They don’t stop when you capitulate to their incessant demands. And in that time, we have repeated the mistakes of the past. SINHA: Well, I think it is important not to go from one extreme to the other. Statues are not history.” ... prime minister controversial statues in Canada Influential Canadians John A Macdonald statue removal controversial statue removed famous canadian. Monuments honoring Washington are easier to defend than monuments honoring Lee. So what should be the standard for taking down a statue? The Confederate statues were put up when they were put up [not just after the war but largely during periods of Civil Rights tension in the 20th century], to send a message about white supremacy, and to sentimentalize people who had actively fought to preserve the system of slavery. The undeniable reality is that social justice warriors are insatiable. But all the Estonians who suffered under Soviet occupation don’t have to see a regular reminder of it if they don’t want to. Opponents said, well, if you're going to take down Jefferson Davis, the next day you're going to take down George Washington. Simply removing monuments and moving them so they are out of sight is likewise not new, either. So for instance, I just read today that the Museum of Natural History wants to take down a statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has an African American man and a Native American man standing alongside him while he's astride on a horse. It memorializes Estonia’s remarkable history from 1940 through 1991 under Soviet, then Nazi, then Soviet occupation. We drew the line at two consenting adults. After the Iron Curtain fell, Estonians pulled down statues of Russian and Estonian communists. In one small part of London alone it features John Moore, Hans Sloane, John Cass and … But I don’t claim other answers are unreasonable. Their actions directly contributed to Nazi Germany, and if they succeeded, the Holocaust would have been worse. My family also descends from George Washington and John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court. They were all in evidence in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, when a protest over the planned removal from a city park of a statue of the Southern Civil War general Robert E. … I would like it removed. And many of these statues should fall. And I think most Civil War historians have been against Confederate statues - if not removal, at least with contextualization. Statues have already been removed in Alexandria and a slave auction block was removed in Fredericksburg, Va., on June 5. Like, FDR, after all, was responsible for the internment of Japanese American citizens. The statue had its head removed in 1992 and it was splashed with red paint multiple times recently. That’s true of every war. "Local people should have the chance to be consulted whether a monument should stand or not. If the statues are not taken down, should new historical context be added so people viewing the statues can learn from the past? The Inca Empire of South America removed icons … From the Editorial Board:Remove Confederate monuments to America's original sin of slavery Tear down systemic racism brick by brick. Civilization remains intact. Therefore, argue against removing statues to Washington, insist there’s no way to do one without the other, and declare Confederate monuments defended. With Confederates I’d say no. After the French Revolution, dozens of statues of monarchs were defaced or demolished. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. There can be no good reason for memorialising racists, imperialists, and slavers. Activists also knocked down two statues of Victor Schoelcher, the man who passed the law to end slavery, last month. And I, along with many other Lee descendants, say: Remove the statues. As Carruthers put it “sentiment about great events and great men to whom the world owes much is but the spark which fires men to similar achievement.” Perhaps one of the reasons the left is so determined to tear down everything is because they no longer believe that such inspiration is … Macdonald’s penchant for violence and degradation toward Indigenous … When asked on BBC’s Today programme why the statue had not been removed since he became mayor in 2016, he said it was something he would have liked to have seen, but was not … In Martinique, these statues have long been criticized and actions have been taken against them. But I think a better idea there would have been to actually remove the statues of the African American man and the Native American man and maybe let Teddy Roosevelt be there to commend him for his support of conservation and his support for the Natural History Museum. His policies were also deadly for thousands of Native Americans. They remember the era of occupations without honoring them, even though some Estonians still think highly of the Russians. We don’t honor Benedict Arnold, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, or other traitors. What is that extreme? First, note the slippery slope fallacy here. They teach us, and it depends on us whether we practice what we learn. The Royal Historical Society says that statues do not stand outside history and their removal does not erase it. I don’t fear 150-year-old statues of old dead white men. My point here is not that one statue should go and that the other should stay, nor is my point that both should go or both should stay. How about with people who took up arms against the United States? As anti-racist protests spread around the