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Black Lives Matter and the American Protests

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 4:24 pm

First topic message reminder :

Because this issue is seeping into other threads, why not talk about it here instead? I don't really have anything particularly pithy to say, so write your own bloody topic intros.

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Post by superflyweight on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 7:52 am

Samo wrote:I see Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has crawled out from whatever rock he was hiding under to call on all "patriots" to go to London next Saturday to protect statues, especially the Churchill one.

Dont know why he's waiting til next week when he could go tomorrow.

It's not like his followers have jobs that would keep them occupied until Saturday.

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Post by tigertattie on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 10:10 am

superflyweight wrote:
Samo wrote:I see Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has crawled out from whatever rock he was hiding under to call on all "patriots" to go to London next Saturday to protect statues, especially the Churchill one.

Dont know why he's waiting til next week when he could go tomorrow.

It's not like his followers have jobs that would keep them occupied until Saturday.  

Plus those that do are furloughed so they could protect the statues while on the government pay roll!

This was my worry with the fire stoking. we could end up with the BLM protestors facing off against the EDL or Nigel Farage (though I cant see Farage actually standing in front of people to defend his views, bit a coward hsing behind the TV screens)

BLM will say the police are too harsh, EDL will say the police are too soft. Big battle in the middle of Hyde Park!

Peacefull negotiated change is what gets things done. The whole "My gang is bigger than your gang" approach aint going to be a smooth ride!
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Post by lostinwales on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 10:15 am

Duty281 wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/08/keir-starmer-edward-colston-bristol-statue-wrong

“It shouldn’t have been done in that way, completely wrong to pull a statue down like that,” Starmer said. “Stepping back, that statue should have been taken down a long, long time ago. We can’t, in 21st century Britain, have a slaver on a statue. A statue is there to honour people.

“That statue should have been brought down properly, with consent, and put, I would say, in a museum.”


Respect to Keir Starmer, I agree with him on this.

Can't agree with the Bristol mayor who praised the lack of action from the police, however, as it will only lead to attempts to pull other statues down and risks further anarchy - I wonder if the police would intervene if the statue of Churchill was being pulled down?
If Churchill had been a slave trader responsible for 100,000 African slaves, 20,000 of which died on slave ships and were thrown in the sea then the Bristol police may have taken the same view as they did with the Edward Colston statue. That is a completely irrelevant comparison Duty.

As well as Churchill being a savage warmonger - one of the leading proponents of the UK going into the First World War, and drawing up plans to attack the Soviet Union not long after VE Day, and later encouraging Truman to nuke Soviet cities - he also displayed strongly racist attitudes ('keep England white', "I hate Indians" and several more) and was at least partly responsible for the Bengal famine which killed up to three million. I suppose a certain amount of leeway for his racist views is acceptable if you take the view that he was a man of his time. Whilst some respect is no doubt due for his wartime leadership, his time in office is greatly overrated and largely myth (e.g. his 'fight on the beaches' speech was never heard by the British people).

There's easily an argument that if it's acceptable to tear down Colston's statue, you could tear down Churchill's.
Topic's getting wide, I see. On balance, I think Colston's statue should have been removed and Starmer's comment on it was both spot on and very astute. Colston was of his time. Do we need public statues commemorating him now? Absolutely not. Was he evil through and through? Guess it depends on one's perspective (and I completely understand those who think he was, now we're in the 21st century), but his charitable donations suggest perhaps not.
As Obama (I think) recently said, good people do bad things - the black/white lack of nuance in conversations is stupid and we really need to understand that it's of limited value to look at past deeds though modern ethical principles when condemning historical figures. Wonder if anyone fancies tearing down the odd Ghandi statue?

I agree with you, especially with lack of nuance in conversations, particularly those on social media. No one is a universally evil person, and no one is a one-dimensional good person. The problem of applying today's morals to yesterday's people is also a tough one.

To steer it back onto the topic, by allowing a mob to tear down a statue and dispose of it in the harbour represents a failure of policing. The relevant police force said they didn't intervene because they feared being drawn into violent confrontation and of injuries to suspects and officers -  that's unfortunately the job sometimes, particularly with mobs. That they've now identified 17 suspects - who they may or may not prosecute - is policing after the fact.

