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I am not trying to be controversial, but...........

(302 Posts)
Lexisgranny Wed 10-Jun-20 10:33:30

Much has been written universally about the appalling murder of George Floyd and the subsequent global reaction. I wholeheartedly agree that not only black people, but other ethnic minorities have been, and still are experiencing unacceptable discrimination, which must stop.
The removal of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol has resulted in demands for all statues of those connected with the slave trade being removed. This has now escalated to calls for this to be extended to road signs etc that incorporate their names.
My question is what about the hospitals, schools and charitable institutions that were endowed by those who benefited from slavery and bear their names? Where does it stop? For example Guys Hospital was founded by Thomas Guy, a philanthropist who had made a great deal of money from the South Sea Company. Will public opinion demand that it’s name be changed? Discrimination and slavery are abhorrent, but as to the rest, I don’t know, but would be very interested to hear what Gransnetters think.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jun-20 10:36:33

The film " Gone with the Wind " is " gone " as it depicts slavery.

lemongrove Wed 10-Jun-20 10:36:52

I think that statues are quite different to buildings ( and it would be best for those statues to be removed, if they were honouring men engaged in the slave trade.), leave those alone.
Street names changed only if demeaning to black people.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jun-20 10:40:32

Many big names made their money from slavery.
Those ruthless landlords of today ought to be rooted out too, as many are fleecing their own ! They're acting like slave-drivers by housing so many in excruciating conditions.

timetogo2016 Wed 10-Jun-20 10:42:52

I think this is getting out of hand and is very worrying.
If it was a white man that was killed i don`t think for an instance the same things would be happening.
I hate racism in any way shape or form but i remember many years ago my sisters than boyfriend who was black mentioned a few times that there will be a revolution one day.
I always thought he was being daft ,oh and by the way he was lovely and i was rather sad when they split so please don`t think i am on a rant.

ladymuck Wed 10-Jun-20 10:43:48

There is a danger of taking this to extremes. We cannot deny the past, it's part of our history. There is a difference between acknowledging those who benefited from slavery and making heroes of them.
If it were not for slavery, would there be all those black people living in America? It's all part of the way the world is today.
The authorities need to step back and take a deep breath before allowing these rioteers to dictate to them.

Jabberwok Wed 10-Jun-20 10:44:55

I agree Lemon and quite frankly these statues should have been quietly removed years ago. If buildings are included, surely whatever you rename them cannot detract from the original benefactor, so short of pulling down half of Bristol and other cities and rebuilding them how do you erase their past.!!? Presumably when Rhodes goes into the Ashmolean the scholarship will cease to exist too?!!

Luckygirl Wed 10-Jun-20 10:46:51

How difficult it is. I guess some slave traders used some of their wealth for philanthropic purposes at home.

"Colston used his wealth to support and endow schools, hospitals, almshouses and churches in Bristol, London and elsewhere."

Life is complicated!

Smileless2012 Wed 10-Jun-20 10:47:06

I think that's a shame if as you say EllanVannin the 'Gone with Wind' has gone because Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for best supporting actress and was the first African American to do so.

MawB Wed 10-Jun-20 10:47:57

The film " Gone with the Wind " is " gone " as it depicts slavery

Whatever do you mean, EllenVannin ?
You might as well apply that to the great film by Steve McQueen Twelve Years a Slave. confused

As to statues of “famous people” who were connected with the slave trade, a black Scottish professor (among others) made the eminently sensible point yesterday that if they’re all pulled down and destroyed, the shameful memory of slavery risks being forgotten.
Better to put them in museums where their role is made clear and the whole history of this appalling trade explained for future generations.
I can’t imagine we are going to have to rename Tate Britain and Modern, Guy’s Hospital, the Whitworth Gallery or any other public buildings.

Kate54 Wed 10-Jun-20 10:55:23

I’m definitely on the side of leaving these statues where they are/were and adding a plaque explaining the context. That way, history is not re-written and the racism not forgotten.
By the way, Colston was plying his trade in the late 1600s, not so many years after one William Shakespeare was writing one or two plays...... plenty of racism and anti-semitism therein and no one would dream of no longer performing them.
Just a thought.