world, more and more statues of controversial historical figures are being removed from the United States and the United Kingdom. Though many of the arguments defending Confederate monuments are weak, I’ll admit I don’t feel strongly about removing them. Now there is intense controversy over whether the statue should be removed. Taking down some statues wouldn’t make this history disappear. The attacks were acts of protest in response to the prime minister's controversial history. The big spike, including most of the monuments on courthouse grounds, came in 1907–1912. These generals may be dead and gone, but people who share their hateful worldview are still with us. That we are still having bloody disputes about these statues now is, to my mind, proof that they are still needed, because we still have not learned the lessons of history that they can teach us. UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: When do we want it? (So do not find 70 of your closest friends and have a “topple the racist … All wars feature soldiers who don’t really know why they’re fighting. In 2015, Rhodes’ statue was removed from the University of Cape Town’s campus. They must be removed,” according to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Moderates and independents hold the balance of power, and there’s no reason to assume that if leftists convince moderates about one thing they’ll convince moderates about everything. Does the removal of such statues alter our history? Yesterday, people were spotted trying to fish the statue of Colston out of the Bristol harbour as conflict emerged over how the protesters have behaved and whether statues should be removed. But I still wish they’d realize why their decision to honor someone who fought for secession and slavery — with a monument erected decades after the Civil War to support white supremacy — is problematic. In Arc, C’Zar Bernstein and Steve Hays present cases against removing Confederate monuments. Those villains want to do all sorts of terrible things, and giving in on Confederate statues will only encourage them to push for more. Defending them was among the official reasons for the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. That it breaks the unofficial post-Godwin rule of online discussions? SINHA: I've been against it all along. Unfortunately, his claim is true, but not with regard to this issue. Take away anything that smacks of the sort of imperialist legacy which clearly that statue embodies. And that was simply not correct. Why should we always put forward the oppressor and never put our heroes in statues?". ... Cardiff Lord Mayor Dan De'Ath says the memorial should be removed … Students 13 and older are invited to comment. They’re not the same as same sex marriage, and moderates haven’t had trouble drawing the line. Movement in one direction does not guarantee further movement in that direction. That it’s wrong to compare the Confederacy to Nazi Germany? Perhaps. Four other statues people want removed after slave trader Edward Colston. David Greene talks to Manisha Sinha, professor of American history at the University of Connecticut, about the recent toppling of non-Confederate statues like those of George Washington. But I see little value in a moral debate between genocide and chattel slavery. Quoting Donald Trump, Bernstein asks: “Where does it stop?,” a question Hays echoes. If a private homeowner has a crèche on his front yard during the Christmas season, should that be removed because some atheists are offended? So, the Southern states preferred to start the Civil war, rather tha… Questioning where we should draw the line is reasonable, but assuming there’s no answer commits the slippery slope fallacy. They accuse him in particular of having compensated the settlers after the postage, and demand that statues … A common argument against removing the monuments is that taking them down would scrub or willfully forget history. Police stopped these protesters, but statues are coming down around the U.S., yanked down or removed by local governments. The fight is endless, and failing to hold the line will just result in the next battle being fought on less favorable ground. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information. What I fear is the hatred we see in real time in 2017 on social media and in our political rhetoric. Boris Johnson: we should not support BLM protests 'likely to end in violence' – video ... his spokesman was ambiguous as to whether he believed no statues should be removed … Or a snake?”. (Barely any have positive impressions of the Nazis). It’s hard to see the timing as anything other than a backlash to advancements in African Americans’ political rights. Opposing view: Should statues of Sir John A. Macdonald be removed? All rights reserved. Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. Ultimately, I land near Hays (it’s best decided locally) and Belvedere (put the statues in a museum). The death of George Floyd is leading to the removal -- by protesters in some cases and city leaders in others -- of contentious statues that have riled some residents for decades, if not … How does removing or vandalising such landmarks help with the anti-racism movement? Quoting Donald Trump, Bernstein asks: “Where does it stop?,” a question Hays echoes. (The oligarchy was a rather small club back in the day.) GREENE: Has your view on all of this changed since George Floyd was killed and we've seen such anger on the streets and such a growing movement at this moment? GREENE: But is there an argument that removing these statues could help further the fight for racial equality in our country? A statue of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell was to be temporarily removed from its site on Poole’s seafront on Thursday over fears it … GREENE: Historian Manisha Sinha is the author of "The Slave's Cause: A History Of Abolition.". So for instance, a lot of the sort of backlash against taking down Confederate statues was precisely this. No. Everybody knows who won the war. Bernstein reasonably points out that many pre-Civil War Americans thought of the United States as a collection of independent states, not unlike the European Union, rather than as a single country. Artifacts of hate will be lost, but their history and meaning will not. As part of their slippery slope argument, Hays and Bernstein treat the debate over Confederate statues as a battle between conservatives and leftist social justice warriors. Manisha Sinha, a Civil War historian at the University of Connecticut, says when it comes to, say, Robert E. Lee, take it down. Our built environment should be … They weren’t even erected to honor Confederate soldiers’ service. We can do that. However, it is important to stress that the Civil war which erupted as a result was first and foremost about slavery than about states’ rights. To the contrary, that emboldens them to demand more. GREENE: Oh, so actually edit the arrangement of the statues. A guide to the public conversation about politics, policy, and society, written by Arc Digital's editor in chief Berny Belvedere. Why are Confederate statues being removed? Others argue removing the statues would hardly atone for the atrocities committed and is tantamount to erasing history. This is why the city council of Charlottesville voted, a century after it was commissioned, to remove the statue of Robert Edward Lee. I think the difference that Floyd's murder has made is that most American citizens are finally realizing what they represent. It would seem logical that if statues of soldiers offend, then the statues of political leaders should offend more. A petition won the support of many students but, in 2016, the college decided not to remove the statue. "We can begin to root out 'Lost Cause' attitudes and embrace a pluralistic vision of the South, which for me is about family, food, friends, porches, the outdoors, connection, equity, and thoughtful traditions—not unexamined racism or closed-mindedness," says Diaz-Griffin. And a few still fight to change the law back. The rise in support for gay marriage also rose across Christian denominations: Many Americans who were ideologically anti-gay marriage remain opposed. Accuracy and availability may vary. And many cities have taken down Confederate monuments voluntarily. So what do you think of moving into a broader swath of statues coming down and - or being targeted? And then he went on, in fact, to defeat the Confederacy, which was extremely important in the destruction of slavery. But don’t expect the statue to be taken down soon, as a past attempt by African American pastors to have the bust removed was denied. Should yarmulkas be banned if Muslims are offended? And they were. Some people oppose the removal of any statue because it is like erasing history and argue that people in the past can't be judged by attitudes today - statues should be … Proponents of legalizing same sex marriage sold moderates on that idea, and that idea alone. (Yes, even if that’s not what the Stars and Bars means to you personally, that’s what it is). Some opponents made slippery slope arguments, warning that any change to marriage laws could lead to civilizational degradation. The ideologues are loud, and often dominate the conversation. Beyond that, this line of reasoning mistakenly treats the issue as one of many battles in a war between left-wing and right-wing ideologues. A STATUE of the controversial 19th-century figure Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University should not be removed, according to a poll of Express.co.uk readers. Protests over Floyd's death in Minneapolis have refocused the country's attention on police brutality and racial injustice. Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. He freed that slave. There’s an amazing museum in Tallinn, Estonia called the Museum of Occupation and the Fight for Freedom. So these statues, I think, need to be contextualized historically. Slaves were the basis of the Southern economy at that time. Younger Americans are more supportive, but support rose among all generations. That strikes me as a good model. Where does it end? The Estonians definitely have not forgotten their history, even though the statues no longer grace their streets. Bernstein compares memorialized Confederate figures, such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, to slave-owning presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as British colonialists Cecil Rhodes and Winston Churchill. No one puts a monument up to Washington or Jefferson to promote slavery. Consider the example of gay marriage. Removing a few of the most egregious statues will not, as some people fear, erase the histories of these places, nor diminish the cultural heritage their residents are, for … Statues are perhaps the least impactful method of teaching history. GREENE: But what about historical figures with complicated, often racist histories who were also Union generals or former presidents? And ultimately, it is why the others will come down, too. 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