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Author Topic: More and more protest in Belgium against statues Leopold II  (Read 3518 times)
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Chandrasekhi

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« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2020, 10:54:20 AM »

There is something very worrying about the discussion we are having: we are relegating these atrocities to the past and treating slavery as a thing of the past and restricting discussions to legacy effects. The reason why practices / institutions survive is because they re-invent themselves: new / old actors, new labels. We sanitize the landscape, we remove reminders of our collective past.

Gandhi's statue has already been taken down in Ghana. (his most ferocious critics have for decades been Indian intellectuals). He changed the course of history. How he did it, who it benefited and his legacy effects are up for discussion. He is a historical figure. His statue is still up in other parts of the world - for how much longer, who knows?

One day, our descendants will find a plausible reason to tear down Nelson Mandela's statue. He sold out Black South Africans / He presided over a negotiation that gave Black  South Africans the right to vote without economic emancipation / He and his successor implemented policies that were not pro-poor / Affirmative Action was not aggressive enough / South Africa's atrocious GINI co-efficient can be traced back to events he set in motion / He didn't nationalise the mines ..etc. These are just possible reasons off the top of my head. Someone/group hell-bent on toppling his statue will find more.

When atrocities are committed, an additional dimension of depravity is introduced when it is visited upon one's own people IMO. Take Ghana for example: it is widely documented and researched that the Ashanti tribe were slave traders who sold Africans for weapons to expand their empire. How is that OK?

Treating atrocities perpetrated by African leaders on their own people as something tinpot dictators do, is the ultimate form of racism. Is there something fundamentally deficient in leaders from Africa that we cannot hold them to the same standards as their European counterparts? Were/are  they not smart enough that they did/do not comprehend the import of their actions? Are they not virtuous enough that they were capable of only base behaviour and should hence be given a hospital pass?

Treating Blacks as universal victims takes away agency. How can an honest discussion about slavery be held without discussing the role everyone played in it?

Once we are done with the statues, what will we do next? Burn the books? That should usher in a  new age of enlightenment.

How much of attention have we paid to what is going on in the world, now? Wait: this cannot be happening: slavery is a relic of the past. We are tearing down the statues of those heinous criminals so the human race can heal, those atrocities never to be repeated again.

Quote
http://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today
https://borgenproject.org...es-of-modern-day-slavery/
https://www.thoughtco.com...f-slavery-in-africa-44542

Modern slavery takes many forms. The most common are:
•   Human trafficking. The use of violence, threats or coercion to transport, recruit or harbour people in order to exploit them for purposes such as forced prostitution, labour, criminality, marriage or organ removal.
•   Forced labour. Any work or services people are forced to do against their will under threat of punishment.
•   Debt bondage/bonded labour. The world’s most widespread form of slavery. People trapped in poverty borrow money and are forced to work to pay off the debt, losing control over both their employment conditions and the debt.
•   Descent–based slavery. Most traditional form, where people are treated as property, and their “slave” status was passed down the maternal line.
•   Slavery of children. When a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. This can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
•   Forced and early marriage. When someone is married against their will and cannot leave. Most child marriages can be considered slavery

Quote
George Orwell:
"If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself."

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle."

« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 11:13:40 AM by Chandrasekhi » Logged

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leatherface

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« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2020, 11:55:44 AM »

There is something very worrying about the discussion we are having: we are relegating these atrocities to the past and treating slavery as a thing of the past and restricting discussions to legacy effects. The reason why practices / institutions survive is because they re-invent themselves: new / old actors, new labels. We sanitize the landscape, we remove reminders of our collective past.

Gandhi's statue has already been taken down in Ghana. (his most ferocious critics have for decades been Indian intellectuals). He changed the course of history. How he did it, who it benefited and his legacy effects are up for discussion. He is a historical figure. His statue is still up in other parts of the world - for how much longer, who knows?

