During the Black Lives Matter demonstrations on Sunday 7th June, the statue of Edward Colston was pulled down and dumped in the harbour in Bristol.
I think that it was the most beautiful thing that happened yesterday.
Colston made his money from the slave trade. 84,000 humans were transported on his ships. 19,000 of them died because of the appalling conditions on slave ships.
The statue was erected 174 years after he died, and, astonishingly, 62 years after the abolition of slavery.
According to Historic England, the plaque on the statue read thus.
Edward Colston Born 1636 Died 1721.
Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial
of one of the most
virtuous and wise sons of their city
Over the years, many attempts have been made to change the wording on the plaque, but it has never happened.
Would Priti Patel also condemn the removal of statues of Jimmy Saville, the notorious paedophile, as “utterly disgraceful” because he gave money to charities?
Would she condemn the toppling of the statues of Saddam Hussein and of Stalin as vandalism? I very much doubt it.
To those who say that removal of the statue erases history, there is a simple response. There are no statues to Hitler. And he most certainly hasn’t been forgotten.
Quite on the contrary, a lot more people are aware of Colston than was the case 24 hours ago.
The people who pulled the statue down deserve a medal. If they are prosecuted it would bring shame on us.
Please listen to the great historian, David Olusoga. He explains the matter perfectly.
Statues aren’t about history they are about adoration. This man was not great, he was a slave trader and a murderer.
— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) June 7, 2020
“Statues aren’t about history they are about adoration. This man was not great, he was a slave trader and a murderer. Historian @DavidOlusoga brilliantly explains why BLM protestors were right to tear down the statue of Edward Colston. https://t.co/F1Zn1G8LVn”