Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Thursday 11 June 2020

Destruction of monuments

There are many calls from mainly the ethnic community to take down historic memorials of men involved in the slave trade.
Many of the memorials or statues were erected when very few men and women with ethnic backgrounds lived in the UK and were erected as the response of a grateful public for philanthropic largesse. They were symbols of respect by the populace for acts of generosity. At that time slavery was not considered to be so barbarous as we suppose it is today.
The situation is different today; slavery, banned by the United Nations, is considered to be heinous trade, a view widely held by the population of the UK including and especially the several million people of black African and other ethnic backgrounds. These, relatively new, inhabitants of the 'sceptred' isles, resent the presence of these memorials and seek to have them removed despite their being a record of the Nation's past history. It's as if they say: Thank you for allowing us to live here and affording us a better way of life but you really ought to do something about those memorials. They offend us.
It's not so far removed from the Muslims coming to the UK for a better, safer life and wanting the UK to adopt Sharia Law as the legal system. Conquerers can do it; the Romans and Normans could demand change, to the victors the spoils, but surely this does not apply to immigrants. Should they not  accept the norms and idiosyncreties of the host nation with good grace?

Today's generation might care to think of what their lives would be like now if their ancestors were not taken, always bearing in mind that not all slave owners were bad. Todays black elite in the US and UK might reflect that if it had not been for the suffering of their ancestors they might be living in a mud hut economy in the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa. They might also like to ponder on the African participation in the slave trade where one tribe would sell captured or kidnapped  other tribespeople. Also it was a common means of getting rid of felons and other undesirables in countries that had no prison system.  In this respect slavers were looked on favourably by some tribal kings.
Few white people ventured into central Africa because of disease and murder and rarely took active part in the taking of slaves from their homes. It was the work of indigenous Africans. Black on black.

Much is said of 'respect'. In pulling down these statues, where's the respect for the people, long dead, who felt it important to erect these monuments. Respect has to be earned. The current 'woke' reaction will not attract it.

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