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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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Non-whites should go back to where they came from rather than tearing down controversial statues

If non-whites do not like British culture and have come here to take down our history, they should go back to their countries of origin.
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The Argument

Non-white people who come to live in the United Kingdom try to rewrite its history. This is because when these people come to the UK, they bring their own cultures and ideas about living. In some instances, their ideas and ways of life clash with British culture, often calling for a change to British culture to include their culture. An example of this lies in the discussion surrounding the wearing of burqas and niqabs. [1] Part of the United Kingdom's identity is the practice of Christianity, a religion whose practice is generally exclusively. Including Islamic practices and beliefs arguably does not fit with the UK's identity, thus changing it would be the same as trying to rewrite the UK's history. This trend also manifests itself in the Black Lives Matter Movement, when protesters began tearing down statues. [2] Statues are one of the ways people connect with history. Dismantling these statues serve as an erasure of sorts, and in a way, serve to rewrite British history by removing them from society. In turn, if non-whites want to practice their respective religions or ideologies in peace, they should go back to where they came from, not try to rewrite the UK's history, or change its own set of beliefs.

Counter arguments

Telling people to go back to their country of origin may not resolve the issues non-whites are trying to address. One can make the case that, as citizens of the United Kingdom, they have the right to voice their concerns over issues they find problematic. Having statues like the one of Edward Colston in Bristol propagate systems of power non-whites may find offensive. [3] Tearing down the statue is not so much an act of rewriting the United Kingdom's history as it might be to fight deep-rooted concepts they find problematic.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2018/05/31/strong-majority-brits-back-burqa-ban/
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/12/boris-johnson-says-removing-statues-is-to-lie-about-our-history-george-floyd
  3. https://time.com/5854797/taking-down-statues/

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 09:14 UTC

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