Sparklefizz Wed 10-Jun-20 10:55:28

Regarding Gone with the Wind MawB - it was on the News this morning.

timetogo2016 Wed 10-Jun-20 10:57:39

Slavery is part of history to some.
But no-one mentions the children in this country who are looking after their disabled parents for nothing I CLASS THAT AS TODAYS SLAVERY.
And comes in different guises too
And there are hundreds who are under the age of 18, example .. parents/ carers who look after the disabled be it adults or children get a pathetic amount of monetry help for 24/7 care.
My dh gets under £70 per week for looking after his disabled dd and if she was put into careit would cost the government £10001s per month per person.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 10-Jun-20 11:03:14

The glory of what has happened since Floyd’s death is that people are beginning to accept and understand the day to day reality of living with racism. It is even (heavens above) happening on GN😄)

If nothing else let’s hope Floyd’ death was a catalyst for good coming out of such an appalling tragedy.

Smileless2012 Wed 10-Jun-20 11:06:34

I hope GrannyGravy wont mind, she posted this quote from George Orwell's 1984 on another thread this morning and I think it's worth posting here.

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book re written, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

paddyanne Wed 10-Jun-20 11:14:06

That'll be down to the DWP Timetogo2016 and a very different issue from BLM.
Before you have a rant,I have 3 GC who care for their chronically ill mother 12 out of 14 days when their dad is working away .I do understand but its very different to the centuries long treatment of Black and ethnic minorities here and worldwide

Dinahmo Wed 10-Jun-20 11:15:04

In some way or other the majority of us will have benefited from the proceeds of slavery.

The founder of the Tate Gallery derived his income not from the slave trade directly but from the sugar plantations which had been built up using slave labour. Henry Tate was 14 when the Abolition of Slavery Act was passed in 1833 and Abram Lyle was 12. The Tate has an interesting article on this subject which can be found on line.

Sir Joseph Whitworth was an inventor and I don't think had any connection with the slave trade, only some of the effects of the industrial revolution.

As other people have said, it's important that we know our own history. Surely it would be better if more information was provided, on statues or buildings, about the origins of the wealth that resulted in those creations.

MawB Wed 10-Jun-20 11:18:01

Very perceptive Smileless..
Yes, I see what EV meant Sparklefizz
Gone with the Wind has been removed from the HBO Max streaming service amid concerns over its racist depiction of black characters. The 1939 epic, long considered a classic, was taken down in the wake of global anti-racism protests following the death of George Floyd
Fortunately Margaret Mitchell's book lives on and DVDs of “Gone With the Wind” will probably become collectors’ items.

Dinahmo Wed 10-Jun-20 11:19:01

Footnote : I was looking into the subject yesterday and found a note that thousands of sailors had also died on the slaving ships because the conditions were appalling.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 10-Jun-20 11:19:25

Smiless2020 I do think that in 2020 the party in the quote has been replaced by BLM, disgruntled Labour Activists and unfortunately Antifa.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jun-20 11:27:07

MawB I imagine every film will now be edited and the showing of that powerful series " Roots " will be hammered home to those who think they can make their millions on the backs of those poor beggars who had to bow and scrape to the unscrupulous land-owners.

I hope the series is shown. I've got the book. Alex Haley wrote it in 1976 and the series was shown in 1977 and has stayed with me ever since. The series drew millions of viewers back then. It's unforgettable and upsets me to this day. The whites were nothing short of evil toward the treatment of these people who were reduced to slaves in every way.

Watch it and weep !

Smileless2012 Wed 10-Jun-20 11:29:13

I agree GrannyGravy, an excellent and pertinent quotesmile.

sparklingsilver28 Wed 10-Jun-20 11:39:08

I entirely agree with the valid point made by Ladymuck, rioters and demonstrators must not be allowed to get away with dictating to the rest of us. This is just a witch-hunt and today another horrible example on “BBC Victoria Derbyshire Programme” this morning. The army coming under fire and some rabid individual hell bent on exposing foolish young men. To put it bluntly the army is not the local kinder garden. Furthermore, when they see action in places and conditions most of us never subjected to, is it any wonder they have views not necessarily comfortable to be around. All very well for those sitting comfortably at a distance digging up dirt. Demonstrators may benefit from two or three years of hard difficult public service in order to understand the real world. Ancient slavery should be solidly and firmly put behind us not constantly raked over as an excuse for rabble rousing.

susz Wed 10-Jun-20 11:50:29

I completely agree BLM but all lives matter whatever the heritage, but every nation has history they are not particularly proud of today. We cannot deny history, it would in my view, be hypocritical, we learn by our mistakes or that of our forefathers to create a better world for all. Tearing down statues doesn't help that process. Riots and demonstrations are more than often hi-jacked by thugs and criminals with a completely different agenda.

Missfoodlove Wed 10-Jun-20 11:55:46

Why don’t we have plaques by the statues with a current view?