And that's why I asked earlier about whether the police would intervene if a mob tried to pull Churchill's statue down. It would be the same risk of injury and violent confrontation, so would the police again acqueise to mob rule? Or would this be a line that couldn't be crossed? If the latter, does this mean there's a hierarchy of statues, some of which the police won't bother to defend?

I have an ancestor who was a mill owner, and who was knighted for suppressing Chartism 'enjoyed a special place in Chartist demonology'. So far so bad. Also a major supporter of the anti corn law league, someone who spoke out against the Crimean war, and someone who was determined to keep his workers fed when there was no cotton for them to work on. From what I can understand he was a self made man who did what he thought was the right thing.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 10:43 am

It's a nice idea that changes come with peaceful actions within the law but not sure its happened too often.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 10:57 am

tigertattie wrote:
superflyweight wrote:
Samo wrote:I see Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has crawled out from whatever rock he was hiding under to call on all "patriots" to go to London next Saturday to protect statues, especially the Churchill one.

Dont know why he's waiting til next week when he could go tomorrow.

It's not like his followers have jobs that would keep them occupied until Saturday.  

Plus those that do are furloughed so they could protect the statues while on the government pay roll!

This was my worry with the fire stoking. we could end up with the BLM protestors facing off against the EDL or Nigel Farage (though I cant see Farage actually standing in front of people to defend his views, bit a coward hsing behind the TV screens)

BLM will say the police are too harsh, EDL will say the police are too soft. Big battle in the middle of Hyde Park!

Peacefull negotiated change is what gets things done. The whole "My gang is bigger than your gang" approach aint going to be a smooth ride!

A lot of us would argue that the many missed opportunities for change have shown this is being ignored though. I understand peoples concerns with regards to criminal damage in the Colston statue being torn down but at the end of the day it seems many in the establishment are more concerned with a statue of a slave trader than equality and legislative change.

I'd also point out that if these protests are going to be largely judged by the small percentage of protesters engaging in violence with the police then the establishment should equally be judged by their worst too. Our Prime Minister referring to commonwealth citizens as flag waving piccanninies with watermelon smiles for instance...

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 11:52 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's a nice idea that changes come with peaceful actions within the law but not sure its happened too often.
Not sure the alternative is good for anyone though. Criminality is just going to be stomped on. One problem is any change is rarely enacted fast enough for those wanting it.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 11:53 am

king_carlos wrote:...I'd also point out that if these protests are going to be largely judged by the small percentage of protesters engaging in violence with the police then the establishment should equally be judged by their worst too. Our Prime Minister referring to commonwealth citizens as flag waving piccanninies with watermelon smiles for instance...
A good point. Appropriate example too.
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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 12:21 pm

YouGov on the Colston statue removal

Approve of it being removed but not in the way it was done - 40%
Disapprove of removal - 33%
Approve of it being removed and in the way it was done - 13%

Good to note that mob rule appears to only be supported by a small fraction.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 12:28 pm

It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened to then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 12:45 pm

History tells us that some pretty great things have happened while not towing that line navy.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 12:48 pm

king_carlos wrote:It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened too then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

That's if you accept that the peaceful calls for the statue's removal were greater than the wish for the statue to remain in place. It's possible that wanting the statue removed was a minority viewpoint in Bristol. A 2014 poll in Bristol's local newspaper found that 56% preferred the statue to stay up.

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 1:06 pm

In reality I am ambivalent about the destruction of the statue- but I do wonder where you stop.

Do you pull down every building in Bristol that was built on the profits of the slave trade?

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Post by guildfordbat on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 1:10 pm

A very good film from back in the day is Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. Made in 1967, it starred Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier and earned a shedload of Oscar nominations.

It dramatically featured the unease and hypocrisy of an otherwise decent married late-middle aged white couple (Tracy and Hepburn) when their daughter returned from travelling to not only be engaged but engaged to a black man (Poitier). All this when inter-racial marriage was still unlawful in several states of America.

What let the film down or perhaps even where it cheated in the views of some critics was that the character played by Poitier was not just a regular guy. He was as close to being perfect as you could get. Almost god like. There was no reason why any couple, regardless of their colour, could object to him becoming their son-in-law.

