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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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We must defend British culture against those who tear down controversial statues in the UK

British culture is at stake. Tearing down statues is a violent attack on our values.

The Argument

Removing the statues will not rewrite history, and it will not right the wrongs done in the past.[1] Many have desired to forget the violent colonial past of the UK by removing the representations of it.[1] However, the past is what has shaped the present, as well as the current culture in the UK.[2] Britain’s empire was shaped by slave traders and owners, this shaped the success and wealth of the UK, but it also influenced many abolitionists to rise up and reshape the UK into what it is today.[1] History should not be forgotten or erased good or bad.

Counter arguments

Defending the statues is not equivalent to defending British culture. Those monuments and statues represent ideologies that are no longer prevalent or accepted in today’s culture. The UK has a history of evolving culture and values. British culture is be evolving right now as its society removes the statues, so there is no valid way of defending the culture and the statues at the same time.[3]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.historymatters.group.shef.ac.uk/rhodes-fall-face-imperial/
  2. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/derecognising-past-honours/
  3. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/derecognising-past-honours/

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 09:15 UTC

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