One day, our descendants will find a plausible reason to tear down Nelson Mandela's statue. He sold out Black South Africans / He presided over a negotiation that gave Black  South Africans the right to vote without economic emancipation / He and his successor implemented policies that were not pro-poor / Affirmative Action was not aggressive enough / South Africa's atrocious GINI co-efficient can be traced back to events he set in motion / He didn't nationalise the mines ..etc. These are just possible reasons off the top of my head. Someone/group hell-bent on toppling his statue will find more.

When atrocities are committed, an additional dimension of depravity is introduced when it is visited upon one's own people IMO. Take Ghana for example: it is widely documented and researched that the Ashanti tribe were slave traders who sold Africans for weapons to expand their empire. How is that OK?

Treating atrocities perpetrated by African leaders on their own people as something tinpot dictators do, is the ultimate form of racism. Is there something fundamentally deficient in leaders from Africa that we cannot hold them to the same standards as their European counterparts? Were/are  they not smart enough that they did/do not comprehend the import of their actions? Are they not virtuous enough that they were capable of only base behaviour and should hence be given a hospital pass?

Treating Blacks as universal victims takes away agency. How can an honest discussion about slavery be held without discussing the role everyone played in it?

Once we are done with the statues, what will we do next? Burn the books? That should usher in a  new age of enlightenment.

How much of attention have we paid to what is going on in the world, now? Wait: this cannot be happening: slavery is a relic of the past. We are tearing down the statues of those heinous criminals so the human race can heal, those atrocities never to be repeated again.

Quote
http://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today
https://borgenproject.org...es-of-modern-day-slavery/
https://www.thoughtco.com...f-slavery-in-africa-44542

Modern slavery takes many forms. The most common are:
•   Human trafficking. The use of violence, threats or coercion to transport, recruit or harbour people in order to exploit them for purposes such as forced prostitution, labour, criminality, marriage or organ removal.
•   Forced labour. Any work or services people are forced to do against their will under threat of punishment.
•   Debt bondage/bonded labour. The world’s most widespread form of slavery. People trapped in poverty borrow money and are forced to work to pay off the debt, losing control over both their employment conditions and the debt.
•   Descent–based slavery. Most traditional form, where people are treated as property, and their “slave” status was passed down the maternal line.
•   Slavery of children. When a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. This can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
•   Forced and early marriage. When someone is married against their will and cannot leave. Most child marriages can be considered slavery

Quote
George Orwell:
"If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself."

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle."



 Clapping Clapping Clapping Clapping Star Star

Word to all that Chandraseki!
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Principessa

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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2020, 12:41:06 PM »

There is something very worrying about the discussion we are having: we are relegating these atrocities to the past and treating slavery as a thing of the past and restricting discussions to legacy effects. The reason why practices / institutions survive is because they re-invent themselves: new / old actors, new labels. We sanitize the landscape, we remove reminders of our collective past.

Gandhi's statue has already been taken down in Ghana. (his most ferocious critics have for decades been Indian intellectuals). He changed the course of history. How he did it, who it benefited and his legacy effects are up for discussion. He is a historical figure. His statue is still up in other parts of the world - for how much longer, who knows?

One day, our descendants will find a plausible reason to tear down Nelson Mandela's statue. He sold out Black South Africans / He presided over a negotiation that gave Black  South Africans the right to vote without economic emancipation / He and his successor implemented policies that were not pro-poor / Affirmative Action was not aggressive enough / South Africa's atrocious GINI co-efficient can be traced back to events he set in motion / He didn't nationalise the mines ..etc. These are just possible reasons off the top of my head. Someone/group hell-bent on toppling his statue will find more.

When atrocities are committed, an additional dimension of depravity is introduced when it is visited upon one's own people IMO. Take Ghana for example: it is widely documented and researched that the Ashanti tribe were slave traders who sold Africans for weapons to expand their empire. How is that OK?

Treating atrocities perpetrated by African leaders on their own people as something tinpot dictators do, is the ultimate form of racism. Is there something fundamentally deficient in leaders from Africa that we cannot hold them to the same standards as their European counterparts? Were/are  they not smart enough that they did/do not comprehend the import of their actions? Are they not virtuous enough that they were capable of only base behaviour and should hence be given a hospital pass?