As well as an excuse to dispense a bit of film history there Wink , I see almost a reverse parallel with Edward Colston, a man I hadn't heard of until this weekend. I must be naive but I was staggered that well into the 21st century there should still be a statue of a slave trader anywhere in the streets of the UK. Totally reprehensible and surely incapable of being defended by anyone. Why, oh why, wasn't it seen to be wrong and taken down by those in authority years earlier?

Just as Poitier was the hero in that fictional film, Colston was the villain in real life Bristol. Both are prime examples and easy to see. However, most other cases involving historic figures and their statues will not be nearly so clear cut. All need to recognise that and approach matters with a clear head although I recognise that fobbing off over decades has understandably fuelled impatience and anger. Imo proper debates with proper decisions being taken and, where appropriate, implemented in a timely manner are what is needed going forward.

What happened with Colston's statue was understandable and probably inevitable. I wouldn't look to bring any criminal charges and would actually commend the police for not inflaming the situation at the time. However, forming a view about Colston is a little too easy.





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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 1:12 pm

Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened too then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

That's if you accept that the peaceful calls for the statue's removal were greater than the wish for the statue to remain in place. It's possible that wanting the statue removed was a minority viewpoint in Bristol. A 2014 poll in Bristol's local newspaper found that 56% preferred the statue to stay up.
I'd be interested to know how many voted in a local newspaper poll.

From my understanding opposition to the statue being removed came almost exclusively from The Society for Merchant Venturers. An organisations whose history is inextricably tied to the slaver ships that sailed from Bristol docks.

An attempt to have the plaque on the statue altered just last year to more accurately represent where Colston's wealth came from collapsed after the group insisted on watering of the text. Somewhat ironically, conservative Councillor at the time Richard Eddy remarked that he would understand if the new plaque were vandalised or stolen.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 1:22 pm

lostinwales wrote:In reality I am ambivalent about the destruction of the statue- but I do wonder where you stop.

Do you pull down every building in Bristol that was built on the profits of the slave trade?
The 'where does it end' type argument is at the crux of both viewpoints. When protesters sought peacefully for the statue to be removed they were effectively asking 'where is the line in 2020 for who it is acceptable to celebrate in this manner'? To which the establishment effectively answered that celebrating a slave trader was OK.

People will argue that the statue was made to celebrate his philanthropy but where his wealth came from and what he did with it are somewhat inextricably linked in my opinion.

It's a tongue in cheek comparison of course but leaving the Edinburgh BLM march on Sunday there was a bloke arguing with peaceful protesters about the Colston Statue saying that his philanthropy should be celebrated. To which someone responded in a fantastically broad Glaswegian accent, "am I alright to build a Jimmy Saville statue in your front yard to celebrate his philanthropy then mate".

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Post by Pr4wn on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 1:37 pm

Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened too then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

That's if you accept that the peaceful calls for the statue's removal were greater than the wish for the statue to remain in place. It's possible that wanting the statue removed was a minority viewpoint in Bristol. A 2014 poll in Bristol's local newspaper found that 56% preferred the statue to stay up.

A local newspaper poll? Really?

Just what is the primary demographic that consumes local newspaper media?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 1:52 pm

Sadiq khan has announced a review of all statues in London following the incident in Bristol. Hard to think that'd have happened without the law being broken.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:12 pm

Duty281 wrote:YouGov on the Colston statue removal

Approve of it being removed but not in the way it was done - 40%
Disapprove of removal - 33%
Approve of it being removed and in the way it was done - 13%

Good to note that mob rule appears to only be supported by a small fraction.

I don't know whether I'm surprised that as many as 1/3 of those polled believe that a slave trader deserves a statue, or that it was only 1/3

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Post by guildfordbat on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Sadiq khan has announced a review of all statues in London following the incident in Bristol. Hard to think that'd have happened without the law being broken.

Or maybe it was my earlier post. Wink

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Post by lostinwales on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:15 pm

guildfordbat wrote:A very good film from back in the day is Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. Made in 1967, it starred Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier and earned a shedload of Oscar nominations.

