How dare they remove the Emancipation Memorial?

Taking down a statue paid for by freed slaves – this is the worst thing the woke hysterics have done.

Brendan O'Neill
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Topics Politics USA

To see how deranged the neo-Maoist war on statues and history has become, consider this. What started as an attack on statues of slavers, including Edward Colston in Bristol in England and various Confederate monuments in the US, has ended with fury against a statue commemorating the end of slavery and which was paid for by freed slaves.

The woke warriors have now reached such a peak of historical illiteracy and emotional narcissism that they think they have the right to reprimand freed slaves for how they spent their money and how they viewed themselves in history. This is the lowest point yet of the Orwellian intolerance that has frothed and raged in activist circles in the four weeks since the killing of George Floyd.

Last night the Boston Arts Commission voted unanimously to take down the Emancipation Memorial from Park Square in downtown Boston. This pusillanimous act of officially endorsed vandalism of a monument to freed slaves that has stood in Boston since 1879 is a response to the agitation of easily offended protesters who object to the monument’s depiction of Abraham Lincoln standing upright over a bent, newly freed slave breaking out of his chains. They say this erases the history of black people’s liberation of themselves, via slave revolts and the involvement of black soldiers on the Union side in the Civil War. It is ‘white saviourism’.

The Boston statue is a copy of the original Emancipation Memorial that stands in Lincoln Park in Washington, DC. That statue has been the site of much woke wrath in recent weeks, with some people literally having hysterics about it, to such an extent that it is now surrounded by a fence to protect it from attack.

Think about this: a statue commemorating the end of slavery is having to be protected from assault, not by racists and white nationalists, who might detest the idea of a monument to black liberation, but by supposed progressives and self-styled anti-racists. This is testament to the industrial levels of self-regard and cultivated brittleness that now exist in the supposedly left activist world.

The warriors against the Emancipation Memorial, like the destroyers of other monuments in recent weeks, tend to come from university-educated circles. Many are upper-middle-class white leftists or well-bred Antifa supporters or TikTok revolutionaries: bourgeois suburban youths bored with lockdown and engaging in a few months of plastic radicalism before they head off to their Ivy League school.

These people have imbibed critical race theory. They take a literalist, humourless view on everything. They judge nothing in its context, whether historical context or artistic context. Instead, everything must merely, and savagely, be judged by whether it lives up to the severe pseudo-ethical standards of the new woke morality police; by whether it conforms to their view of the correct message, the correct tone and the correct levels of comfort-giving that every monument and work of art must apparently convey. If any monument fails to do this, if it fails to massage the heightened emotions of narcissistic activists who literally believe they should never have to see or hear anything they don’t like, then it must come down.

Just listen to the words of Ekua Holmes, a member of the Boston Arts Commission that voted to take down Boston’s copy of the Emancipation Memorial. ‘[I]t hurts to look at this piece’, she said. One report on the commission’s discussion said the commission heard from some members of the public who said the monument ‘made them uncomfortable’. Uncomfortable? What a crime! Tear it down. Hide it.

We now live in a world where some people are so thoroughly drowning in self-absorption that they think things that make them uncomfortable – statues, controversial speakers, books – should be torn down, silenced or burnt.

And so Boston will reportedly spend $15,000 on removing the Emancipation Memorial. The state will spend money to take down a statue that is a copy of a monument famously funded by freed slaves because they wanted to pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln and to make their first mark in the public square of the American republic. How dare Boston’s officials do this? Who do they think they are? They are silencing the historic voices of freed slaves; they are trampling all over those freedmen and women’s aspirations to public representation; they are now calling actual liberated slaves ‘problematic’. It is a scandal.

What we are witnessing is the elevation of the moral psychodramas of entitled 21st-century activists over the democratic aspirations of freed slaves. We are witnessing the creation of such a warped hierarchy of feeling and ‘social justice’ that it can place the sensitivities of overeducated, often comfortably off modern-day activists above the desires of freed slaves who gave some of their meagre wages to the making and erection of the Emancipation Memorial because they wanted a presence in the history of the republic.

