I’ve seen a few posts fly past, obviously responses to a prompt, discussing statues. I tracked this back to A Guy Called Bloke’s Weekend Quickie of a few days ago. Since I’d looked it up, the part of the post which interested me was:
What’s your stance on statues […]?
…where Rory is presumably referring to the removal of statues that people find offensive.
I fully agree that many of the subjects of these statues are, indeed, offensive.
But, do you know, my biggest fear on this one is that we will one day have a generation of people who believe that these events did not happen. That something as big as slavery, for example… did not happen. So I think that statues are best left in place, to serve as reminders. Even if they do happen to offend us.
That couldn’t happen, I hear you say. Well, there is a small-but-vocal section who would deny that something like the Holocaust happened. An event where there are still, just about, living memories, not to mention libraries full of evidence.
And, in the UK in the Nineties, we introduced a National Curriculum. Which is, in effect, controlling what pupils learn, centrally. What if, one day, the holocaust-deniers became in charge of the National Curriculum? Would children still learn about Auschwitz? There are already critics in the UK who will tell you that this already happens – that the UK glosses over some of its more inconvenient truths in favour of flag-waving events. A dose of Dunkirk, anyone? But, please don’t mention our role selling arms to the Saudis to use in Yemen.
Again, if you think that could never happen, just look at some of the extremists who have been elected – i.e. gained power by totally fair means – in recent years. Couldn’t it?