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Old 8th June 2020, 07:52 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Olmstead View Post
Works for me.

Why would we have to celebrate individuals? What does it actually accomplish?
Not the topic.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:56 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The elected representatives of the people.
And if they don't, despite public pressure?

Quote:
Or anyone in it? Ever?
I'm sure we can discuss their achievements, in appropriate contexts, and without ignoring the darker side of those achievements.

I see no particularly compelling reason to erect statues.

Quote:
Not even close. No connection to a slippery slope at all.
Sure it is. You're going "if you tear down statues of literal slave traders, then you have to tear down statues of everybody who lived at the time of the slave trade".

Quote:
The one that said that because the elected representatives weren't doing what she wanted, the mob had to do it.
The one that detailed the history of people speaking out against the statue and the ineffectiveness of even a black mayor to even change the wording on the plaque to acknowledge the fact that he enslaved tens of thousands of people, murdering a significant proportion of them as he did so.

Quote:
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.
It suggests to me that going through official channels was ineffective.

Quote:
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.
I know you were speaking generally. It's still a straw man to suggest that anybody, other perhaps than a few people at the extremes, believe themselves to be extraordinarily virtuous because they are against slavery.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:58 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The elected representatives of the people
Yeah we tried that. The state of North Carolina literally made it illegal for counties and cities to hold votes on removing Confederate Statues.

Try another excuse.
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Old 8th June 2020, 07:58 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
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.
This is all very true, but I'm not totally opposed to it in this case, because my position is "yeah. Why not take down the statues of slave owners?" I have zero problem with the idea at all.

In fact, I can't think of a single negative thing about the idea, but I can think of positives.

But you are right that it is just a distraction from the actual discussion going on about the actual events that are currently occurring.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:03 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
This is all very true, but I'm not totally opposed to it in this case, because my position is "yeah. Why not take down the statues of slave owners?" I have zero problem with the idea at all.
And then just the racist, which is basically every white person before like.... 1980 or so. Lincoln would be cartoonishly racist even in the 1960s, he's gone. Hell MLK was a serial adulterer and notorious pool shark, out he goes.

I'm not taking a stance on those issues, but I gonna sit here and demand we talk about them before we talk about what you want to talk about because of *dramatically wrings my hands in front of you*

See what I mean? It's not about the discussion, it's about not having it now while we are still trying to have this one.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:17 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And then just the racist, which is basically every white person before like.... 1980 or so. Lincoln would be cartoonishly racist even in the 1960s, he's gone. Hell MLK was a serial adulterer and notorious pool shark, out he goes.
Yes, this is the slippery slope fallacy I've already pointed out.

Quote:
I'm not taking a stance on those issues, but I gonna sit here and demand we talk about them before we talk about what you want to talk about because of *dramatically wrings my hands in front of you*

See what I mean? It's not about the discussion, it's about not having it now while we are still trying to have this one.
Yes, I agreed with you.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:27 AM   #87
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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.
I actually managed to learn a lot about the slave trade in school as a kid, one of the few things I did learn in there of any value. Of course, it helped that we have a very good maritime museum here that gives you a very honest history of the times.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:31 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
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.
My response to that would be "if you insist".

I really don’t understand the attachment people have to these statues. We don’t need to have any of them anywhere.

And to me it keeps coming back to the idea that we have to be beholden to something some small minority of people – usually distinctly not “the people” – decided to commemorate a 100 years ago, 200 years ago and so on. (Or in the case apparently of many of the USA “confederate” statues when “they” got all uppity 50 years ago!)

Why on earth do they have the authority to bind the future?

If “we” don’t want it around today then to the scrap yard with it or wherever people have now decided it belongs. You never know in another 100 years “we” may decide to put it on show again.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:36 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I really don’t understand the attachment people have to these statues. We don’t need to have any of them anywhere.
You don't have to. You just have to understand that other people do and by going "Well just get rid of all the statues" you are making getting rid of the "bad" ones harder, not easier.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:41 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
And if they don't, despite public pressure?
There is no doubt that a mob with ropes is sometimes more efficient than attempting to achieve the desired ends through conventional legal channels.

