A Right Way to think about Statues?

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mercalia
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A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby mercalia » 18 Jun 2020, 10:25am

The statue-topplers are obsessed with white men and white history


If the real mass of black and Asian people in this country were consulted, as opposed to an unrepresentative (though often very eloquent) set of activist-journalists who make this cause credible, it would be obvious these mute, lifeless effigies are not experienced as a ‘micro-aggression’, a notion that sounds frivolous to anyone who experienced the racial animus of earlier decades.


....Later, when I worked in Whitehall, I’d walk past the Clive memorial outside the Foreign Office several times a day. I came to identify with it. To my mind, this statue, more than Gandhi’s round the corner at Parliament Square, revealed why I’d ended up here, why I wasn’t ploughing rice paddies in the old country, embodying the truth that we are here because they were there. Black and Asian people have something in common with these slabs of stone and bronze, flotsam from the same shipwreck of the past

Today’s decolonisers would end up sanitising our cities into bland, inoffensive spaces, untethered from the complex, often tragic forces that shaped them. Without these tokens of the past, we risk becoming ignorant, as well as deracinated and unmoored from history.



Tanjil Rashid


https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-statue-topplers-are-obsessed-with-white-men-and-white-history

Carlton green
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby Carlton green » 18 Jun 2020, 11:19am

Well good luck with this one! An interesting article.

That perspective and set of thoughts won’t do at all, it just doesn’t meet the script acceptable here and will doubtless have a dozen or so members trashing it before long. The article is written by a man of colour too, doubtless he’ll be considered a disgrace who’s somehow sold his soul rather than just an honest man sharing his own valuable experiences.

reohn2
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby reohn2 » 18 Jun 2020, 12:35pm

So we have one coloured man writing an article in a right wing rag who dictates how everyone should view statues that insult,by their prominent pride of place in the community,BAME people.
Yeah right.

I don't like public statues end of,they're effigies that can mean many things to different people some of which can be very insulting to coloured and white people alike.
They also cast(litrerally)the establishment in bronze(other mediums are available)solidifying what is not always honourable to all of society and in the case of statues such as Colston in Bristol,have caused a lot of consternation and ill will to certain sections of society.
If we wish for a fair honest and equal society,society needs a complete rethink,not only of statues but of many other aspects of UK life.
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Mike Sales
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby Mike Sales » 18 Jun 2020, 12:50pm

Carlton green wrote:Well good luck with this one! An interesting article.

That perspective and set of thoughts won’t do at all, it just doesn’t meet the script acceptable here and will doubtless have a dozen or so members trashing it before long. The article is written by a man of colour too, doubtless he’ll be considered a disgrace who’s somehow sold his soul rather than just an honest man sharing his own valuable experiences.


I hope you can take on board that there are other views held by black people. Here is David Olusoga, historian and broadcaster.

Why did the tearing down of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol mean something to me? Why was my heart racing all Sunday afternoon and evening? Why did the scenes that played out around Colston’s plinth and at the harbour into which the statue was thrown bring me – during a phone call to another black Bristolian – to the verge of tears? I can begin to explain why by describing my experience of first moving to Bristol.


Knowing all this and seeing Colston every day, there on his pedestal – combined with the city’s wealth and Georgian pomp, which was intimidating for someone from my background – made me feel that this was a city I would struggle to ever call home.


I think it is obvious that a lot of black people agreed with Olusoga's view of the statue. I doubt Bristol has so many activist-journalists.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/11/i-shared-my-home-with-edward-colston-for-more-than-20-years-good-riddance
Last edited by Mike Sales on 18 Jun 2020, 1:01pm, edited 2 times in total.

jgurney
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby jgurney » 18 Jun 2020, 12:54pm

Mike Sales wrote:
mercalia wrote:If the real mass of black and Asian people in this country were consulted, as opposed to an unrepresentative (though often very eloquent) set of activist-journalists who make this cause credible, it would be obvious these mute, lifeless effigies are not experienced as a ‘micro-aggression’, a notion that sounds frivolous to anyone who experienced the racial animus of earlier decades.


You should read this article by David Olusoga, an intelligent and articulate historian and broadcaster on what toppling Colston meant to him.
Why did the tearing down of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol mean something to me? Why was my heart racing all Sunday afternoon and evening? Why did the scenes that played out around Colston’s plinth and at the harbour into which the statue was thrown bring me – during a phone call to another black Bristolian – to the verge of tears? I can begin to explain why by describing my experience of first moving to Bristol.


Let's see if we now get a claim to the effect that the very fact that David Olusoga is "an intelligent and articulate historian and broadcaster" means that he does not count as part of "the real mass of ... people in this country". Populists often like to claim that anyone who can express an intelligent and articulate opinion different to theirs is by that token part of the elite and therefore to be disregarded.

mercalia
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby mercalia » 18 Jun 2020, 1:53pm

The thread is not titled "The......." but provides an alternative way amongst possible ways to look at statues that have a past. The Black Matters people have given us one. That statues are imbued with an obnoxious past that taunts us( the opinion of a black professor re the Cecil Rhodes one, rather rich since he hasnt suffered a loss of life chances due to racism) as if a kind of animism, or as Tanjil Rashid another that that doesnt require violent tearing down or demos and raised passions ( that produce counter violence and demos eg I read a grave of a early enslaved black man in Bristol has been destroyed https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-53089528 ) but still recognises the past for what it is. Your choice. keep enmities alive ( we have seen what happens in Northern Ireland when the past is kept alive) or some thing else. Olusoga's article seems to describe a Bristol that is very much Northern Ireland-ish?
Last edited by mercalia on 18 Jun 2020, 2:16pm, edited 1 time in total.

reohn2
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby reohn2 » 18 Jun 2020, 2:11pm

Mercalia
The destroyers of those gravestones and the writers of the scrawled messages are purely racist,that's a given and are no better than Colston himself as such.