This is important to note because it highlights the unforgiving dynamic of the current moment; the extent to which all of history, and reality itself, must now be subordinated to the whims of the contemporary cult of hyper-fragility. If even slave-paid monuments to emancipation and democracy cannot escape the hammers of historically illiterate middle-class nihilists, then nothing can. Nothing in history or memory is safe from the Woke Taliban.

Taking down the Emancipation Memorial in DC or its copy in Boston would be a crime against the democratic longing of newly freed slaves in the late 1800s. For the DC memorial was erected precisely to stamp the presence of freedmen and women on to the life of the American republic. The memorial was meant to endure as a statement of freed people’s aspirations to democratic equality.

Listen to Fredrick Douglass, the slave turned abolitionist, who spoke at the dedication of the memorial in DC in 1876. People will remember ‘the story of our presence here’, he said. He told the crowd that they had gathered ‘here in the District of Columbia, here in the city of Washington, the most luminous point of American territory’, to see themselves and their ‘friend’ – Lincoln – become an immovable part of American history via this monument.

Douglass said: ‘We, the coloured people, newly emancipated and rejoicing in our blood-bought freedom, near the close of the first century in the life of this Republic, have now and here unveiled, set apart, and dedicated a monument of enduring granite and bronze, in every line, feature and figure of which the men of this generation may read, and those of after-coming generations may read, something of the exalted character and great works of Abraham Lincoln, the first martyr President of the United States.’

Hear those words: enduring; a monument of granite and bronze that ‘after-coming generations’ would reflect upon and in doing so learn something of Lincoln and of ‘the coloured people’ who spilled their blood for their freedom. This was a statement of history-making, an intrusion by freed people into the public realm and into the consciousness of America; it was a message to future generations as much as it was to people in the 1870s. And now one of those future generations has responded by saying: ‘Your monument offends us and we are going to remove it.’

The arrogance is astounding; the disregard for the activism and aspirations of freed slaves even more so.

Yes, Douglass criticised Lincoln in his speech at the memorial. Yes, he wasn’t completely in love with the monument itself. But he celebrated the memorial because he had a far keener and more democratic understanding of history than today’s left nihilists do. He praised Lincoln for his achievements rather than obsessing over his possible motives (‘because of his fidelity to union and liberty, he is double dear to us’), and he looked to the future rather than obsessing over the crimes of the past.

‘I refer to the past not in malice, for this is no day for malice’, he said, ‘but simply to place more distinctly in front the gratifying and glorious change which has come both to our fellow white-citizens and ourselves, and to congratulate all on the contrast between now and then’. The contrast between now and then: this is the aspirant, democratic view of making history and changing the world. It is the polar opposite of the narcissistic, destructive cult of presentism that now passes for radical activism.

What a disgrace it is that the views and dreams of those 19th-century democrats are being crushed by a hysterical bourgeoisie that views history as nothing more than a litany of crimes and which wants to deprive future generations of the right to see any monument that the woke elites deem to be ‘problematic’. The Emancipation Memorial and its copy must stay. Who will defend them against the state of Boston and the mobs in Washington?

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

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Comments

Rikhard Wright

6th July 2020 at 12:03 am

Nice phrase, “emotional narcissism”… It even beats “hysterical”, which implies that somehow one can’t really help it. But emotional narcissism is a choice – a decision of the will. Love it.

Margaret Crump

3rd July 2020 at 9:59 pm

A few nights ago, the rioters in Portland, Oregon, set fire to a large statue of an elk that was surrounded by a fountain. It had stood in Portland since 1900 and was an iconic part of the downtown area. What this has with racism is beyond my powers of comprehension. https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/protests/elk-statue-removed-from-downtown-portland-after-vandalism-protests/283-db3a1cdf-05c4-4a0e-9df9-5f2e99d4c6ba

Jim Denham

3rd July 2020 at 9:10 pm

Come on Spiked! Where’s the campaign in defence of David Starkey?

