T.R.O.Y. wrote:gloswhite wrote:If references are removed from aspects of our past lives, be it statues, monuments, or writings, and then not referred to, are you not deleting history for the upcoming generations?
I think the key thing here is that nobody has suggested writings should be deleted - that would be abhorrent.
Remove celebrations of racists, put them in museums or replace them with information about the vast damage they did.
This country caused untold damage across the world through the empire, it’s finally time we recognise that.
Colston's statue was erected in respect of his philanthropy not as a celebration of being a racist.
It seems to me that perhaps his statue should have been removed and put somewhere more relevant and in line with modern day thinking of him, perhaps the Bristol museum?
Fwiw the statue was made almost 200 years after his death by the Victorians of Bristol, recognising his philanthropy - no doubt the same Victorians sending children up chimneys and down the mines and sending people to the poor house.
The point everyone seems to have missed is that in the context of the times they lived, no one knew any better - it was the norm - Colston made his money from slavery and the Victorians sent little (white) boys and girls to work in dangerous and life threatening conditions, to earn them their millions.
We are much better educated now, we know better - they at the time didn't.
I think it is wrong to judge them by our modern day values - they didn't 'do' the things they did knowing them to be wrong, they did them because that's what people did at that time.
When I was a lad everybody smoked, cars ran on leaded petrol and they put asbestos in schools and hospitals to stop fires - all that's changed now because we know better.
No doubt in years to come, people will look back and protest about some of the things we're doing now, thinking they were the right things to be doing - but clearly in the fullness of time and with better learning and education they prove not to be. That's how life and society progresses.
Colston was making his money before Isaac Newton apple had hit him on the head - that's how far back we are going!
Yes he made his money from slavery but he gave plenty to the poor and needy of Bristol - and that's why he was remembered and had a statue made to honour him, and not because he was some sort of an racist icon or something.
350 years later perhaps it was time to be more sensitive to how the world now views things but where do you draw the line? Slaves built the pyramids around 5,000 years ago - should we knock those down too?
People should be judged and held to account in their own times and not century's later - everybody is wiser in retrospect - and to my mind the pulling down of Colston's statue was to make a statement to this generation here and now and not as a condemnation of something that happened when Isaac Newton was dodging apples from falling on his head.