I still prefer the latter method.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:46 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
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.
I can see why people are behaving in such a way, so I can get their anger and their opposition to people who're associated with, let's say, a dubious past, but I also have reservations about the idea of simply rubbing out the parts of history that we don't appreciate.

It's hard to look into the past of any of our people, or our nations, and not find something we disagree with, so do we tear it all down? You can't walk a mile in most places in the UK without there being someplace, some statue, some building, or street name, or hill, or river, where something terrible didn't take place. People queue up in their droves to visit the Tower of London, a place where many people were gruesomely executed and often unfairly imprisoned, is that okay? I dunno, it is history, it happened.

Liverpool is full of links to the slave trade, but you won't have to look far for a sympathetic version of the events. As I mentioned earlier, the maritime museum here doesn't hold back on the truth, for better or worse, and the wrongs are not denied, they're just accepted as being a part of what took place in a different time we can seldom relate to now.

So for me, I get why people are pulling these statues down, to an extent, but where do you stop? Are we just pulling down statues or monuments related to racial injustice, or are we gonna start pulling down monuments to certain kings and queens, dubious saints and questionable cultural icons? It's a tough road to navigate without appearing somewhat contradictory or hypocritical, IMO.

It's like art, some people will have nothing to do with certain artists or actors who have some connection to something we strongly disagree with, for example, let's say Mel Gibson, or Roman Polansky, etc. Can we appreciate something for what it is, and not how it came to be, or who brought it into the world?

It's a very tough road to navigate.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:52 AM   #92
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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?
I get what you're saying, but for me personally, charity is charity.

Some people, celebrities especially, and often average Joes, do something charitable for the attention it brings, like all of those people on social media who film themselves doing a good deed and spend half a day posting about it, say, aren't I a cool guy? To me, it's still charity.

Many criminals have been praised for doing charitable work in their local communities, even as mentioned earlier, Jimmy Saville was a prominent figure when it came to charities in the UK. Now, the man was a stone cold nonce, but the charity was still charity.

So I don't know that I'd only see charity as being charitable in certain situations, it's either charity or it isn't.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:57 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Easing his conscience.
A lot of people give to charity for similar reasons, IMO. For me, it doesn't really matter why people do good things, as long as they do them.

Again, for me, with some of these statues, it's a case of why are we praising this person? Why're they being remembered?

I can see it from both sides of the argument, and I don't pretend to have a good solution to it.
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Old 8th June 2020, 08:58 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
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.
Well all right, let's do that. Let's discuss statues of individuals.

Robert E. Lee - Hmmm. After reading an awful lot on these boards, with reference to material elsewhere, I have been persuaded that the statues should go. Lee had many positive traits, but I have been persuaded that those traits are not why he has so many statues. His statues exist only because he became a symbol for those who wanted to continue subjugation of black people. His positive virtues will be remembered in books on military history, on battlefields where he led men, and in other settings where it is clear that what is being celebrated is not his cause, but his ability and his talents as a soldier, which is something celebrated, for good or ill, throughout history, quite independent of the cause for which the soldiers were fighting.

Edward Colston - Got rich off the slave trade. That's not good. One vote against. On the other hand, there's a bunch of things named after him. People might be interested in who he was. Furthermore, he was doing what society rewarded him for doing. He was successful at being an agent of a racist society. Should we condemn the individual for his participation in the actions of a reprehensible society? Finally, his statue was not erected to honor his accomplishments as a slave trader, but rather his decision to create an enduring legacy of charitable work, even if that legacy was only made possible through his accomplishments as a slave trader.

I say, then, indifferent. I have no strong opinion on the subject.

Any other person who owned and/or traded slaves: Well, that's a rather broad topic. And if we include anyone who profited directly or indirectly from the slave trade that becomes......everyone. I guess I'll wait for more specifics.

ETA: And, I will hold out an exception on statuary removal. Sometimes, the setting of a statue is such that it dominates the area, or the statue is, in and of itself, some form of noteworthy artwork. In those cases, I don't condone removing it and leaving an eyesore of an empty plinth. (I learned that word this morning in one of the linked twitter threads.)

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Old 8th June 2020, 09:00 AM   #95
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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."
He might as well have barked at the camera and then dropped his pants and took a dump, he'd have come off looking no different in either scenario.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:02 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
There is no doubt that a mob with ropes is sometimes more efficient than attempting to achieve the desired ends through conventional legal channels.