Treating Blacks as universal victims takes away agency. How can an honest discussion about slavery be held without discussing the role everyone played in it?

Once we are done with the statues, what will we do next? Burn the books? That should usher in a  new age of enlightenment.

How much of attention have we paid to what is going on in the world, now? Wait: this cannot be happening: slavery is a relic of the past. We are tearing down the statues of those heinous criminals so the human race can heal, those atrocities never to be repeated again.

Quote
http://www.endslaverynow.org/learn/slavery-today
https://borgenproject.org...es-of-modern-day-slavery/
https://www.thoughtco.com...f-slavery-in-africa-44542

Modern slavery takes many forms. The most common are:
•   Human trafficking. The use of violence, threats or coercion to transport, recruit or harbour people in order to exploit them for purposes such as forced prostitution, labour, criminality, marriage or organ removal.
•   Forced labour. Any work or services people are forced to do against their will under threat of punishment.
•   Debt bondage/bonded labour. The world’s most widespread form of slavery. People trapped in poverty borrow money and are forced to work to pay off the debt, losing control over both their employment conditions and the debt.
•   Descent–based slavery. Most traditional form, where people are treated as property, and their “slave” status was passed down the maternal line.
•   Slavery of children. When a child is exploited for someone else’s gain. This can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
•   Forced and early marriage. When someone is married against their will and cannot leave. Most child marriages can be considered slavery

Quote
George Orwell:
"If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself."

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle."



 Clapping Clapping Clapping Clapping Star Star

Word to all that Chandraseki!

Indeed very well said, Chandraseki!
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GoodGollyMissMolly

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« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2020, 01:11:19 PM »

When crimes are committed against a majority white population, to even utter any sort of defense against the culprit is a crime of the highest order. No one would even think about putting up statues, let alone argue about taking them down.

But when it’s against POC, especially black people, it’s all of a sudden apart of history and statues should remain as a reminder?

And acknowledging the pain, humiliation, and degradation black people faced, and are still facing today, as a result of the Triangle Trade is not taking away from current atrocities happening.

I’m just at a loss as to how “black people as a whole are still suffering from the effects of race based slavery” means that we don’t care about human trafficking (which women of color are more vulnerable to)?

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thecrownjewelthief

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« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2020, 02:48:48 PM »

When crimes are committed against a majority white population, to even utter any sort of defense against the culprit is a crime of the highest order. No one would even think about putting up statues, let alone argue about taking them down.

But when it’s against POC, especially black people, it’s all of a sudden apart of history and statues should remain as a reminder?

And acknowledging the pain, humiliation, and degradation black people faced, and are still facing today, as a result of the Triangle Trade is not taking away from current atrocities happening.

I’m just at a loss as to how “black people as a whole are still suffering from the effects of race based slavery” means that we don’t care about human trafficking (which women of color are more vulnerable to)?



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perdie

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« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2020, 03:14:33 PM »

There are some figures like Gandhi, Churchill etc who are too important to remove.  That doesn't mean we can't qualify their achievements with their shortcomings.  Now, there are some people who have no significant historical importance other than their approach to slavery and other atrocities.  Take them down or explain them.  Take Colston, who contributed greatly to his city and its institutions at the cost of the lives of others.  Imagine how powerful it would have been to have a statue to slaves beside that of Colston in Bristol?  In the case of Leopold, leaving up the statue with the hands and feet cut off would have been one hell of a statement because it begged an explanation.  A reminder isn't a bad thing, as long as it reminds us of the awful things these people have done.  Having statues with sycophantic plaques or an absence of references to these people wipes out that history and history is something that should not be forgotten.
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Chandrasekhi

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« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2020, 03:28:51 PM »

GGMM, all of history has been about relative power. The only difference between oppressor and opressed is opportunity. If by some quirk of nature or geography, PoCs has developed/utilised Guns, Germs and Steel to the extent that Whites had, it is very likely  that we would not have behaved differently.  I can find no basis to make a claim for moral superiority or greater virtue. The Ashanti sold fellow Africans to acquire the very guns by which Whites maintained power, for dominion over their fellow Africans. Perhaps that is the best indication of what we would have done had the roles been reversed. Virtue is not the preserve of the oppressed. We could choose to visit the atrocities that were visited on our forefathers/selves/kinsman, upon oppressors when we have the opportunity or decide that we could not imagine the cruelty inflicted on our forefathers/selves/kinsman being visited on anyone else. There is nothing to indicate that we will be more likely to choose one path than the other.

