Tuesday, September 05, 2017

On statues and time

An interesting part of the debate in the US has been citing the time the confederacy statues were erected to bolster the view that they are racist. I must admit I have never come across a person of colour defending the Confederacy. Those I know who defend it do so on the grounds not of race and slavery but states' rights and those on the other side tell me it was always about slavery, states' rights is a smokescreen. Wee that be as it may I too see we have those in the US who have Confederate sympathies but like Lee those seem to be based on geography, kith and kin.
   Similarly in Nigeria we still, 47 years after the end of Biafra, have Igbos who are fans of a Biafra though I am unaware of statues to Ojukwu.
   In UK, it seems it took until the Victorian era before statues were erected to Puritans or Reformers. Ones to RC heroes/saints came later. Now we only have the clamour against the memory of those associated with slavery, Colson in Bristol and allegedly Nelson. Rhodes should go as an imperialist. No-one has AFAIK called for Havelock to be removed from Trafalgar Square though British Indians in Southall have wanted his name removed from the road where the new big Sihk temple is. Even I would raise no objections to the demolition of the Duke of Sutherland.
   But the UK anomaly is Charles Edward Stuart. Personally he is no bonnie prince to me but a drunken papist rebel. Yet his statue was erected in 1815 only 70 years after his rebellion was brutally suppressed. So quick it must mean the Hanoverians felt secure. Jacobinism was dead. This is presumably borne out by the fact that I know plenty who are anti-monarchy in UK today, but no-one is a Jacobite.

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