before... like 1980 or so isn't woke enough. We know. How hard do you really want to pull at that thread?
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Old 7th June 2020, 07:51 PM   #37
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It won't take too much pulling to insure every monument to Lincoln comes down.
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Old 7th June 2020, 07:52 PM   #38
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ETA: What I was responding to was (rightfully) edited.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:06 PM   #39
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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."

I think for now we can just go "Okay racists traitors who fought a literally war against our country for the sole reason of keeping slaves, their statues can go" and not jump at the first chance to start splitting hairs.

If owning slaves or protecting the institution of slavery was the only reason you're remembered, yeah you can go. But let's not start already applying the next layer.

Yeah everyone born before... like 1980 or so isn't woke enough. We know. How hard do you really want to pull at that thread?
This subject at hand was a British guy who had a statue commemorating him because he founded a hospital, in front of which the statue was placed. He made his money on the slave trade, approximately 200 years prior to the placement of the statue.

The guy was dead before there was a United States of America, much less a Confederate States of America.

So, should he have a statue these days? Going by the hilited section of your post, Edward Colston was remembered for founding a hospital that bears his name (or did at the time the statue was placed. I think it was since renamed) , not for owning slaves or protecting the institution of slavery, so, if I've understood your post correctly, you would be on the side of "Don't dump his statue in the ocean".

Too late. They already did.

For what it's worth, the sentiment you expressed in that hilited portion is something I agree with. Those people whose only reason to be remembered was slavery, or being a guy like Leopold II, shouldn't be revered.

Last edited by Meadmaker; 7th June 2020 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 7th June 2020, 10:20 PM   #40
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Colston was a philanthropist, his name is all over Bristol. The city's concert hall is called Colston Hall, though it's about to be renamed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colston_Hall

Quote:
After upcoming renovations Colston Hall will open with a new name. The change reflects concerns over the association of Colston with the slave trade. The new name is yet to be decided, but as part of fundraising plans it is hoped to be in recognition of a commercial partner.
ETA: it seems it was actually a school Colston originally founded on that site.

Quote:
In 1708, Colston established the Colston Boys' School in this building in order to educate the poor. It was managed by the Society of Merchant Venturers.[9] Colston adhered to a strict moral and religious code which was enforced in the school.[7] After his death in 1721, the school continued at the Great Hall until 1857, when it moved to Stapleton.[6]
The highlighted seems particularly ... I don't think 'ironic' really covers it.
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Last edited by Pixel42; 7th June 2020 at 10:25 PM.
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