I still prefer the latter method.
The latter method is to be preferred, if workable. If, however, it is itself an example of how institutional racism actually manifests, then what is to be done?

Bear in mind as you're decrying this that the mayor of Bristol has come as close to endorsing this as his office will allow, and that the city council has collected the signs left around the base in order to preserve them in the local museum.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:04 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Well all right, let's do that. Let's discuss statues of individuals.
*Headdesk*

And while we do that black people have to keep going to work, going to school, and going to government and legal buildings named after or displaying monuments to people who took up arms against their country specifically to defend the idea that they were property.

Black people sure do have to put up with a lot of crap while us white people take our sweet time drawing and redrawing lines in the sand until we're comfortable with where they are.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:06 AM   #98
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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.
Plenty of people are treated in a certain way because of their behaviour, and plenty of people are treated in a certain way because of their skin colour.

Some police officers are simply just as racist as the day is long, it's hard to deny that. I've met plenty of racist police officers in the UK while working security.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:06 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
...snip....

Edward Colston - ...snip.... Finally, his statue was not erected to honor his accomplishments as a slave trader, but rather his decision to create an enduring legacy of charitable work, even if that legacy was only made possible through his accomplishments as a slave trader. ...snip...
Who erected it and when and who agreed to it?
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:10 AM   #100
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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.
Tbf, though, those people never bothered to become educated on those facts. It's not like they were being shielded from history, they just didn't bother to look.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:13 AM   #101
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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.
This is my take on the argument, too.

Where do you stop? Can we just chop and change connections to past events that we no longer find respectable? We'd never rest.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:18 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Who erected it and when and who agreed to it?
1895, according to Wikipedia, but the article doesn't answer either of the "who" questions. It gives the sculptor's name, but I've never heard of him.

ETA: The above was from the article on Colston. There is also an article on the statue itself. It was paid for primarily by the head of the Anchor Society, a Bristol charity associated with Colston. There was some public fundraising, but it was mostly from that one individual. it was in the city centre, so I assume the town council agreed to it. How did they do things in late 19th century Bristol?

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Old 8th June 2020, 09:22 AM   #103
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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).

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.
He made his money from kidnapping, branding and selling people as property. He made his money from the insurance on 20,000 people killed and thrown in to the sea.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:24 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
Where do you stop? Can we just chop and change connections to past events that we no longer find respectable? We'd never rest.
*Raises my hand* I don't know but I know we can stop after "Black people don't have to look at monuments to people who literally fought a war to keep them as property while just going about their daily lives."

You can handwring later, you don't have to do it now.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:37 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
Many criminals have been praised for doing charitable work in their local communities, even as mentioned earlier, Jimmy Saville was a prominent figure when it came to charities in the UK. Now, the man was a stone cold nonce, but the charity was still charity.

So I don't know that I'd only see charity as being charitable in certain situations, it's either charity or it isn't.
I understand what you're saying but it's pretty clear that Saville's charitable activities were designed solely to give him access to vulnerable children and adults, so he's probably not the best example to use.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:43 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
He made his money from kidnapping, branding and selling people as property. He made his money from the insurance on 20,000 people killed and thrown in to the sea.
You keep mentioning this insurance on 20,000 people killed and thrown into the sea; do you have a source for that? It strikes me that the insurance company marketing that particular policy must have gone broke.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:44 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
*Raises my hand* I don't know but I know we can stop after "Black people don't have to look at monuments to people who literally fought a war to keep them as property while just going about their daily lives."

You can handwring later, you don't have to do it now.
I'm not disagreeing with you, but I'm simply asking valid questions that people don't ever really seem comfortable with answering.

I'm not arsed enough to handwring about any of this, it doesn't cause me any great trouble sleeping or anything. As I said, I can see it from both sides of the fence, I just wonder when and where it ends.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:47 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
I understand what you're saying but it's pretty clear that Saville's charitable activities were designed solely to give him access to vulnerable children and adults, so he's probably not the best example to use.
That's definitely true, he took advantage of those situations. I mainly mentioned him because it had already been brought up earlier in the thread.

In a way, though, it's kind of highlighting the point that many people use charity as a tool of some kind, for their own gain, whether it be right or wrong.
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:48 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
This is my take on the argument, too.

