As woke warriors condemned for “Western privilege,” UK statues debate the “height of opulence.”
THE “height of luxury” in the UK’s statues debate, according to a senior professor, is that those who can afford to advocate do it as a “political and intellectual” exercise.
Since last year, the debate over whether or not to remove different sculptures dotted around the UK has raged. Thousands of statues were vandalized as a result of George Floyd’s killing and the accompanying Black Lives Matter movement (BLM), many of which were tied to the transatlantic slave trade or historic racism. The most iconic incidents occurred on Bristol Harbour, when the statue of Edward Colston, an English trader involved in the slave trade, was torn down and thrown into the water.
Since then, around 70 memorials have been renamed or decommissioned across the United Kingdom.
While many have praised the move for “decolonizing Britain,” others, such as Joanna Williams, a leading academic and director of Cieo, a think-tank, believe it is the “ultimate in luxury.”
She told This website that those who were focused on removing memorials were unlikely to have any significant difficulties in their lives, such as poverty or unemployment.
“If you campaign to have a statue removed from an Oxford College, you’re not helping young black kids growing up on a council estate in London, whose biggest fear is knife crime – and that’s just one example,” she said.
“It’s evident that they’re doing this for their own political or intellectual enjoyment.
“This is for their personal enjoyment and self-promotion, but it is the pinnacle of luxury.
“It kind of tells you that everything else in those people’s lives is fine if their biggest worry is a 200-year-old statue that most people don’t even notice when they pass past it.”
The most recent focus of the statue removal effort has been Cecil Rhodes’ statue at Oriel College, Oxford.
In the late nineteenth century, Rhodes served as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and was one of the most dedicated imperialists of his day, leading the acquisition of enormous swaths of land in South Africa.
As a result, many people believe he built the groundwork for apartheid.
A local Oxford artist suggested this week that Rhodes’ statue at the university be fitted. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”