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Old 11th June 2020, 07:47 AM   #321
SuburbanTurkey
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Okay, to try to avoid this appearing like a waily, waily moment, I need to assure you all that this is a genuine question.

Given that, by modern moral standards, virtually everyone born prior to aroun 1900 is going to have been a bit of a git, and that of those that made enough noise to have statues put up in their honour, a very large portion are going to be found morally wanting by today's code, when do we stop?

I'm very happy to have the statues of slave traders ripped down, but are you going to close Disney world? Or, at least, re-name it?
There's no clear answer, but a good criteria for evaluation is "why is this person famous and/or what message is this statue conveying?"

Walt Disney is famous for being a cartoonist who happened to be about the normal amount of racist for his time. It's not been difficult for modern Disney to distance itself from these positions, and they make no apology for their founder's bigoted views.

Something like the Confederate flag has very little value outside of it's explicitly bigoted historical context. What's left when you strip out the racism? Not much.

I'm sure there would be plenty of examples in the grey zone. I see no easy way to resolve this.
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Old 11th June 2020, 07:53 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
There's no clear answer, but a good criteria for evaluation is "why is this person famous and/or what message is this statue conveying?"

Walt Disney is famous for being a cartoonist who happened to be about the normal amount of racist for his time. It's not been difficult for modern Disney to distance itself from these positions, and they make no apology for their founder's bigoted views.

Something like the Confederate flag has very little value outside of it's explicitly bigoted historical context. What's left when you strip out the racism? Not much.

I'm sure there would be plenty of examples in the grey zone. I see no easy way to resolve this.
Thank you for taking the question in the spirit in which it was intended.
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Old 11th June 2020, 07:54 AM   #323
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I see no easy way to resolve this.
Therein lies the problem we're faced with.

Personally, I'm of the "educate the people on the matter/monument/street name" idea.

If people still choose to remove certain monuments, etc, then that's okay, but we should try to refrain from tearing down everything we no longer agree with and instead strive to show why such monuments, for example, were erected in the first place.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:00 AM   #324
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Okay, to try to avoid this appearing like a waily, waily moment, I need to assure you all that this is a genuine question.

Given that, by modern moral standards, virtually everyone born prior to aroun 1900 is going to have been a bit of a git, and that of those that made enough noise to have statues put up in their honour, a very large portion are going to be found morally wanting by today's code, when do we stop?

I'm very happy to have the statues of slave traders ripped down, but are you going to close Disney world? Or, at least, re-name it?
We are judging these men to the moral standards of the time. 1688 was the Quaker's letter against slavery. The holy Roman emperor came out against slavery in 1542.

Anti slavery was the knowingly correct moral position when they practiced slavery.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:01 AM   #325
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Okay, to try to avoid this appearing like a waily, waily moment, I need to assure you all that this is a genuine question.

Given that, by modern moral standards, virtually everyone born prior to aroun 1900 is going to have been a bit of a git, and that of those that made enough noise to have statues put up in their honour, a very large portion are going to be found morally wanting by today's code, when do we stop?

I'm very happy to have the statues of slave traders ripped down, but are you going to close Disney world? Or, at least, re-name it?
Whenever we want.

I've heard other people that seem to imply what you are implying - that we have to be bound for all time by what the "we" of a hundred or 200 years ago decided. "We" can make our own decisions. Especially when you look back and you find out that for many of these statues it was anything but "the we" that decided these people should be commemorated. It was a powerful, very restricted "elite" who made the decisions back then.

And this idea that if we go back everyone would be considered morally or ethically deficient by today's standards. It's simply not true. I can go back a 100 years in my family and my great-grandmother was by all accounts a very nice person, a positive saint, took in the daughter of her sister (my great-grandfather raped my great-grandmother's sister), raised her as her own and she did many other charitable things. If someone had put a statue up to her there wouldn't be any "modern" moral or ethical issue about it remaining up.

That people decided to commemorate these anything but saintly people is not a matter of them being simply a creature of their times, it was always possible for people to be nice people, these people were often anything but saintly even by their own standards.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:06 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Whenever we want.