Where do you stop? Can we just chop and change connections to past events that we no longer find respectable? We'd never rest.
Why should we rest? If we're not going to continually reevaluate history, how can we possibly learn from it? If we learned that Abraham Lincoln had eaten a human baby every week during his presidency, wouldn't it be fair to reevaluate his position in history and how we remember him?

And let's be clear: There have always been opponents to slavery. We're they wrong during times when slavery was legal just because it was legal? Are we really stuck with having to believe that it was impossible to see that slavers were fundamentally terrible people even thousands of years after humans had organized into societies?
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Old 8th June 2020, 09:54 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Why should we rest? If we're not going to continually reevaluate history, how can we possibly learn from it? If we learned that Abraham Lincoln had eaten a human baby every week during his presidency, wouldn't it be fair to reevaluate his position in history and how we remember him?

And let's be clear: There have alwaysbeen opponents to slavery. We're they wrong during times when slavery was legal just because it was legal? Are we really stuck with having to believe that it was impossible to see that slavers were fundamentally terrible people even thousands of years after humans had organized into societies?
I'm not necessarily saying we should rest, I'm merely asking if there's a point at which we do.

Does every person who has their own reason for disliking something get the right to eradicate it or at least have a good go? Is it just certain things we can rally against, based on our own version of morality, or can we have a vote on such things and see how many of us oppose it?

I don't disagree with doing away with certain reminders of a less tasteful past, but that doesn't mean I agree with it and think we should just tear things down that we no longer find to be worthy of remembrance. That's my point, it's not something that seems to be clearly set in stone, if you'll pardon the pun.

I'm just a bystander who is interested to know everyone else's take on it and I don't see the harm in the questions being asked here by some.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:06 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
I'm not necessarily saying we should rest, I'm merely asking if there's a point at which we do.

Does every person who has their own reason for disliking something get the right to eradicate it or at least have a good go? Is it just certain things we can rally against, based on our own version of morality, or can we have a vote on such things and see how many of us oppose it?
I'll tell you what, when one person decides to tear down a statue for some really dumb reason, particularly one based on historical falsehood, I'll jump on the bandwagon to castigate them for it. That, however, is not in any way what we're currently talking about.

ETA: And let me be clear: I have no problem with the idea of tearing down all statues of slaveowners everywhere. I think starting with the Confederate statues in the US makes perfect sense, but George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for example, can get retroactively ****** as well.

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Old 8th June 2020, 10:12 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
And let's be clear: There have always been opponents to slavery. We're they wrong during times when slavery was legal just because it was legal? Are we really stuck with having to believe that it was impossible to see that slavers were fundamentally terrible people even thousands of years after humans had organized into societies?
I'll go there. Yes, I will say that it's impossible to say that all slavers were fundamentally terrible people.

If you condemn the slavers, I don't see how you can avoid condemning all slave owners. And if you condemn all slave owners, I don't see how you can avoid all politicians who supported slavery, and all voters who elected the politicians.

That's a lot of fundamentally terrible people. It isn't everyone in the society, but it's a majority. How did that society have so many "fundamentally terrible" people, and our modern society get away with far fewer fundamentally terrible people?

If we further include all people who were part of the society and did not actively work to end slavery, then you add even more people to the mix. It becomes the vast majority of people. If you add merchants who traded in goods that were produced by slaves, it gets bigger. if you include consumers who purchased the goods, it becomes everyone who lived in those times.

I think moral relativism has to be recognized here. They were born into a society that holds values that we condemn today, and I think it's fair to condemn those values, but I don't think you can say that every single person who conformed to those societal values was a fundamentally terrible person, and I don't think you can absolve people of guilt if they supported slavery, even if they didn't personally engage in it.

In other words, the advocate of slavery is no less guilty than the slaver, and I don't believe that such societies were completely bereft of good people.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:13 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
Why should we rest? If we're not going to continually reevaluate history, how can we possibly learn from it? If we learned that Abraham Lincoln had eaten a human baby every week during his presidency, wouldn't it be fair to reevaluate his position in history and how we remember him?
Yup.