Justin Time

3rd July 2020 at 2:02 pm

There’s currently a petition to not remove the statue you can sign online here:
https://www.change.org/p/mayor-marty-walsh-keep-the-lincoln-statue-in-boston

Anjela Kewell

3rd July 2020 at 10:41 am

Now is the time to show solidarity with Dr Starkey. Why don’t you interview him on his opinion of the thugs and destroyers of culture. We don’t have Sir Roger Scruton anymore as he was so disgustingly taken down.

Jim Denham

3rd July 2020 at 9:15 pm

Hear hear Anj! Let’s see Brendan & Co show the courage of their”anti-woke” convictions once and for all!

Glenn Bell

2nd July 2020 at 1:18 am

You give these lefty, loony, white hating morons too much credit, they are nothing more than a bunch of twats with nothing better to do, if they weren’t whining about this theyd be whining about transgenderist rights, climate change, Brexit, Israel, in fact all these so called causes are supported by the same bunch of idiots; to quote from “The Wild One” – “What are you protesting against?” “What have you got?”

Brandy Cluster

1st July 2020 at 11:43 pm

Trump 2020. Bets?

Ven Oods

2nd July 2020 at 9:49 am

Shoo-in, with the opposing nutters in full-froth mode.

Gordon Te Gopher

1st July 2020 at 10:25 pm

They’re just thugs Brendan. Don’t let it wind you up, I doubt they’ve given it any thought at all. Those poor chaps who stand there in Covent Garden pretending to be statues better watch out. Maybe wear a wet suit under that silver paint.

Michael Morris

1st July 2020 at 10:19 pm

This would be like Jews erasing all records of Oskar Schindler, who yes started out as a war profiteer, but did the right thing in the end. Like any good woman will tell you, its not about who she has loved before, but who she is in love with at the end of her life.

George Orwell

1st July 2020 at 7:27 pm

Just replace the kneeling slave with a standing slave, perhaps shaking Lincoln’s hand.
Problem solved.

Philip Humphrey

1st July 2020 at 8:33 pm

But we can only assume the freed slaves who paid for the original were happy with it the way it was. No doubt some leftist (probably white and middle class) professor might claim they were suffering from “false consciousness” and if only they had had the “benefit” of a woke education they would have known better. But I think that’s extremely patronising, and taking their voice away from them.

James Williams

6th July 2020 at 4:56 pm

I have read that though it was paid for by freed slaves it was desgined and made by a white sculptor with no other input. Not to excuse the disgraceful attempts to take it down now but they could have done a better job back then.

Mor Vir

1st July 2020 at 6:51 pm

Boris just offered UK citizenship to 3 million Hong Kongers. Some Brexit voters will likely be surprised. TP has already let in 6 million, 3 million net over the last 10 years. Other routes will also stay open.

TP promised to reduce immigration to 10s of thousands in three successive election manifestos (Cameron, Cameron, May) and to reduce it in a fourth (Boris). Clearly you get what you vote for in UK democracy.

Personally I do not mind immigration but the vote for Brexit seems to have been pretty pointless with such a democratic deficit in UK. Yes I support democracy and it would have been nice to have had one.

It would have been better if TP had just said, ‘look, we are going to get all the workers from abroad that the economy can absorb, and we really do not care what manifesto promises you mugs vote for. That is how much our pledges mean to you.’

> Prime minister vows to honour pledge to open path to citizenship for 3m residents of territory

Boris Johnson has condemned Beijing’s sweeping new security law for Hong Kong as a “serious breach” of the UK-China agreement on the territory, and vowed to honour a pledge to open a path to citizenship for almost 3m residents of the Asian financial hub.

Mr Johnson said the government had made it clear that if the law was implemented “we would introduce a new route for those with British National Overseas status to enter the UK, granting them limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship and that is precisely what we will do now”.

Dominic Raab, the UK foreign secretary, said those with BNO passport status would be granted five years’ limited leave to live and work in the UK and after this period would be able to apply for settled status. Following a further 12-month period, they would be permitted to apply for citizenship. “There will be no quotas on numbers,” he said.