I've heard other people that seem to imply what you are implying - that we have to be bound for all time by what the "we" of a hundred or 200 years ago decided. "We" can make our own decisions. Especially when you look back and you find out that for many of these statues it was anything but "the we" that decided these people should be commemorated. It was a powerful, very restricted "elite" who made the decisions back then.

And this idea that if we go back everyone would be considered morally or ethically deficient by today's standards. It's simply not true. I can go back a 100 years in my family and my great-grandmother was by all accounts a very nice person, a positive saint, took in the daughter of her sister (my great-grandfather raped my great-grandmother's sister), raised her as her own and she did many other charitable things. If someone had put a statue up to her there wouldn't be any "modern" moral or ethical issue about it remaining up.

That people decided to commemorate these anything but saintly people is not a matter of them being simple a creature of their times, it was always possible for people to be nice people!
The problem with humanity in a nutshell is that things are seldom black and white. People are complex creatures, capable of the very best and the very worst, often in the same breath.

All of us have family members or friends who often say things which causes us to take pause and wonder if they've been drinking red wine out of a Coke can.

Our very history is built on the best and the worst of humanity. I agree, we shouldn't be bound by the past, but we shouldn't seek to diminish it, either.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:09 AM   #327
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Whenever we want.
Well, that's easy then. 'We' famouly agree, all the time...

Quote:
I've heard other people that seem to imply what you are implying
I'm not implying anything. You may be inferring, but I certainly am not implying anything.

Quote:
- that we have to be bound for all time by what the "we" of a hundred or 200 years ago decided. "We" can make our own decisions. Especially when you look back and you find out that for many of these statues it was anything but "the we" that decided these people should be commemorated. It was a powerful, very restricted "elite" who made the decisions back then.
But the statues are still of those who shaped the world. They are noteworthy, historically, regardless of who decided to put them up. And people today are emotionally invested in them.


Quote:
And this idea that if we go back everyone would be considered morally or ethically deficient by today's standards. It's simply not true. I can go back a 100 years in my family and my great-grandmother was by all accounts a very nice person, a positive saint, took in the daughter of her sister (my great-grandfather raped my great-grandmother's sister), raised her as her own and she did many other charitable things. If someone had put a statue up to her there wouldn't be any "modern" moral or ethical issue about it remaining up.
I didn't say 'everyone'. I'm also sure that antisocial gits exist in greater proportion in those that change the world than those that don't. I'm really nice, nobody's going to put up a statue of me, ever. I don't make enough noise.


Quote:
That people decided to commemorate these anything but saintly people is not a matter of them being simply a creature of their times, it was always possible for people to be nice people, these people were often anything but saintly even by their own standards.
Possible, yes, but not a societal imperative, like it is now.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:31 AM   #328
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I would just like to remind people that "Let us stop until we can figure out precisely where to draw the line" is a fallacy so old that it has its roots in ancient mythology.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:37 AM   #329
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I'm completely against looting and destroying public property.... That said, destroying statues that stand for racist values seems fine to me. It reminds me of what V from V from Vendetta said after destroying a building: "The building is a symbol, as is the act of destroying it. Symbols are given power by people. Alone a symbol is meaningless, but with enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.""

Of course, in the case of V, he did something much more dangerous that could lead to deaths of people. In the case of a statue, it's much more justified. Destroying a statue does not represent a risk to anyone, and it is not an essential thing that we need. So by all means, destroy all statues that stand for racism.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:46 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I suppose we'll see if the victim is actually dead. To me, it doesn't look like it. I would expect a different reaction from the crowd and from the cops, but it's hard to say on the cell phone video.

There are several stories about it that I found on google news, but none of them mention death or injury. One of them did mention that police cleared the area after the statue was toppled, but no mention of the injury.
He was seriously injured. Witnesses reported part of his skull was exposed, and he was experiencing convulsions. No arrests were made. Obviously, murder charges would depend on if those injuries result in death, but I think the people pulling the statue down should have been arrested in this case.
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:47 AM   #331
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I think the line will always be a little fuzzy, but it doesn't seem too difficult to identify things well to one side or the other of it.