And it should be noted that nobody is saying that Colston shouldn't be mentioned. Nobody is talking about writing him out of history. Nobody is saying that his life - everything about it - can't be taught in history classes. It's literally just people saying "enough of dedicating half of Bristol to him".
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:14 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
I'll tell you what, when one person decides to tear down a statue for some really dumb reason, particularly one based on historical falsehood, I'll jump on the bandwagon to castigate them for it. That, however, is not in any way what we're currently talking about.

ETA: And let me be clear: I have no problem with the idea of tearing down all statues of slaveowners everywhere. I think starting with the Confederate statues in the US makes perfect sense, but George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for example, can get retroactively ****** as well.
I don't know why you believe me to be castigating you or anyone else, unless you're arguing with a hypothetical poster, because if you're arguing with me, it's all one-way, mate.

The topic of the thread is about tearing down statues associated with racial injustice, but as others have pointed out, some of these statues are not in existence because of their ties to racial injustice, Colston being the prime example.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:15 AM   #115
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We're back to apologetics.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:15 AM   #116
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*Looks at the black community*

Sorry, guess the statues have to stay up. The white folk ain't done talking about where the line goes.

It will be a hundred years from now and in the discussion we'll being swapping out the perfectly spherical statues in a trolley problem piece until no original piece remains over an infinite plane of uniform gravity in a frictionless vacuum that's not technically in the Champagne region of France......and the goddamn statutes will still be there in real life.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:17 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'll go there. Yes, I will say that it's impossible to say that all slavers were fundamentally terrible people.

If you condemn the slavers, I don't see how you can avoid condemning all slave owners. And if you condemn all slave owners, I don't see how you can avoid all politicians who supported slavery, and all voters who elected the politicians.

That's a lot of fundamentally terrible people. It isn't everyone in the society, but it's a majority. How did that society have so many "fundamentally terrible" people, and our modern society get away with far fewer fundamentally terrible people?

If we further include all people who were part of the society and did not actively work to end slavery, then you add even more people to the mix. It becomes the vast majority of people. If you add merchants who traded in goods that were produced by slaves, it gets bigger. if you include consumers who purchased the goods, it becomes everyone who lived in those times.

I think moral relativism has to be recognized here. They were born into a society that holds values that we condemn today, and I think it's fair to condemn those values, but I don't think you can say that every single person who conformed to those societal values was a fundamentally terrible person, and I don't think you can absolve people of guilt if they supported slavery, even if they didn't personally engage in it.

In other words, the advocate of slavery is no less guilty than the slaver, and I don't believe that such societies were completely bereft of good people.
You can believe as you will. I disagree completely. You don't get to own or trade slaves and be anything but a terrible human being in my view. The same goes for those who held power and didn't do everything they could to stop slavery.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:18 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Yup.

And it should be noted that nobody is saying that Colston shouldn't be mentioned. Nobody is talking about writing him out of history. Nobody is saying that his life - everything about it - can't be taught in history classes. It's literally just people saying "enough of dedicating half of Bristol to him".
Is that everyone else's take on it, though? Because if that's the case, I'd agree with it, but I don't know if that's the stance being taken by everyone involved in tearing it down, tbh.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:19 AM   #119
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It's curious to think that those Victorian statue builders are closer in time to us than they were to Colston.

It seems like the statue was intended to be a symbol of the city's enduring gratitude to a great benefactor, but was really a reflection of what a group of wealthy Victorians felt the public ought to admire: a prototype of themselves from almost two centuries before. The burden of being expected to continuing to admire their selected patron saint has become more painful over time.

Seems to me it's not an artefact of the man's time or society, it's a Victorian reinvention. When they dredge it up they can stick it in a museum with an honest description.
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Old 8th June 2020, 10:19 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
ETA: And let me be clear: I have no problem with the idea of tearing down all statues of slaveowners everywhere. I think starting with the Confederate statues in the US makes perfect sense, but George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for example, can get retroactively ****** as well.
To JoeMorgue,

You see, Joe. It isn't some right wing bogeyman.

It isn't some slippery slope fallacy.

I've been persuaded that statues of Confederate generals don't belong, and especially not in abundance, but let's be careful out there. You can throw out an awful lot of good with the bad. If you let the mob throw out Colston, and they enjoy it, they're going to look for other opportunities. It's human nature.
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