Craig Choy, spokesman for campaign group Equal Rights for British Nationals Overseas, said the move was “timely and very much appreciated”.

But he urged the UK to “do more and lead by inviting more Commonwealth countries to adopt the same lifeboat policy”.
– FT

Gordon Te Gopher

1st July 2020 at 10:30 pm

I doubt anyone who voted Brexit honestly thought that would mean we’d get fewer people from Hong Kong.

I know a remain voter who was worried we’d be out of Eurovision if we left the EU

Mor Vir

1st July 2020 at 11:36 pm

I doubt that anyone who voted TP will honestly think in the future that would mean that they get the manifesto promises pledged.

I know plenty of people who voted TP and thought that would mean that the manifesto promises would be implemented. I know, how daft is that. Four times bitten, totally stupid and feeling it.

Yes, UK democracy might as well be Eurovision – pretentious, silly, cringe-worthy and frankly daft.

Billy Westhead

4th July 2020 at 10:53 am

….and what exactly do these inconsequential points have to do with the article?

Jim Lawrie

1st July 2020 at 5:44 pm

Rage Brendan, while you still can. This site will soon be taken down.

Brandy Cluster

6th July 2020 at 4:51 am

Jerry Owen

1st July 2020 at 5:43 pm

What do we do with Muhammed Ali’s statues.. after all he was avowedly against mixed race marriage? I think we can call the great man himself a black supremacist, as he was certainly the best black boxer of all time.
I expect the left are to busy at the moment to realize their task of pulling down statues and re writing black history for black people, from the perspective of white middle class nancy students will be never ending.
We’ll put Mo on the back burner for the time being.
There is of course dear old Mary Seacole as well who helped wounded British soldiers.. Goodness, supporting the British military with its history of imperialism and colonisation around the globe.. tsk that’ll never do.

David J

1st July 2020 at 5:30 pm

The BLM illiterates are – deliberately, I presume – taking race relations back decades.

Certainly they rejoice in utterly ignoring the words of Martin Luther King Jr.

Philip St. John Lewis Davies

1st July 2020 at 5:18 pm

Any reasonable person would be happy with a museum-grade explanatory historical note, attached to any monument seen as in some way problematical, making clear the context of a time different from ours, in which things were done differently, and perhaps including a simple comment to the effect that, despite any such difference of the temporal and social perspectives on what is appropriate, the monument was nonetheless designed and erected in good faith and from decent motives.

Douglass himself, as one of the leading freed slaves, was sufficiently aware that all betterment is a process, and forbore to demand Utopian perfection before at least pausing to reflect gratefully on the giant strides towards Liberty which this well-meant and – at the time – progressive public statement did in fact represent. Only spoilt children will never be satisfied with anything less than the immediate and complete satisfaction of their intemperate demands.

Thus the infantilised morons who attack the surviving cultural statements of the past on the basis of a perceived ‘guilt by association’ in the present obviously lack any grasp of how time works it’s changes in terms of social amelioration and progressive change. They seem to think society is hopelessly mired in and incriminated by a past from which only an absolutely clean break will suffice to morally purify.

University educated many of them may be, but they cannot have studied any coherent history curriculum, otherwise they would have been enabled to grasp the complex nature of events, and calmly and reasonably accept that – since the past is dead -neither reform nor retribution can be retrospective, but that only the real problems of today can be addressed, in order patiently to improve the lot of people in the future.

Heaven knows, there is surely enough misery in this modern world – including still slavery – that might exercise to the full the humankindness and the conscience of this generation?

But instead these self-dramatising narcissists only burnish their own reputation for political righteousness, and do no good to any living soul thereby. Those awkward reminders of the inevitably flawed past of humanity are being torn down or their removal is enforced by mob rule, as if effigies partook of guilt, and this were a revolution against the phantoms that haunt our unhappy past!

Are the heroes of such furious iconoclasm now to replace the old, despised Pantheon? Will they endure so long in their public eminence as the villains of old, who sought at least to make amends by doing good at last? Do these puling children exhibit any traits or achievements that could redeem their riot and vandalism? And do they measure up to the public redemption which was earned in good works and beneficial legacies by a Rhodes or a Lincoln? In all justice and decency these figures, with all their ancient sins upon them, deserve to keep their places.