It dramatically featured the unease and hypocrisy of an otherwise decent married late-middle aged white couple (Tracy and Hepburn) when their daughter returned from travelling to not only be engaged but engaged to a black man (Poitier). All this when inter-racial marriage was still unlawful in several states of America.

What let the film down or perhaps even where it cheated in the views of some critics was that the character played by Poitier was not just a regular guy. He was as close to being perfect as you could get. Almost god like. There was no reason why any couple, regardless of their colour, could object to him becoming their son-in-law.

As well as an excuse to dispense a bit of film history there Wink , I see almost a reverse parallel with Edward Colston, a man I hadn't heard of until this weekend. I must be naive but I was staggered that well into the 21st century there should still be a statue of a slave trader anywhere in the streets of the UK. Totally reprehensible and surely incapable of being defended by anyone. Why, oh why, wasn't it seen to be wrong and taken down by those in authority years earlier?

Just as Poitier was the hero in that fictional film, Colston was the villain in real life Bristol. Both are prime examples and easy to see. However, most other cases involving historic figures and their statues will not be nearly so clear cut. All need to recognise that and approach matters with a clear head although I recognise that fobbing off over decades has understandably fuelled impatience and anger. Imo proper debates with proper decisions being taken and, where appropriate, implemented in a timely manner are what is needed going forward.

What happened with Colston's statue was understandable and probably inevitable. I wouldn't look to bring any criminal charges and would actually commend the police for not inflaming the situation at the time. However, forming a view about Colston is a little too easy.


Another really good (and earlier) film on a theme is Sergeant Rutledge

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:33 pm

lostinwales wrote:In reality I am ambivalent about the destruction of the statue- but I do wonder where you stop.

Do you pull down every building in Bristol that was built on the profits of the slave trade?

You'd need to tear down the whole city. And Liverpool, too, come to think of it.

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Post by Pr4wn on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:37 pm

Duty281 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:In reality I am ambivalent about the destruction of the statue- but I do wonder where you stop.

Do you pull down every building in Bristol that was built on the profits of the slave trade?

You'd need to tear down the whole city. And Liverpool, too, come to think of it.

The buildings are not monuments to slave traders. They're buildings.

These false equivalence comparisons are not helping the debate at all.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:41 pm

Plenty of them could and should be renamed though.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:44 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened too then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

That's if you accept that the peaceful calls for the statue's removal were greater than the wish for the statue to remain in place. It's possible that wanting the statue removed was a minority viewpoint in Bristol. A 2014 poll in Bristol's local newspaper found that 56% preferred the statue to stay up.
I'd be interested to know how many voted in a local newspaper poll.

From my understanding opposition to the statue being removed came almost exclusively from The Society for Merchant Venturers. An organisations whose history is inextricably tied to the slaver ships that sailed from Bristol docks.

An attempt to have the plaque on the statue altered just last year to more accurately represent where Colston's wealth came from collapsed after the group insisted on watering of the text. Somewhat ironically, conservative Councillor at the time Richard Eddy remarked that he would understand if the new plaque were vandalised or stolen.

1,100. The point being that if opposition to the statue was so numerous, wouldn't the council have taken it down before 2020? Bristol City Council is hardly flooded with Conservatives.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:45 pm

Pr4wn wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:In reality I am ambivalent about the destruction of the statue- but I do wonder where you stop.

Do you pull down every building in Bristol that was built on the profits of the slave trade?

You'd need to tear down the whole city. And Liverpool, too, come to think of it.

The buildings are not monuments to slave traders. They're buildings.

These false equivalence comparisons are not helping the debate at all.

I was answering lostinwales' question, not comparing it to the act of mob rule on the weekend.

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Post by Pr4wn on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 2:52 pm

Quoted the wrong post, apologies.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 3:03 pm

Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened too then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

That's if you accept that the peaceful calls for the statue's removal were greater than the wish for the statue to remain in place. It's possible that wanting the statue removed was a minority viewpoint in Bristol. A 2014 poll in Bristol's local newspaper found that 56% preferred the statue to stay up.
I'd be interested to know how many voted in a local newspaper poll.

