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How do we think about taking down controversial statues in the UK? Show more Show less
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In June 2020 protestors circulated a hit list of controversial UK statues to be taken down. These included Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Robert Baden-Powell. Campaigners say these statues must be ripped down because they contribute to racialised systemic violence. In turn, this trickles down into every facet of public life and subordinates ethnic minorities. On the other side, groups made up of mostly far right activists say this is deeply offensive. They see this lobby as a violent mob that have been undeservedly handed a mandate to whitewash UK history. So, who are these groups, what do they think, and why?

How dare they tear down our statues Show more Show less

This group sees the anti-statue activists as lawless mob. Proponents include the EDL, All Lives Matter activists, and the alt-right press.
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This is an attack on the white working class

The white working class, who are already disadvantaged in the UK, are being undermined yet again.

The Argument

The tearing down of statues dedicated to great Brits is highly offensive and an attack on the white working class that makes up the foundation of the UK. In an attempt to appear politically correct and “diverse,” the British government has undermined its indigenous population time and again. White working-class Brits are the heart of the country, and they continue to be undermined and overlooked in order to make racial and ethnic minorities feel better about themselves.[1] White working-class children in UK schools are consistently falling behind, more than any other group.[2] This shows a clear lack of consideration for Britain’s native population, and it is unacceptable. Tearing down statues of important historical figures that are symbols of indigenous Britain is a slap in the face to the efforts and legacy that white British people have created over the course of this country’s history. This action discriminates against one group in order to appease another and it is an affront to the British people.

Counter arguments

The reasoning behind the removal of certain statues has nothing to do with erasing the contributions the white working-class has made to English society. The issue is the objection to glorifying those who demonstrated behavior that is considered unacceptable by British society, and harmful towards many of its citizens, both during the time they were alive, and also from the legacy they left behind. No one is denying that these figures did some incredible things in their lifetimes. However, their beliefs and actions in other aspects of their lives, whether as eugenicists, slave-holders, or otherwise, degrades their respectability and they should not be lauded publicly with statues or monuments. Ignoring these problematic elements of many current statues is to ignore the beauty of Britain’s long and diverse history in favor of a fantasy nostalgia where only white Britons existed and imperialism, slavery, and racism never happened. [3]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/leo-mckinstry/15991/How-the-Government-has-declared-war-on-white-English-people
  2. https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/09/20/issues-facing-working-class-white-children-are-unfashionable-and-taboo-as-they-fall-behind-minorities-in-testing/
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/52965665

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 04:37 UTC

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