Should We Be Pulling Down Statues?
This controversy started in the United States, after George Floyd’s murder. But it isn’t new. Civil War heroes of the South have always had a place of pride in their town and city squares. But others see them as ‘bad guys’. The conflict over their existence seems to be yet another civil war.
Canada has a similar problem with our famous fathers, especially, lately, the Father of Confederation, John A. Macdonald. Over 11,000 Montreal residents want to have his statue removed. Their reason, at the moment, seems to hinge on the fact that he used to own slaves. That’s probably not all that they think is wrong with him, but it’s enough for now. Others suggest that he was the architect of the Resident School system which stole Native Canadian children from their families. Lots of wrong thinking, for sure.
White colonial racists have a very long history, in many countries. They were the conquering warriors and the races they defeated dislike being under their control. So, what’s new? In ancient times, it was the Greeks, Romans, Vikings and even Indians. But it is recent history that is the most annoying. With good reason. Just ask an Irishman…
History is written by the winners, and the losers can only keep their cultures alive by not assimilating. The Hebrews in Egypt, anyone? They had their own scriptures, keeping a memory of their true heritage in front of their descendants’ eyes.
What’s that famous saying?