From my understanding opposition to the statue being removed came almost exclusively from The Society for Merchant Venturers. An organisations whose history is inextricably tied to the slaver ships that sailed from Bristol docks.

An attempt to have the plaque on the statue altered just last year to more accurately represent where Colston's wealth came from collapsed after the group insisted on watering of the text. Somewhat ironically, conservative Councillor at the time Richard Eddy remarked that he would understand if the new plaque were vandalised or stolen.

1,100. The point being that if opposition to the statue was so numerous, wouldn't the council have taken it down before 2020? Bristol City Council is hardly flooded with Conservatives.
Hardly much a vote considering local papers base demographic in the UK, Duty.

The calls to remove the statue have been coming for years. Similar to the Rhodes statue in Oxford and Henry Dundas in Edinburgh. The argument then being that institutionalised bias may have played a role in these voices being ignored.

Do you feel that Sadiq Khan would have announced a review of all London statues had it not been for the statue in Bristol being torn down? Personally I don't. As far as acts of anger within a protest that are outside the law the removal of a statue (and wonderful symbolism of it being cast into the bay where his slave ships docked) isn't particularly dangerous or worrying in my opinion.

Also, do you think that if these protests are going to portrayed and judged for their most divisive moments that similar should happen with judgement of the establishment? We return to our esteemed Prime Minister and his statements that commonwealth citizens are piccaninnies with watermelon smiles.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 3:29 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's also important to note that if peaceful calls for the statue to be removed previously had been listened too then it wouldn't have been there in 2020 to facilitate it being torn down.

That's if you accept that the peaceful calls for the statue's removal were greater than the wish for the statue to remain in place. It's possible that wanting the statue removed was a minority viewpoint in Bristol. A 2014 poll in Bristol's local newspaper found that 56% preferred the statue to stay up.
I'd be interested to know how many voted in a local newspaper poll.

From my understanding opposition to the statue being removed came almost exclusively from The Society for Merchant Venturers. An organisations whose history is inextricably tied to the slaver ships that sailed from Bristol docks.

An attempt to have the plaque on the statue altered just last year to more accurately represent where Colston's wealth came from collapsed after the group insisted on watering of the text. Somewhat ironically, conservative Councillor at the time Richard Eddy remarked that he would understand if the new plaque were vandalised or stolen.

1,100. The point being that if opposition to the statue was so numerous, wouldn't the council have taken it down before 2020? Bristol City Council is hardly flooded with Conservatives.
Hardly much a vote considering local papers base demographic in the UK, Duty.

The calls to remove the statue have been coming for years. Similar to the Rhodes statue in Oxford and Henry Dundas in Edinburgh. The argument then being that institutionalised bias may have played a role in these voices being ignored.

Do you feel that Sadiq Khan would have announced a review of all London statues had it not been for the statue in Bristol being torn down? Personally I don't. As far as acts of anger within a protest that are outside the law the removal of a statue (and wonderful symbolism of it being cast into the bay where his slave ships docked) isn't particularly dangerous or worrying in my opinion.

Also, do you think that if these protests are going to portrayed and judged for their most divisive moments that similar should happen with judgement of the establishment? We return to our esteemed Prime Minister and his statements that commonwealth citizens are piccaninnies with watermelon smiles.

I agree that the calls to remove the statue have been coming for years, decades even, but the local council is made up of mostly Labour, Green and Lib Dems - not the type of politicians to display institutional bias towards certain parts of the community. It could well be that these councillors didn't actually feel there was enough popular support within Bristol to warrant removal of the statue.

Any breach of the rule of law is dangerous and worrying. If no criminal charges are brought against the mob who tore down the statue, it may as well be open season on any statues you don't like.

I'm unsure about whether or not Sadiq Khan would have instituted a review of all London statues had it not been for Colston's being torn down, but it's important to remember that for now it's just words. As he said earlier today, he doesn't have ownership of the statues or the land they are situated on, so any removal is unlikely without the will of central government. Far more likely are new memorials dedicated to the likes of Windrush and Stephen Lawrence.

