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< Back to question How do we think about taking down controversial statues in the UK? Show more Show less

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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The violent mob are race traitors

These forms of vigilante justice serve nothing or no one. White people joining in the protests are a disgrace to our communities and culture.
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The Argument

It is embarrassing and appalling that there are white people involved in these mobs. This is a disgusting attempt to appease minority groups by professing white guilt and shaming the great heroes that came before them. The statues represent many of the incredible heroes of British society who accomplished incredible things in their lifetimes, and are a testament to the many contributions of indigenous Britons. That white Brits are participating in the tearing down of these statues shows that they are self-hating traitors who are unable to see how being involved in this mob is actually harming them. They are so stuck in apologizing for their existence that they are blind to the ways in which they are belittling and demeaning themselves to racial minorities in order to be seen as “politically correct.” [1]

Counter arguments

While there may be a British ethnicity and nationality, there is no “true” British race. There is no common white history of Britain, nor is there a collective white British experience, and so white Britons are free to reject “heroes” based on their own opinions and beliefs. The people involved in movements to remove problematic statues are doing so based on beliefs that the person the statue represents is not someone to be respected, not because they were white, but because of their actions and how those actions negatively impacted other Brits. This has nothing to do with white guilt, but rather a growing understanding and awareness for how other non-white Brits have been treated in British society, both presently and in the past. [2]


Rejecting the premises



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

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