Quote
I’m just at a loss as to how “black people as a whole are still suffering from the effects of race based slavery” means that we don’t care about human trafficking (which women of color are more vulnerable to)?

That is a wholly inaccurate paraphrasing.  However, you have actually proven the broader point.  Bravo! If only the reminder of the past was no more than an inanimate object and did not include the loss of life. Fast-forward a couple of years: we have torn down the statues of the unmentionables. they are lying at the bottom of a river, the back of a museum or hammered to smithereens. We have wiped out all mention of our the atrocious past. How will those who follow recognize the recurrence when it starts rearing its ugly head? Where will those reminders come from? A visit to the museum? If they perceive Utopia in their own communities, why would they care about what happens elsewhere?

Quote
“I looked, and looked, and this I came to see:

That what I thought was you and you,

Was really me and me” (Wilber, 1979, p. 95).

https://owlcation.com/soc...he-Shadow-An-Introduction
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Chandrasekhi

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« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2020, 03:54:06 PM »

There are some figures like Gandhi, Churchill etc who are too important to remove.  That doesn't mean we can't qualify their achievements with their shortcomings.  Now, there are some people who have no significant historical importance other than their approach to slavery and other atrocities.  Take them down or explain them.  Take Colston, who contributed greatly to his city and its institutions at the cost of the lives of others.  Imagine how powerful it would have been to have a statue to slaves beside that of Colston in Bristol?  In the case of Leopold, leaving up the statue with the hands and feet cut off would have been one hell of a statement because it begged an explanation.  A reminder isn't a bad thing, as long as it reminds us of the awful things these people have done.  Having statues with sycophantic plaques or an absence of references to these people wipes out that history and history is something that should not be forgotten.

Brllliant, perdie.
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« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2020, 05:35:07 PM »

Spot on, Ladies.
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« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2020, 09:56:36 PM »

Human history is littered with victories of one group of humans over another. And history is written by the victor. We have the chance now to reflect on this history. But we will not be able to rewrite it.
We need to change the world today, the one yesterday is already gone.
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« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2020, 10:20:50 PM »

Off topic, but the people of Bristol tried for more than 50 years to get even a small plaque put near the statue of Colston to mention that, you know, he was a slave trader, and every single attempt was blocked. So people chucked the statue in the harbour and it will be going into Bristol Museum with the appropriate contextualisation.

I think there are ways of reinterpreting public sculpture, but very few avenues to do so.

I personally like the approach Hungary took with Memento Park: sculptures were removed from their previous locations (or knocked over/toppled/damaged/defaced) and relocated to a park where they are presented as relics of another time.

FC, are they? Slavery is alive and increasing across the globe.

When I was teaching full time, my fifth grade colleagues encountered parents who demanded that the curriculum not share the information that slavery has continued past  the American Civil War. Sad The teachers had explained to their classes that slavery was continuing in parts of the world and shared some stories about the Immigration officials arresting people who had brought slaves to the U.S. The students asked if they could have a fundraiser to raise funds to buy someone their freedom. While most parents were in favor, we had a very vocal number who demanded that this was an unacceptable activity and that their students didn't need to learn about it. District Office shut it down.

Out of the mouths of babes!  

 Star TLLK

Thank you. It had been a wonderful project for the students to try and raise the funds necessary to purchase the freedom for one person in the Sudan. Teachers had already begun speaking with local businesses to see if they'd be willing to match the funds raised to attempt to buy another person's freedom. Then it was all shut down for the kids.
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