Johnson was judged last December, and his party was returned with a large majority. The most 'divisive' moments of Johnson's adult life are indeed what he tends to be remembered by.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 3:33 pm

Given the importance of an MP let alone the PM I think theres a good argument it shouldn't be ignored as a faux pas and taken much more seriously. The thing is a lot of the country chuckle away at that racism and nod along with homophobia and islamophobia. It's quite easy for some people to deny the uk as a racist place and dismiss people and acts. Just been on Twitter to see a couple of examples lewis ludlam and Genge being confused by BBC Sport. And then I noticed Nick Ferrari trending, never good!

Have to say I honestly felt a bit sick by his first line. God knows how Afua coped and have such an eloquent response (I probably do, probably too much practice). Thing is its old and has never caused a ripple. We're not a racist country though.

https://twitter.com/afuahirsch/status/1270331795557486592?s=19

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 3:48 pm

Duty281 wrote:Johnson was judged last December, and his party was returned with a large majority.

Could be an indication that a large number of people in the UK don't care if their PM is racist or not.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 3:53 pm

Duty281 wrote:I agree that the calls to remove the statue have been coming for years, decades even, but the local council is made up of mostly Labour, Green and Lib Dems - not the type of politicians to display institutional bias towards certain parts of the community. It could well be that these councillors didn't actually feel there was enough popular support within Bristol to warrant removal of the statue.

Any breach of the rule of law is dangerous and worrying. If no criminal charges are brought against the mob who tore down the statue, it may as well be open season on any statues you don't like.

I'm unsure about whether or not Sadiq Khan would have instituted a review of all London statues had it not been for Colston's being torn down, but it's important to remember that for now it's just words. As he said earlier today, he doesn't have ownership of the statues or the land they are situated on, so any removal is unlikely without the will of central government. Far more likely are new memorials dedicated to the likes of Windrush and Stephen Lawrence.

Johnson was judged last December, and his party was returned with a large majority. The most 'divisive' moments of Johnson's adult life are indeed what he tends to be remembered by.
A big part of the discussion is that these issues transcend party lines. Bias is built into the system, hence institutionalised. Party politics is frequently used as a device in the UK to detract from real discussion about our establishment and society as whole.

They certainly felt there was enough support to add a plaque to the statue stating in straightforward language Colston's links to Royal African Company and their transporting of 84,000 West African slaves. Until The Society for Merchant Venturers, as said have significant links to Bristol's slave trade, became involved in watering the wording down.

The Bristol police are carrying out an investigation for criminal damage are they not?

With regards to the election there then comes the debate as to how recent elections have been covered in the media. I'd be very interested in knowing how much of the electorate know the full extent of Johnson's divisive past statements and actions. Given this is a BLM thread that debate probably belongs on its own thread though.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 4:02 pm

Hmm... Not sure why that posted three times.  chin

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 4:07 pm

king_carlos wrote:Hmm... Not sure why that posted three times.  chin

I've deleted the duplicates.

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Post by king_carlos on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 4:11 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Hmm... Not sure why that posted three times.  chin

I've deleted the duplicates.
Censorship I tell yee. I never mentioned duplicate posts. Fake news.

Those censored posts contained a manifesto that could have changed the world.

Tumbleweed

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 4:13 pm

king_carlos wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Hmm... Not sure why that posted three times.  chin

I've deleted the duplicates.
Censorship I tell yee. I never mentioned duplicate posts. Fake news.

Those censored posts contained a manifesto that could have changed the world.

Tumbleweed

All I saw was 'Drink more beer'.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 5:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:History tells us that some pretty great things have happened while not towing that line navy.
Yes. Absolutely. But is everyone happy w/ the price and that process? What sort of criminality are you advocating? Civil war? Terrorism? Vandalism? Is that what everyone wants?
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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 5:06 pm

guildfordbat wrote:A very good film from back in the day is Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. Made in 1967, it starred Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier and earned a shedload of Oscar nominations.

It dramatically featured the unease and hypocrisy of an otherwise decent married late-middle aged white couple (Tracy and Hepburn) when their daughter returned from travelling to not only be engaged but engaged to a black man (Poitier). All this when inter-racial marriage was still unlawful in several states of America.

What let the film down or perhaps even where it cheated in the views of some critics was that the character played by Poitier was not just a regular guy. He was as close to being perfect as you could get. Almost god like. There was no reason why any couple, regardless of their colour, could object to him becoming their son-in-law.

