Left-wing activists, eager to tear down symbols of western history, have carried their assault on supposedly offensive statues and monuments across the Atlantic.
Leftists in America have called for the removal — or attempted the removal themselves — of statues of everyone from Confederate generals to Founding Fathers to world-changing explorers, and even Catholic saints. It now seems that progressives in other countries have taken note of the American Left’s relentless damnatio memoriae.
In the United Kingdom, a left-wing journalist named Afua Hirsch has caused controversy by calling for the removal of a statue of one of England’s greatest sons and heroes: Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson. Nelson is best remembered as the Naval genius who achieved stunning victories at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, the Battle of the Nile, the Battle of Copenhagen, and of course Trafalgar, where he lost his life.
Nelson famously signaled that “England confides that every man will do his duty” before the Battle of Trafalgar began. His very last words spoken as he lay dying on the deck of HMS Victory, the combined Spanish and French fleet in ruins around him, are equally legendary. “Thank God, I have done my duty,” he said.
According to Hirsch, however, Nelson deserves to be remembered as nothing more than a white supremacist because he was allegedly opposed to freeing slaves in the West Indies and once served on a merchant vessel that carried slaves as cargo. Writing in the Daily Mail on Wednesday, respected British historian Max Hastings slammed the calls to remove Nelson from the column that bears his name and warned that doing so could have significant consequences beyond the loss of a historic reminder.
“In this silly season, we should laugh off Afua Hirsch’s spasm of silliness about Nelson. But if a day comes when our rulers take seriously such demands, agree to erase portions of our heritage as Stalin erased Trotsky from every photograph of the Russian Revolutionaries, then we shall relinquish essential cultural values, rooted in a proper understanding of history,” Hastings wrote.
Nelson isn’t the only Royal Navy man to be targeted in this growing worldwide war against stone simulacra. Australian broadcaster Stan Grant, who is part Aborigine, called earlier this week for the removal of a statue of Captain James Cook from a Sydney park.
“This statue speaks to emptiness; it speaks to our invisibility,” claimed Grant.
But it’s not just white Royal Navy officers who find themselves targets of the leftist mob. The U.K. chapter of Black Lives Matter announced last week that it is organizing an October protest against a statue in London depicting Mahatma Gandhi.
The #GandhiMustFall was launched because Gandhi was known to hold racist views towards Africans — views that were considered commonplace in 1947.
“In the spirit of our comrades in Ghana, and our brave brothers in Charlottesville who resisted white supremacists, we will stand against the existence of statues in Britain that glorify bigots, be they white or Asian supremacists,” Black Lives Matter supporter Fatima Khan told BuzzFeed News last week.
(photo credit, homepage image: Aurelien Guichard, Flickr; photo credit, article image: RedCoat)