Nearly 70 statues have been removed or renovated in the U.K. following the riots that the leftist organization Black Lives Matter led last year in the wake of the death of George Floyd. The riots didn’t remain exclusively on American soil and moved to several countries around the world, especially Europe.
An investigation by the English newspaper The Guardian revealed this reality and it doesn’t seem to stop. More monuments or institutions can now be added to this list, as they are currently under review by local authorities.
The movement to remove controversial landmarks reportedly has involved a broad sector of society. Included in this process are statues of Sir John Cass and William Beckford the Guildhall, both of whom had significant links to the slave trade.
But statues are not the only ones suffering from this crusade. They have included everything from schools and universities to private landlords, pubs, churches, charities and councils. The University of Edinburgh has renamed the David Hume Tower because of the philosopher’s alleged racism, evidence apparently not needed.
Institutions such as the University of Liverpool which changed the name of its Gladstone Hall because of the former prime minister’s links to slavery; Imperial College London which has stopped using its Latin motto (the translation of which would be “scientific knowledge, the crowning glory and safeguard of empire”), have joined in the erasure of its history.
Schools are not exempt from the Black Lives Matter guillotine either. Two schools in England have removed statues, six have been renamed for links to “colonialism” and seven more have removed “inappropriate” house names within schools.
As for the pubs that have been renamed, there is nothing racist about them, but euphoria has also engulfed them. Five pubs called “Black Boy” and one called “Black’s Head”, and even two pet graves were renamed.
In November, the Welsh government identified two hundred statues, buildings or street names linked to slavery. Glasgow City Council, ahead of the Black Lives Matter protests, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan commissioned similar reviews of the capital’s landmarks and 130 Labour-led councils across the country, including the cities of Manchester and Birmingham.
Statues and monuments removed in the U.S.
As of August 2020, thirty-eight monuments and statues had been counted removed in the USA. According to a report called “Whose Heritage Is It? Public Symbols of the Confederacy” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, these monuments were removed in less than three months since the death of George Floyd.
Some of the monuments vandalized, forcibly toppled or removed have been of members of the Confederate military such as Major Robert E. Lee, Appomattox, Officer Charles Linn, General Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Officer John Breckenridge Castleman, Admiral Raphael Semmes, General Williams Carter Wickham, and former Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Among the Hispanic figures who marked American history by their works and contributions to the New World, but who suffered the vandalism of the Black Lives Matter hordes, are one of the fathers of the New World, the navigator Christopher Columbus, the Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate of New Spain, the discoverer of Florida and first governor of Puerto Rico Juan Ponce de León y Figueroa, Queen Isabella I of Castile and St. Junipero Serra.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017