Whereas what improvement or joy will anyone gain from the present shameful spectacles of deranged behaviour? These disturbances only further immiserate our wretched lives, and desecrate the memories of those who have already suffered that heavy sentence, which will inevitably be passed on every imperfect and failing mortal. We should remember that our own small reputation of good and evil will be safe beneath it’s forgotten memorial, and not presume to desecrate the names of those whose recognised achievements have at one time won public approval, even although today we must also regret their human failings.

Surely all public figures have ‘feet of clay’? Equally certainly, old effigies of once-admired public heroes or benefactors no longer arouse any particular thoughts, feelings or attitudes in the great majority of passers-by. They are just part of the municipal furniture. And we don’t want mobs of people breaking up the furniture! Let the historians debate and revise the reputations of the dead, both the culturally sacrosanct – like Churchill – and those of lesser standing – like Colston. But leave the spotted and tarnished icons of yesteryear to wear away in the indifferent weather.

But those who feel an uncontrollable urge to slake their burning hatred of the past with acts of cathartic violence upon inert public icons, should be arrested as dangerous criminals and a threat to public order, or at least perhaps treated for their ‘anger-management issues’. Or derided and dismissed.

They are enacting only the meaningless politics of a petty self-identification, childishly enraged at the world’s indifference towards them. They cannot endure that history does not cleave to the simplistic narrative of their own ideals. They want to appropriate that defective history and cancel it, not move on and improve upon it practically. They are fantasists, not philosophers. They are political absolutists, not moral reformers. They are supercilious Pharisees, not self-consciously flawed beings seeking redemption. They do not understand humanity or our tragic history: that is why they take their fight to simple statues, and can only engage with artificial illusions of reality.

They are failed idealists, not fighters for what is right. They are deranged and tilting at windmills. They are figments of their own imagination. Their enemies are a mirage.

Perhaps we should commission an equestrian statue of an iconoclast astride the favoured hobby-horse, possibly portrayed clinging to it’s neck as the fantastic creature bolts from it’s own plinth?

Barbara Baker

1st July 2020 at 5:25 pm

Ah, schoolboy error line 1- these are NOT reasonable people.
Great piece though

Philip St. John Lewis Davies

1st July 2020 at 8:32 pm

When I say ‘Any reasonable person would be happy with a museum-grade explanatory historical note’ the implication is intended to be that, in fact, those presently attacking our heritage of public monuments are – as you say – decidedly NOT behaving in any rational manner. I also thought the best way to open my comments was by addressing the refreshingly rational contributors of this forum, since a brief summary of a relevant and reasonable possible response to our complicated history does serve to point up, from the outset, how very far removed the iconoclasts are from any such civilised debate as we are engaging in. I also think my later comments do remove all possible ambiguity as to my opinion of this mindless rabble!

Having delivered myself of so much pedantry, please let me say how very nice it was to receive your compliment on my efforts to get to grips with another of the spreading social insanities confronting us in these hygienically challenged times.

Brandy Cluster

6th July 2020 at 10:00 am

Don’t worry too much about the morons; as long as they can say “will that be fries with that?” all will be well.

CJ Hawes

1st July 2020 at 5:06 pm

Why such indignation in the article? This is their way (I won’t sat of thinking) and the sillier it gets the more protest groups undermine themselves. I would imagine that the target audience is shrinking by the statue and that what we’ll eventually get to is a majority within all ethnic groups telling the poor unfortunates to keep their warped views to themselves. If not then their views can be kept to the Guardian where we know nobody bothers to read.

Mor Vir

1st July 2020 at 4:19 pm

None of the Unionist paper are covering this poll. English independence now!

> English independence: 49% of Tory voters in England back idea

IN what could be a seminal moment for the future – or lack of it – of the United Kingdom, a shock new poll published today shows that Conservative supporters in England are split down the middle on whether they want the Union to continue.