Already said in various ways, I think, I would draw the line somewhere in the vicinity of the point at which a person is not just a person of his time, but a maker of it. The students who believe an error are not in quite the same category as the teachers who promote it. The person who did a big thing despite faults is not the same as the person whose big thing was to promote them.

Martin Luther King was a flawed character who is celebrated because he promoted a great virtue.

Robert E Lee was, by some accounts, a pretty decent character, but he is celebrated for his valiant advocacy of slavery and treason.

One of those things is not like the other.
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:02 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
For how long do you seek atonement (through destroying things) for past misdeeds?

I certainly get pulling down statues of Saddam Hussain and Stalin as there were people still alive who directly suffered from their actions. But should statues of pharaohs be destroyed because they were notorious slave owners?

ETA ninja’d by William...
Sorry, it took me awhile to get back to this thread.

We don’t display statues of pharaohs to honor them. Nor do we typically place them in prominent outside public locations. We put them in museums as artifacts of an ancient culture, along with descriptions of the person depicted.

I have stated in other threads that I am fine with putting statues of slave holders in museums with descriptions of the evil culture they represented. Preserves the history and is an educational tool.
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:03 AM   #333
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I tend to agree that we should re-evaluate our decisions about what to put in parks and what sort of public artwork we should have. The values in effect today may not be what was around at the time the statue was put up, and we may no longer value what they did.

From my modern perspective, above all, I'm pro democracy. Mob rule is bad. Very, very, bad. If you want to get rid of a statue, use a petition, not a rope. I was appalled when people said, "But what if the government isn't doing what we want?" That's sad. Really. If you don't like it, run for office and then you can take down the statue yourself, as part of a democratically elected government.

Use protests to call attention to the statues if you wish. That's exercising freedom of speech. Pulling it down yourself is just mob rule. (Maybe a little spray paint here and there. It comes off, and sooner or later the city council will get tired of paying maintenance to clean the statue. If you absolutely feel compelled to pull down the statue, make sure someone isn't standing underneath it at the time. It makes everything awkward when the crowd has to scatter for ambulance access.)

That being said, I would vote to throw out Bobby Lee, but I would keep Chris Columbus. Apparently, a mob decided I shouldn't have any voice in that decision.
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:04 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I think the line will always be a little fuzzy, but it doesn't seem too difficult to identify things well to one side or the other of it.

Already said in various ways, I think, I would draw the line somewhere in the vicinity of the point at which a person is not just a person of his time, but a maker of it. The students who believe an error are not in quite the same category as the teachers who promote it. The person who did a big thing despite faults is not the same as the person whose big thing was to promote them.

Martin Luther King was a flawed character who is celebrated because he promoted a great virtue.

Robert E Lee was, by some accounts, a pretty decent character, but he is celebrated for his valiant advocacy of slavery and treason.

One of those things is not like the other.
I had intended to create a post along these lines but you stated it all much better than I could have.

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Old 11th June 2020, 09:11 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Reminds me of the joke that a poor man is crazy, the rich man is merely eccentric.

Graffiti is terrible vandalism, unless it is worth tens of thousands of pounds.....
"If you steal a loaf of bread they call you a thief, if you steal a whole country they call you a King", we miss you Sir Pterry....
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:24 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I tend to agree that we should re-evaluate our decisions about what to put in parks and what sort of public artwork we should have. The values in effect today may not be what was around at the time the statue was put up, and we may no longer value what they did.

From my modern perspective, above all, I'm pro democracy. Mob rule is bad. Very, very, bad. If you want to get rid of a statue, use a petition, not a rope. I was appalled when people said, "But what if the government isn't doing what we want?" That's sad. Really. If you don't like it, run for office and then you can take down the statue yourself, as part of a democratically elected government.

Use protests to call attention to the statues if you wish. That's exercising freedom of speech. Pulling it down yourself is just mob rule. (Maybe a little spray paint here and there. It comes off, and sooner or later the city council will get tired of paying maintenance to clean the statue. If you absolutely feel compelled to pull down the statue, make sure someone isn't standing underneath it at the time. It makes everything awkward when the crowd has to scatter for ambulance access.)