As well as an excuse to dispense a bit of film history there Wink , I see almost a reverse parallel with Edward Colston, a man I hadn't heard of until this weekend. I must be naive but I was staggered that well into the 21st century there should still be a statue of a slave trader anywhere in the streets of the UK. Totally reprehensible and surely incapable of being defended by anyone. Why, oh why, wasn't it seen to be wrong and taken down by those in authority years earlier?

Just as Poitier was the hero in that fictional film, Colston was the villain in real life Bristol. Both are prime examples and easy to see. However, most other cases involving historic figures and their statues will not be nearly so clear cut. All need to recognise that and approach matters with a clear head although I recognise that fobbing off over decades has understandably fuelled impatience and anger. Imo proper debates with proper decisions being taken and, where appropriate, implemented in a timely manner are what is needed going forward.

What happened with Colston's statue was understandable and probably inevitable. I wouldn't look to bring any criminal charges and would actually commend the police for not inflaming the situation at the time. However, forming a view about Colston is a little too easy.




Maybe that was the point. Were they trying to highlight colour bars etc? A more cunning film than you thought?
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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 5:09 pm

Duty281 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:In reality I am ambivalent about the destruction of the statue- but I do wonder where you stop.

Do you pull down every building in Bristol that was built on the profits of the slave trade?

You'd need to tear down the whole city. And Liverpool, too, come to think of it.
You know, Bristol did do some things, build some stuff etc after the abolition of slavery. Ditto Liverpool I imagine.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 5:18 pm

Depends on the situation navy. I'm happy that at the time of Rosa parks and indeed now I'd be on the side of her. And not arguing that she shouldn't have broken the law.

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Post by Duty281 on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 9:17 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I agree that the calls to remove the statue have been coming for years, decades even, but the local council is made up of mostly Labour, Green and Lib Dems - not the type of politicians to display institutional bias towards certain parts of the community. It could well be that these councillors didn't actually feel there was enough popular support within Bristol to warrant removal of the statue.

Any breach of the rule of law is dangerous and worrying. If no criminal charges are brought against the mob who tore down the statue, it may as well be open season on any statues you don't like.

I'm unsure about whether or not Sadiq Khan would have instituted a review of all London statues had it not been for Colston's being torn down, but it's important to remember that for now it's just words. As he said earlier today, he doesn't have ownership of the statues or the land they are situated on, so any removal is unlikely without the will of central government. Far more likely are new memorials dedicated to the likes of Windrush and Stephen Lawrence.

Johnson was judged last December, and his party was returned with a large majority. The most 'divisive' moments of Johnson's adult life are indeed what he tends to be remembered by.
A big part of the discussion is that these issues transcend party lines. Bias is built into the system, hence institutionalised. Party politics is frequently used as a device in the UK to detract from real discussion about our establishment and society as whole.

They certainly felt there was enough support to add a plaque to the statue stating in straightforward language Colston's links to Royal African Company and their transporting of 84,000 West African slaves. Until The Society for Merchant Venturers, as said have significant links to Bristol's slave trade, became involved in watering the wording down.

The Bristol police are carrying out an investigation for criminal damage are they not?

With regards to the election there then comes the debate as to how recent elections have been covered in the media. I'd be very interested in knowing how much of the electorate know the full extent of Johnson's divisive past statements and actions. Given this is a BLM thread that debate probably belongs on its own thread though.

The Bristol police are indeed carrying out an investigation and hopefully they'll bring the mob to justice.

On the party political issue, another thing those opposed to Colston's statue could have done is create a single-issue party/pressure group dedicated to the removal of the statue. It's far easier to breakthrough electorally at a local level, plus it would have got the other parties talking about it thereby raising further awareness.

I think the media, particularly the BBC, and the opposition parties did an excellent job of bringing up Johnson's previous statements and actions.

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 9:53 pm

Duty281 wrote:On the party political issue, another thing those opposed to Colston's statue could have done is create a single-issue party/pressure group dedicated to the removal of the statue. It's far easier to breakthrough electorally at a local level, plus it would have got the other parties talking about it thereby raising further awareness.

