I just saw the video of Colston's statue being destroyed

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BourneAsh
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What the hell has the destruction of a historical monument in England got to do with the tragic death of a man in America? Will that really help racism in America? Or will it just get people’s backs up in England and cause further division?

Colston gave vast sums of money to charity, but he was a man of his time. Like the vast majority of people from his time he believed slavery was permissible. Society has changed, we cannot judge people of the past by the standards of today. If we were to do that, then we would have to deface all of the people who built our society and gave us what we have today.

In 300 years, society may determine that something that is normal now is in fact heinous crime (say for example, killing animals to eat their meat). Does this mean we will be defaced too?

This is a dangerous precedent. I honestly felt sick seeing him, a 125 year old historical statue, being jumped on top of, kicked, and dragged into a river, by lunatics shouting and screaming (and spewing Covid) in self-righteously indignation that they are in some way helping an issue which is an ocean away from them.
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Admit-One
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Thanks for creating a new account to leap to this spirited defence of this inanimate object.

Chuck it in a museum, job done.
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Admit-One
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And now you've deleted your post. Did you use the wrong account?

BourneAsh Are you feeling okay?
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Trotsky's Ghost
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In the last few months we've seen an inept government make commit serious errors in response to coronavirus that has resulted in the deaths of many British people. Criticism has been fairly muted.

Yet dump a lump of bronze in some water and the people of TSR start foaming at the mouth in anger.
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Paralove
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The statue was put up in 1895. It's closer to the modern day than to Colston's death in 1721 and so the authorities put that up in full knowledge of what he did.

People in Bristol have been petitioning for years to have it taken down; good riddance to it, and all the more fitting that it should drown as his company forced thousands overboard. Proud of my home city today.
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Admit-One
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OP now merrily posting less contentious replies elsewhere to bump up his post count.

Sorry, terribly sceptical of me.
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L i b
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(Original post by Trotsky's Ghost)
In the last few months we've seen an inept government make commit serious errors in response to coronavirus that has resulted in the deaths of many British people. Criticism has been fairly muted.

Yet dump a lump of bronze in some water and the people of TSR start foaming at the mouth in anger.
People are fairly used to governments falling short of some unreachable perfect ideal. They're not particularly used to mobs pulling down statues in this country.
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Napp
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(Original post by Trotsky's Ghost)
In the last few months we've seen an inept government make commit serious errors in response to coronavirus that has resulted in the deaths of many British people. Criticism has been fairly muted.

Yet dump a lump of bronze in some water and the people of TSR start foaming at the mouth in anger.
More the symbolism of these pathetic little rioters standing atop the statue like it was the fall of Hussein, as opposed to a trade who did a lot of good for the local area.
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L i b
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(Original post by Paralove)
The statue was put up in 1895. It's closer to the modern day than to Colston's death in 1721 and so the authorities put that up in full knowledge of what he did.

People in Bristol have been petitioning for years to have it taken down; good riddance to it, and all the more fitting that it should drown as his company forced thousands overboard. Proud of my home city today.
Statues are pretty strange things and the memorialisation tend to bear pretty scant resemblance to the actual people they're commemorating.

I suppose that's largely because people are complex. There's little doubt so far as I can see that Colston was a notable philanthropist and did a great deal of good in Bristol, and then by balance there is the suffering he caused through his participation in the slave trade. It seems the further we go back, the great that gulf becomes.

There's a statue not far from where I live of Alexander the Great, given pride of place. Remembered as one of the greatest military commanders in history, he was also - by as much as we can gather of anyone from the history of that era - an absolute scumbag. One thing is being commemorated, the other not - in fact, by building the statue, that side of his character is being pushed further down, made less visible.

We do it all the time, of course. To virtually everyone in Britain, Winston Churchill is now (by majority consensus) one of the greatest Britons to ever have lived - a saviour of the country from Nazi tyranny and one that gave his life to public service. To a minority, he is an absolutely damnable racist, an imperialist, a man who despised the working classes and a man never happier that when he was putting down some troublemakers by force. The strange thing is, the truth is somewhere in between: he's probably not entirely one or the other, but both accounts aren't entirely false either.

That being said, we then get to a stage where no statue can ever really be honestly erected. Greatness in one area is usually hiding deficiency in another. On reflection, I'd be quite happy to see Edward Colston's statue gone, but I do wonder if, rationally, we could defend maintaining virtually any monument to anything.
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DSilva
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(Original post by L i b)
Statues are pretty strange things and the memorialisation tend to bear pretty scant resemblance to the actual people they're commemorating.