I've posted my thoughts on effigies in public places that glorify wo/men unecessarily already so you have my answer.
What do you think?
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mercalia
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby mercalia » 18 Jun 2020, 2:20pm

reohn2 wrote:Mercalia
The destroyers of those gravestones and the writers of the scrawled messages are purely racist,that's a given and are no better than Colston himself as such.

I've posted my thoughts on effigies in public places that glorify wo/men unecessarily already so you have my answer.
What do you think?


particular reference?

roubaixtuesday
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby roubaixtuesday » 18 Jun 2020, 2:27pm

mercalia wrote:The thread is not titled "The......." but provides an alternative way amongst possible ways to look at statues that have a past. The Black Matters people have given us one. That statues are imbued with an obnoxious past that taunts us( the opinion of a black professor re the Cecil Rhodes one, rather rich since he hasnt suffered a loss of life chances due to racism) as if a kind of animism, or as Tanjil Rashid another that that doesnt require violent tearing down or demos and raised passions ( that produce counter violence and demos eg I read a grave of a early enslaved black man in Bristol has been destroyed https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-53089528 ) but still recognises the past for what it is. Your choice. keep enmities alive ( we have seen what happens in Northern Ireland when the past is kept alive) or some thing else. Olusoga's article seems to describe a Bristol that is very much Northern Ireland-ish?


How is campaigning to remove a statue "keeping enmities alive" any more than insisting on its continuance in place is?

You're arguing that the only way to avoid enmity is to agree with your own position.

Those on the opposite side can equally legitimately make the same demand of you.

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simonineaston
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby simonineaston » 18 Jun 2020, 3:02pm

Interesting one, statues... the current society, wotever the day, tends to imbue them with their own values and qualities. However the very fact that they're on public display implies that the person is GREAT!
byyeee,
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mercalia
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby mercalia » 18 Jun 2020, 3:36pm

simonineaston wrote:Interesting one, statues... the current society, wotever the day, tends to imbue them with their own values and qualities. However the very fact that they're on public display implies that the person is GREAT!


or rather was? in their time. we should be able to adapt to that thinking. living with the remnants of past ages? as a reminder of social progress?

merseymouth
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby merseymouth » 18 Jun 2020, 3:54pm

Hi there, As Mercalia mentions Northern Ireland it reminds me of one particular statue that I would definitely press the plunger on? That effigy of Carson at Storemont! I've said before the Edward Carson should have been on the rope next to Roger Casement, both gun runners, the source of weapons that would endanger the lives of all in the island of Ireland.
Let's have Peace in our time! MM

reohn2
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby reohn2 » 18 Jun 2020, 4:02pm

mercalia wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Mercalia
The destroyers of those gravestones and the writers of the scrawled messages are purely racist,that's a given and are no better than Colston himself as such.

I've posted my thoughts on effigies in public places that glorify wo/men unecessarily already so you have my answer.
What do you think?


particular reference?

What do you mean,reference to what?
Last edited by reohn2 on 18 Jun 2020, 4:05pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mike Sales
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby Mike Sales » 18 Jun 2020, 4:04pm

mercalia wrote:
simonineaston wrote:Interesting one, statues... the current society, wotever the day, tends to imbue them with their own values and qualities. However the very fact that they're on public display implies that the person is GREAT!


or rather was? in their time. we should be able to adapt to that thinking. living with the remnants of past ages? as a reminder of social progress?


The well attended and mostly peaceful protests of Black Lives Matter show that many people think that not enough progress has yet been made towards equality.
Colston, and other figures from the past have become symbols of this.
Actually doing something real towards racial equality would be much preferable to removing statues.
The toppling has persuaded de Piffle to promise to look at the problem, but since several previous inquiries have only resulted in conspicuous inaction, we should not hold out too much hope. Pressure needs to be kept up.

Here is just one case which leads to the strong feelings.

When police officers stopped Neomi Bennett late at night, they did not know anything about her – including that she had been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to nursing, and invited to Downing Street in recognition of her work. In her opinion, they simply saw a black woman sitting in a car and asked her to get out to be searched.
She said she was frightened and refused repeatedly to comply, demanding a female officer before she would leave the vehicle, video footage shows. After heated exchanges, male officers pulled Bennett out, arrested her and kept her in a cell for 18 hours, despite finding nothing incriminating.
Bennett, 47, who has been working intensive care shifts as a locum nurse treating Covid-19 patients, has overturned a conviction for obstructing the police that night. Now she intends to bring a civil claim against the Metropolitan police for wrongful arrest, assault, battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.


[url]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/18/nurse-claims-met-police-wrongfully-arrested-her-because-she-black-neomi-bennett
[/url]

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simonineaston
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Re: A Right Way to think about Statues?

Postby simonineaston » 18 Jun 2020, 4:12pm

I have a solution. Just as placcie bags are v. bad on account of their failure to decompose, meaning they end up strangling swans and giving porpoises indigestion, so we need to make statues water-soluble... !! Hoist the hero where all can see - by the time society's values have swiveled away in another direction, said hero has simply melted away - Genius :lol:
byyeee,
SiE