The independent YouGov poll organised by YesCymru, the non-party campaign for an independent Wales, suggests the end of the Conservative and Unionist Party is nigh, given that a massive 49% of Tory supporters want independence for England.

Yet the most devastating finding in today’s new poll is that people in England identifying as Conservative supporters are evenly split on the subject with 49% saying they support independence against 51% who were opposed.

“These findings accord with the lack of importance given to preserving the Union amongst Conservative voters in polling on Brexit and its impact on the relationship between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

While support in London remained relatively low at 25%, the north and midlands saw the number of those in favour hit 38%.

The over 65s were the age group most likely to vote for English independence with 48% in favour.
– The National, yesterday

Barbara Baker

1st July 2020 at 5:07 pm

Where have I heard 52/48 before? Didn’t mean diddly squat then either

David J

1st July 2020 at 5:37 pm

My straw poll of local opinion today indicates no such thing.
Mostly a sigh of disinterest at the whole nationalist thing, especially as the Uk is at last on the home straight with Brexit.

Jerry Owen

1st July 2020 at 3:58 pm

If I were going to pull down a monument ( which quite frankly I wouldn’t )I think I would like to know what the monument stands for first.
For the Marxist left we know that there is the right kind of ‘woman’ , the right kind of ‘white man’ ( possibly ), the right kind of Asian, the right kind of ‘homosexual or lesbian’, and the right kind of ‘black man’.
This is new territory where the Marxist left are now erasing ‘wrong think blackness, indeed where does ‘black history month’ now stand, will it be revised form the perspective of the white man? There are no bounds whatsoever that the left won’t go to in their quest to reshape the world past and present to fit their extremely narrow naive world view. They can get away with all of this, because these white middle class students are the sons and daughters of those Marxists that have invested the institutions since the 60’s. These institutions from academia, media, government, civil service, and police etc allow and propagate this behaviour.
The fruits of their labour are bearing fruit.
These are the foot soldiers or soldierettes ( as pathetically feeble and whimpish they are ) of the establishment. They are thankfully a small minority given amplification by the legacy lickspittle media.
Trump I believe is now putting a law in place to imprison people for up to ten years for monument desecration. Smart move.

Jerry Owen

1st July 2020 at 4:00 pm

Couple of typos.. ‘infested’ not ‘invested’

Dean 61

1st July 2020 at 3:04 pm

The only thing that sustains me is the thought that in a few decades time my hopefully right-thinking great grandchildren will be tearing down the statues erected in 2020 to Robin Di Angelo, AOC, Bill Di Blasio, the filthy-rich Harry Potter Children etc etc

Stephen J

1st July 2020 at 3:03 pm

It is merely the continuation of a process that began at aroud thirteen in secondary education progressed rapidly when these people entered tertiery education and finally arrived with covid.

It is called detachment from reality, socialism is not humane and therefore not realistic, by arriving at this moment they have become the slaves themselves, enslaved to an idea that is long past its sell by date, as has been proven over and over again.

Robert Flack

1st July 2020 at 1:29 pm

Mob rule never works. Similarly appeasement never works. Here we have both. Our leaders are totally spineless

James Knight

1st July 2020 at 1:15 pm

“this is the worst thing the woke hysterics have done.”

Sadly not. One BLM activist has already been accused of murder. The little nazis running CHAZISTAN in Seattle apparently shot two teenage black joy riders. Somebody else had his car surrounded by protesters and was shot at through the window before he hit the gas.

fret slider

1st July 2020 at 12:59 pm

Hmm, they are definitely taking their lead from islam.

The only difference being that islam blows things up.

Mark Houghton

1st July 2020 at 12:35 pm

“this is the worst thing the woke hysterics have done.” – so far. Given how the lunatics have faced no adverse consequences to their virtue signalling lunacy I can’t imagine for one moment why they’d stop. The media is supporting their narrative and politicians and business leaders are scared to face up to them.
This will continue to get worse.