That being said, I would vote to throw out Bobby Lee, but I would keep Chris Columbus. Apparently, a mob decided I shouldn't have any voice in that decision.
There are many examples of city councils voting to remove an offensive statue only to be over ridden by the hurried passage of a state law to negate the local vote. Alabama and Virginia for example.

The problem is that a minority population can have a morally justified objection to a statute that is drowned out by the prejudice of the majority culture and political system. I am not suggesting mob rule. But I wonder what I would do if there was a statue honoring a man who enslaved and killed thousands of my ancestors, yet my objections were met with indifference by a political majority belonging to the same culture as the slaver/murderer. In my own case, being Jewish, I imagine seeing a statue honoring Goebbels every time I went downtown.
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:26 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
Explain in detail how the two situations do not apply.

As far as I can see, the Colston statue was put up to celebrate his supposedly good (and questionable) deeds. It was torn down by those who don't wish to see him celebrated further.

Lovecraft's award was designed based on the celebration of his contribution to literature and the arts, a contribution rooted literally in his hatred of other races, notably people of black descent.

In both cases people heatedly argued about whether these people should be celebrated, and whether their image should be used to inspire or educate others.

That you fail to grasp the relevance isn't my problem.
What government funds were used to maintain the Lovecraft award? Was there any way for citizens to avoid paying for the Lovecraft award?
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Old 11th June 2020, 09:34 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
There are many examples of city councils voting to remove an offensive statue only to be over ridden by the hurried passage of a state law to negate the local vote. Alabama and Virginia for example.
Quoted for emphasis. Democratic process, at the local level was used. Then over-ridden at the state level, by gerrymandered legislatures.

Compromises were offered and rejected. Local level political processes were followed but over-ridden by state governments. The residents of the cities made their opinions very, very clear, but state governments chose to ignore that.

So, this happens.
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Old 11th June 2020, 10:08 AM   #339
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Locally our city decided to remove a CSA monument and that decision has been tied up in the courts. Now the City is asking the court for permission to remove it so that it is not destroyed, which could further damage the monument, the surrounding area, and citizens.

Odd times.
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Old 11th June 2020, 10:10 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Quoted for emphasis. Democratic process, at the local level was used. Then over-ridden at the state level, by gerrymandered legislatures.

Compromises were offered and rejected. Local level political processes were followed but over-ridden by state governments. The residents of the cities made their opinions very, very clear, but state governments chose to ignore that.

So, this happens.
Fair enough. I am in agreement that the state override was appalling. A state government stepping in and telling local governments how to decorate their parks seems pretty bad.

ETA: I will amend somewhat. I'm still opposed to toppling the statues by mob action. The proper way is to go after the state representatives, or legal wrangling to oppose the state mandate. However, what I agree with is that if such tactics are used, where the people of the state force their will onto the people of the city, the people of the city will inevitably, at some point, take matters into their own hands.

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Old 11th June 2020, 10:14 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Fair enough. I am in agreement that the state override was appalling. A state government stepping in and telling local governments how to decorate their parks seems pretty bad.
Only if you think this is about decorating parks.
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Old 11th June 2020, 10:53 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Well look at all the celebration photos taken at Auschwitz. Should that be a reason to tear it down?

It is pretty easy, everything stands on its own merits. Statues unlike building tend to not be historically significant, and the ones being talked about are not artistically significant either. They were put up to memorialize and generally celebrate a specific group or individual, and as such we can determine if that individual or group is one that deserves celebration.

I am still waiting for people to start funding a museum of acres and acres of such public statuary. You could have all kinds of fun wings/regions for various political movements dictators and the like.
Ironically, many of these statues were designed specifically to ignore history - Christopher Columbus was, um, whitewashed into an Italian hero that "discovered" America so that Italian immigrants could lay claim to whiteness. And many Confederate statues are cheap garbage conveniently placed in city squares, courthouses, and other government facilities specifically to celebrate how those good, white Southerners treated the Negro race so well, and lost a war by the evil Northerners (when they weren't used as an explicit embrace of white supremacism - there's a reason so many schools, roads, etc. were renamed after Lee, Forrest, and other such slavers and terrorists after Brown vs. Board).
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:09 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Ironically, many of these statues were designed specifically to ignore history - Christopher Columbus was, um, whitewashed into an Italian hero that "discovered" America so that Italian immigrants could lay claim to whiteness. And many Confederate statues are cheap garbage conveniently placed in city squares, courthouses, and other government facilities specifically to celebrate how those good, white Southerners treated the Negro race so well, and lost a war by the evil Northerners (when they weren't used as an explicit embrace of white supremacism - there's a reason so many schools, roads, etc. were renamed after Lee, Forrest, and other such slavers and terrorists after Brown vs. Board).