I suppose that's largely because people are complex. There's little doubt so far as I can see that Colston was a notable philanthropist and did a great deal of good in Bristol, and then by balance there is the suffering he caused through his participation in the slave trade. It seems the further we go back, the great that gulf becomes.

There's a statue not far from where I live of Alexander the Great, given pride of place. Remembered as one of the greatest military commanders in history, he was also - by as much as we can gather of anyone from the history of that era - an absolute scumbag. One thing is being commemorated, the other not - in fact, by building the statue, that side of his character is being pushed further down, made less visible.

We do it all the time, of course. To virtually everyone in Britain, Winston Churchill is now (by majority consensus) one of the greatest Britons to ever have lived - a saviour of the country from Nazi tyranny and one that gave his life to public service. To a minority, he is an absolutely damnable racist, an imperialist, a man who despised the working classes and a man never happier that when he was putting down some troublemakers by force. The strange thing is, the truth is somewhere in between: he's probably not entirely one or the other, but both accounts aren't entirely false either.

That being said, we then get to a stage where no statue can ever really be honestly erected. Greatness in one area is usually hiding deficiency in another. On reflection, I'd be quite happy to see Edward Colston's statue gone, but I do wonder if, rationally, we could defend maintaining virtually any monument to anything.
Best post I've seen today on this.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Paralove)
The statue was put up in 1895. It's closer to the modern day than to Colston's death in 1721 and so the authorities put that up in full knowledge of what he did.

People in Bristol have been petitioning for years to have it taken down; good riddance to it, and all the more fitting that it should drown as his company forced thousands overboard. Proud of my home city today.
The late 19th century was a very different time to now - nobody much analysed the role that Britain had in slavery institutions, or the part that cities like Bristol and super-rich slavers like Colston played in it. The emphasis was on Britain's glorious ending of slavery, as if it had been nothing to do with it in the first place. I agree that Bristolians should feel pride in this action.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by L i b)
That being said, we then get to a stage where no statue can ever really be honestly erected. Greatness in one area is usually hiding deficiency in another. On reflection, I'd be quite happy to see Edward Colston's statue gone, but I do wonder if, rationally, we could defend maintaining virtually any monument to anything.
One of the complexities is that statues like this might be artworks of some notability in their own right and also of course have been around long enough to stir feelings of familiarity and affection, etc.

I think there's a difference between statues and institutions (for example) founded or heavily funded by slavers - one thinks of Barclays Bank, or certain Oxbridge colleges - there, the emphasis should be put on knowing and acknowledging the history and being mindful of it in modern dealings. In the case of statues put up to individuals, I am more of the view that they should be taken down, or perhaps put somewhere less public, like a museum, complete with information about who they were and what they did.

It's been good seeing companies and institutions in Germany admit their part in Nazi atrocities / oppression and examining and making public the findings. This is similar, albeit longer ago.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Napp)
More the symbolism of these pathetic little rioters standing atop the statue like it was the fall of Hussein, as opposed to a trade who did a lot of good for the local area.
Are you talking about slavery here? :lolwut:
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Napp
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Are you talking about slavery here? :lolwut:
No i'm talking about him setting up schools and so on, as i obviously said.
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Fullofsurprises
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No i'm talking about him setting up schools and so on, as i obviously said.
Cool.
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Cool.
Remind me why you're wasting my time with this?
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Fullofsurprises
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Remind me why you're wasting my time with this?
Sorreee.
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Sorreee.
3/10.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Napp)
3/10.
Where exactly did you talk about schools? I'm giving way generously, but the gist of your post seems to be that you think the rioters are pathetic and slavery was good for the area. Where do you say otherwise exactly? And I'm allowed to 'waste your time' as you put it, this is a public thread. You don't have to reply, or even read comments.
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Napp
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Where exactly did you talk about schools? I'm giving way generously, but the gist of your post seems to be that you think the rioters are pathetic and slavery was good for the area. Where do you say otherwise exactly? And I'm allowed to 'waste your time' as you put it, this is a public thread. You don't have to reply, or even read comments.
Ah my mistake it was in another thread i noted it.
Yeah, thats because you're reading into it with a preformed bias. I mentioned nothing about slavery and yet somehow you've arrived at the hilarious conclusion that i think it was "good". Very droll.
You do know trolling is banned right, fullofsurprises? As your comment was..
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