NEIL DATSON

1st July 2020 at 12:49 pm

‘“this is the worst thing the woke hysterics have done.” – so far’, too true Mark. These people seem to have an obsessive need for permanent cultural revolution, as if they are personally terrified of being exposed for having the ‘wrong’ opinions about anything, like sea creatures that are in danger of being stranded on the shore after the tide goes out.

I’m also struck by the passage: “Douglass said: ‘We, the coloured people, newly emancipated and rejoicing in our blood-bought freedom, . . .'” Personally, I found Douglass’s Narrative one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, but surely ‘coloured people’ won’t do these days? Erase him from the curriculum! Burn his books!

Jerry Owen

1st July 2020 at 4:04 pm

Neil
Wrongspeak from historical black figures. That’s another one for the left to add to their not so little red book of diversity.

Arthur ASCII

1st July 2020 at 6:01 pm

Neil – you do realize what NAACP stands for? Although “colored” seems to be heading the way of the n word, in that it is or is becoming permissible only in the mouths of black folk

NEIL DATSON

2nd July 2020 at 8:43 am

Yes Arthur, I did know something about the NAACP. I was under the impression that it had already been wound up for having an insufficiently PC title and being a patronising insult to the black victims of capitalism, imperialism, racism, fascism, social darwinism, nationalism and probably a dozen or so other ‘isms’.

Mor Vir

1st July 2020 at 12:20 pm

It is tempting to conclude that ‘anti-r acism’ has become all about self-importance, about the importance of one’s own righteousness and superior sensibility, and about one’s practical superiority and prerogative – posturing as concern for others and for equality.

It is affected superiority, how better one is in one’s subjective affectations, one’s supposed sensibilities, than everyone else who ever lived.

It is vanity, self-aggrandisement and a will to power over the environment so that it might express one’s own superiority.

It is not a battle against superiority in society but a pose to exhibit and to impose one’s own superiority.

One is to be the arbiter of the public space, much as a feudal lord, a plantation owner or a slaver might have been.

Likely they are the descendants of the plantation owners, seeking their prerogatives in new, more ironic ways.

What they really want is statues to themselves and to their ‘virtues’.

The empty spaces that they create will have to suffice, testament to the emptiness of their ‘superiority’ and of their vanity.

Dodgy Geezer

1st July 2020 at 12:15 pm

I have commented on this elsewhere on Sp!ked.

It is COMPLETELY POINTLESS to write articles pointing out the illogicality of these BLM actions. Similarly issues with Climate Change, Sexism, and many other Left Wing favourite topics. these are NOT logically held positions. They are Identity Politics.

Identity Politics involves forming a group to gain power, and then suppressing all other groups by any means necessary. The rallying cries and demands are just convenient ‘dog whistles’, and do not represent any real desire for specific change. They are purely there to have something to accuse the other groups and the rest of society of, and ‘validate’ the anger of the calling group.

This is why it is pointless to state that ‘Britain is not a racist society’, or that sexual equality has been largely achieved. These were not requests that were particularly needed in the first place. They were just convenient accusations.

If it became convenient to claim that white people should not eat food from black cultures, you would see apparently sensible people crowding the streets demanding that the importation of bananas be banned. And there would be no point whatsoever in remarking about the stupidity of this request. Instead, Fyffes plc would immediately apologise and restrict itself to marketing apples…

James Knight

1st July 2020 at 1:07 pm

It is not pointless, it depends who the audience is. Trying to engage with BLM/Antifa may well be pointless. It is interesting that there was a guy who managed to de-radicalise over a hundred KKK activists. When he tried the same with the far left they gave him short shrift and labelled him a white supremacist. I still wouldn’t write them off, many will probably grow up one day.

Besides, the minority of BLM extremists are not the real problem. The problem is nobody will stand up to them. The problem is the mainstream institutions. In this case it seems it wasn’t even BLM who took the statue down but the authorities decided to bend the knee.

James Knight

1st July 2020 at 12:02 pm

The word is philistines. Or “entitled white privilege”, look at this screeching baby going ultrasonic because he has a problem with a black man cleaning up his neighbourhood:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlKYwJMhvHs&t=20s

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