Guardian Columnist Calls For Removal of ‘White Supremacist’ Nelson’s Statue
In an echo of the left-wing protest movement in the USA that has started to call for the taking down of, and in some cases has actually removed, historical statues seen by the social justice warrior (SJW) movement as no longer being ‘politically correct’, the trend now seems to have crossed the ocean to the UK.
Without any taking into account of the ‘context’ of the period in which the statues were built, the SJW’s claim that the views held by the person being commemorated cause offence and distress to a modern audience. Writing in The Guardian Afua Hirsch says:
‘Wilberforce, unquestionably a force for good, helped end, in 1807, Britain’s official involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. But he was not alone. The enormous contribution of black people in Britain at the time – especially activists and writers who were slaves themselves – has no equivalent site of glory, in London or anywhere in the country.
‘One of the obstacles all these abolitionists had to overcome was the influence of Nelson, who was what you would now call, without hesitation, a white supremacist. While many around him were denouncing slavery, Nelson was vigorously defending it. Britain’s best known naval hero – so idealised that after his death in 1805 he was compared to no less than “the God who made him” – used his seat in the House of Lords and his position of huge influence to perpetuate the tyranny, serial rape and exploitation organised by West Indian planters, some of whom he counted among his closest friends.
‘It is figures like Nelson who immediately spring to mind when I hear the latest news of confederate statues being pulled down in the US. These memorials – more than 700 of which still stand in states including Virginia, Georgia and Texas – have always been the subject of offence and trauma for many African Americans, who rightly see them as glorifying the slavery and then segregation of their not so distant past. But when these statues begin to fulfil their intended purpose of energising white supremacist groups, the issue periodically attracts more mainstream interest’.
The writer has so far received a largely hostile response to calls for the statue, in London’s Trafalgar Square, to be removed but the fact that it is even being discussed is an indication of the current direction of travel on these issues.
Westmonster Dave is the News Editor of Kipper Central.