And please don't replace Columbus with Leif Erikson (Wikipedia). Many white supremacists would love to see that.
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:20 AM   #344
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I believe MShed, a museum about Bristol and coincidentally right next to where Colston tripped and fell is going to keep the statue. "The symbolism of his graffitti’d body has been preserved and the significance it has for us will be an important story to tell." from their Twitter
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:46 AM   #345
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Baden-Powell (BBC News, June 11, 2020) could be next.
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:52 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by Mumbles View Post
Ironically, many of these statues were designed specifically to ignore history - Christopher Columbus was, um, whitewashed into an Italian hero that "discovered" America so that Italian immigrants could lay claim to whiteness. And many Confederate statues are cheap garbage conveniently placed in city squares, courthouses, and other government facilities specifically to celebrate how those good, white Southerners treated the Negro race so well, and lost a war by the evil Northerners (when they weren't used as an explicit embrace of white supremacism - there's a reason so many schools, roads, etc. were renamed after Lee, Forrest, and other such slavers and terrorists after Brown vs. Board).
I think you would find that the District of Columbia was named long before Italian immigrants got into the act. Columbus wasn't a 19th century invention. Maybe a little bit of rebranding took place at the time.

On the Confederate things. Yeah. True.
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:56 AM   #347
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There are demands by aboriginal groups in Australia to tear down statues of Captain James Cook (Australia’s “Columbus” for those who don’t know).

He never owned slaves or had any role in governing the new colony. Yet is hated by many indigenous people. (I don’t know of a better coloniser in those days than the Brits, by the way).

Should the will of the aggrieved prevail, even though it is certain the majority would not support tearing down the statue?
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Old 11th June 2020, 11:57 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Baden-Powell (BBC News, June 11, 2020) could be next.
Why not Churchill?
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Old 11th June 2020, 12:17 PM   #349
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I was thinking a while back about the problem for statues in states like Virginia which have a state law protecting statues, and it occurs to me that this might be a good place for what I've seen referred to as "malicious compliance." The law obligates the locality to protect the statue, and since that statue is subject to possible vandalism, perhaps the best way to protect it would be to enclose it in an impenetrable covering. A concrete sarcophagus, perhaps. Just cast a huge monolith over the sacred statue, and it is protected forever. If that's too great a threat to the surface of the statue, a big tough wooden box would do. On the monolith one can put a little note saying what's inside, and the content of that message can be tailored to whatever historical viewpoint is prevalent. But it too becomes a statue, with some degree of protection.

It would probably be cheaper than moving the statue, and for those who lament what they see as insults to history, it would serve as a nice in-your-face reminder of the important historical events that are happening right now.
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Old 11th June 2020, 12:23 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Why not Churchill?
Indeed why not? Shouldn’t people today make their own decisions?
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Old 11th June 2020, 12:25 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
There are demands by aboriginal groups in Australia to tear down statues of Captain James Cook (Australia’s “Columbus” for those who don’t know).

He never owned slaves or had any role in governing the new colony. Yet is hated by many indigenous people. (I don’t know of a better coloniser in those days than the Brits, by the way).

Should the will of the aggrieved prevail, even though it is certain the majority would not support tearing down the statue?
Why not follow “due process”?
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Old 11th June 2020, 12:25 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
He was seriously injured. Witnesses reported part of his skull was exposed, and he was experiencing convulsions. No arrests were made. Obviously, murder charges would depend on if those injuries result in death, but I think the people pulling the statue down should have been arrested in this case.
I just read that he was in a medically induced coma. His heart stopped, twice, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

I have a feeling he's dead, but they just haven't made it official yet.
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Old 11th June 2020, 12:45 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think you would find that the District of Columbia was named long before Italian immigrants got into the act. Columbus wasn't a 19th century invention. Maybe a little bit of rebranding took place at the time.