Maybe - but the point is that they shouldn't have had to. Seems to me removing the statue was as much a statement against the local authorities' refusal/inability to even get a plaque on there about the slavery issue, than it was against Colston himself.

Sometimes it's not about laws, or polls, it's about what's right and wrong. I'd much rather people crying for the mob to be brought to justice, cry a lot louder for racism to end and those who practice it to be brought to justice.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 7:17 am

Another statue been removed in london. Squares being renamed. Despite the original act being against the law irs promoted very quick change. It seems its annoyed a lot of racists but very effective.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 8:53 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Another statue been removed in london. Squares being renamed. Despite the original act being against the law irs promoted very quick change. It seems its annoyed a lot of racists but very effective.
Please try not to make such sweeping statements. It's not just so-called racists who might have an issue w/ a statue, however controversial, being vandalised. This sort of thing doesn't help dialogue, but is sadly where discourse on any issue now tends to go.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 9:00 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Another statue been removed in london. Squares being renamed. Despite the original act being against the law irs promoted very quick change. It seems its annoyed a lot of racists but very effective.

A few statues being taken down whilst symbolic isn't changing systemic racism so on its own achieves not a lot, removing history also doesn't change it, educating the youth of the full picture is what is needed. Your last statement doesn't promote discussion which is the most important thing, it promotes division which will result in a prolonging of the problem.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 9:03 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:
Duty281 wrote:On the party political issue, another thing those opposed to Colston's statue could have done is create a single-issue party/pressure group dedicated to the removal of the statue. It's far easier to breakthrough electorally at a local level, plus it would have got the other parties talking about it thereby raising further awareness.

Maybe - but the point is that they shouldn't have had to. Seems to me removing the statue was as much a statement against the local authorities' refusal/inability to even get a plaque on there about the slavery issue, than it was against Colston himself.

Sometimes it's not about laws, or polls, it's about what's right and wrong. I'd much rather people crying for the mob to be brought to justice, cry a lot louder for racism to end and those who practice it to be brought to justice.
Just to play Devil's Advocate for a second, who said the Council weren't listening? Presumably, there's been an ongoing dialogue. Maybe they were surveying opinion etc, before a final decision? Who says it's a section of protestors who get to dictate the timing? Who says they get to decide to unilaterally trash that statue?

Re. other such statues, place names etc, there has to be a sensible conversation, rather than a knee-jerk reaction. Suspect we'll get the latter, though. Just to re-iterate it again - good people do bad things.

Having said the above, agree w/ your second point, essentially. Bit of a balancing act.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 9:06 am

You havent read that very carefully then navy. I didnt say it would only be racists annoyed at the removal of the statue. It's certainly got them riled up though. You love to see it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 9:07 am

Fortunately soul we dont have to choose between removing statues and doing other things to reduce racism. As to my last sentence yes it promotes division of course. Who wants to side with racists?

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Post by BamBam on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 9:20 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Another statue been removed in london. Squares being renamed. Despite the original act being against the law irs promoted very quick change. It seems its annoyed a lot of racists but very effective.
Please try not to make such sweeping statements. It's not just so-called racists who might have an issue w/ a statue, however controversial, being vandalised. This sort of thing doesn't help dialogue, but is sadly where discourse on any issue now tends to go.

Assuming it's the Robert Milligan statue, it wasn't vandalised

BBC wrote:The Museum of London recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity," they added.
The Canal and River Trust said it had worked with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the museum and partners in Canary Wharf to have it removed.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-52977088

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 10:19 am

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/10/c-of-e-accused-of-utter-hypocrisy-over-backing-for-black-lives-matter

It's usually rare for Reverends to speak 'out of rank' as it were within the strict C of E hierarchy.

The Rev Alwyn Pereira was rejected for seven posts as a vicar in the diocese of Bristol before he discovered a letter on his personal file saying there were “cultural differences in the way people like Alwyn communicate, and actually handle issues of truth and clarity”.

Wow. Differences in the way black people handle truth and clarity. That's abominable.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 11:19 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52990714
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52983319
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jun/09/cops-tv-show-cancelled-police-protests

Anything made before the new enlightenment will have to be airbrushed from history.

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