On the Confederate things. Yeah. True.
Hey we can make statues to honor him and king Leopold. Just put up the piles of chopped off hands of those not working sufficiently hard for their betterment. Though throwing in some 8 year old sex slaves could be useful for columbus.

Oh wait if you successfuly destroy the ethnic group the crimes then never matter, so that is why columbus gets the pass and Leopold get slandered as some kind of monster.
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Old 11th June 2020, 01:11 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Why not follow “due process”?
How about you explaining to me the “due process” involved when a group of people decide to pull down a statue?
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Old 11th June 2020, 01:17 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Indeed why not? Shouldn’t people today make their own decisions?
By “people” what do you mean? A group of demonstrators offended by old monuments? Religious fanatics who demand destruction of things their religion outlaws?

If you are talking about a majority of people in a liberal democracy called the UK, then the decision has been made. Churchill’s statue stays.
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Old 11th June 2020, 02:21 PM   #356
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I've found myself wondering in the last few days, why is a courthouse a place to have statues of people who furthered powerful interests?

So often this involves acts of injustice, tyranny, and oppression on innocent people.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Loving v. Virgina decision. There should be a statue of the Lovings at the Richmond courthouse.

Petitioners who stood down the government (and assorted violent intimidation) and won rights for the masses against power with the pen and with words should be seen in places of honor. Not some general on a horse, not a profiteering merchant on some crown-backed exploitative enterprise, not some fat judge who rubbed shoulders with the local gentry.
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Old 11th June 2020, 02:38 PM   #357
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I can think of a historical figure we could replace a lot of these statues with.
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Old 11th June 2020, 02:42 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I just read that he was in a medically induced coma. His heart stopped, twice, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

I have a feeling he's dead, but they just haven't made it official yet.
If so, that's murder, in my opinion.
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Old 11th June 2020, 02:45 PM   #359
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
I was thinking a while back about the problem for statues in states like Virginia which have a state law protecting statues, and it occurs to me that this might be a good place for what I've seen referred to as "malicious compliance." The law obligates the locality to protect the statue, and since that statue is subject to possible vandalism, perhaps the best way to protect it would be to enclose it in an impenetrable covering. A concrete sarcophagus, perhaps. Just cast a huge monolith over the sacred statue, and it is protected forever. If that's too great a threat to the surface of the statue, a big tough wooden box would do. On the monolith one can put a little note saying what's inside, and the content of that message can be tailored to whatever historical viewpoint is prevalent. But it too becomes a statue, with some degree of protection.

It would probably be cheaper than moving the statue, and for those who lament what they see as insults to history, it would serve as a nice in-your-face reminder of the important historical events that are happening right now.
Some of these are too blasted big, like Lee, for this to work. It would still dominate the view, and would probably be equally annoying those who want to see it there and those who want it gone.
ETA That would work pretty well for smaller statues, probably.

Last edited by Carlotta; 11th June 2020 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 11th June 2020, 03:10 PM   #360
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
By “people” what do you mean? A group of demonstrators offended by old monuments? Religious fanatics who demand destruction of things their religion outlaws?

If you are talking about a majority of people in a liberal democracy called the UK, then the decision has been made. Churchill’s statue stays.
It is not so simple. Liberal democracies recognize that minorities have rights too. The views and rules by the majority cannot, and morally should not, violate those rights. Beyond legal rights alone, the majority should seek as much as possible to respect minorities and their legitimate viewpoints and ideas.

The honoring of an individual responsible for the enslaving and murder of a people is abhorrent. Abhorrent not only to the people whose ancestors were subjected to these evils, but also to the majority whose ancestors inflicted them.

A statue to a slaver and murderer is a daily insult to those descended from his victims, being not only a constant reminder that they were one considered property rather than human beings, but also a constant reminder that even now the majority does not recognize this past as ugly and evil enough to question the morality of the person responsible.

A statue to a murderer and a slaver should be abhorrent to all, including those in the majority. If the majority fail to see this or just don’t care it is their moral failing. IMO they have lost the moral right to impose their will over the objections of the minority.
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