Britons divided over graffiti branding Churchill a racist

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  43 comments

Britons divided over graffiti branding Churchill a racist
According to the BBC, Churchill once told the Palestine Royal Commission: "I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



LONDON - When Black Lives Matter protesters toppled a bronze statue of 17th-century British philanthropist, politician and slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday, many cheered. Even the mayor of the city acknowledged that he had never liked its prominent placement, which he called "an affront."

But after demonstrators in London's Parliament Square tagged an iconic statue of Winston Churchill with graffiti branding him "a racist," the reaction was much more heated and divided.

For his wartime leadership, his role in the salvation of Britain and the defeat of the Nazis, Churchill remains, by popular acclaim, one of the greatest Britons of all time.

But his legacy is as complex and contradictory as it is sprawling. Born in 1874 during the height of the British Empire, Churchill is viewed as a villain by many in the former colonies, and his words and actions provide fodder for critics today to label him a racist.

Winston-Churchill-Vandalised-Rioters-Black-Lives-Matter-BLM.png

As in the United States, a weekend of protests in Britain sparked by the death of George Floyd has forced the country to reckon with its troubled history of racism.

The 200 protests across Britain, involving 100,000 people, have been largely peaceful, but there was sporadic violence. Police said 35 officers were injured in bouts of street fighting.

Videos on social media showed protesters throwing glass bottles, fireworks and bicycles at the officers, who pushed demonstrators back by swinging batons.

On Sunday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the anti-racism demonstrations have been "subverted by thuggery." A week earlier, President   Trump   on Twitter condemned demonstrators in Minneapolis, where Floyd died in police custody on May 25, as "THUGS."

Johnson's spokesman told reporters Monday that the prime minister's words were directed not only at "the attacks against police officers" but also "acts of criminal damage" against the statues.

Johnson is an ardent fan - and some say imitator - of Churchill. While serving as London mayor, he wrote the 2014 biography "The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History," a work that the Observer newspaper called a "flawed but fascinating take on his hero."

Many Britons were upset by the defacing of the Churchill statue.

The graffiti was scrawled during the same march in which a lone protester, just a block away, tried to burn the Union Flag flying at the Cenotaph, a memorial to Britain's war dead.

Even some supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement worried that the vandalism of the statue would only alienate Britons from the cause of social justice.

But others thought the graffiti was spot-on, seeing such acts as manifestations of justifiable rage.

On Sunday, Home Secretary Priti Patel told Sky News that the toppling of the Colston statue, which was later dumped into a harbor, was "utterly disgraceful."

But one of Colston's heirs tweeted that it was "cool."

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees told the BBC, "I can't and won't pretend the statue of a slave trader in a city I was born and grew up in wasn't an affront to me and people like me."

Sajid Javid, a former finance minister in Johnson's government, wrote: "I grew up in Bristol. I detest how Edward Colston profited from the slave trade. But, THIS IS NOT OK. If Bristolians want to remove a monument it should be done democratically - not by criminal damage."

Asked Sunday on Sky News whether Britain is "a racist country," Health Secretary Matt Hancock said no but added that it continues to face the challenges of racism.

Pro-Brexit campaigner, radio personality and   Trump   ally Nigel Farage tweeted, "If Boris Johnson won't lead and stand up for the country, as its symbols are trashed, then people will start taking it into their own hands." He warned, "Full on race riots are now possible."

Writing in the Daily Mail, columnist Dominic Lawson said the "most perplexing image for many of us" watching the weekend protests was the defaced statue of Churchill.

"For this was the exact anniversary, June 6, of the 1944 Normandy landings: the single day which perhaps best exemplifies the British people's struggle against genocidal fascism - a six-year-long fight inspired and led by Churchill. Given the demonstrators are campaigners against racially-based oppression, this is, to put it politely, perverse."

In the Independent, columnist Sean O'Grady observed that "in the big scheme of things, it's a minor piece of vandalism, but an unfortunate one as, quite unlike the defenestration of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, the wartime prime minister is an obviously revered national hero."

But O'Grady continued on about Churchill, saying: "He was a racist, but also anti-fascist; he was fiercely anti-communist, yet carved Europe up and gifted much of it to Joseph Stalin. Many historians have tried to make sense of the man and his times."

Charges of racism are nothing new when it comes to Churchill, with much scholarship expended on the matter.

In his book "Churchill, the Unexpected Hero," historian Paul Addison writes: "On racial questions, Churchill was still a late Victorian." Addison noted that when Churchill was asked about a visit to China, he replied: "I hate people with slit eyes and pigtails. I don't like the look of them or the smell of them - but I suppose it does no great harm to have a look at them."

According to the BBC, Churchill once told the Palestine Royal Commission: "I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."

Richard Toye, a British historian and co-author of the upcoming book "The Churchill Myths," told The Washington Post that Churchill had a long career and that his views shifted over time. But, Addison, said, "it's quite straightforward to say he was a racist."

The historian noted that Churchill's comments on the people of the Indian subcontinent, whom he called "a beastly people with a beastly religion," were particularly virulent.

Churchill loathed the Indian independence movement and described Mohandas Gandhi as "half-naked" and a "seditious fakir." Churchill has also been criticized for his indifference to the Bengal famine in 1943, when more than 3 million people died.

In his book on Churchill, Johnson tried to split the difference, observing, "He did have what is now considered to be a racist interpretation of the difference between one society and another; but he hated the mistreatment of anyone of any race."

Other scholars were more robust in their defense of the wartime prime minister.

Andrew Roberts, author of "Churchill: Walking With Destiny," said in an interview that his remarks need to be viewed in context.

Roberts said that Churchill was "the greatest anti-fascist in history, and that without him, a true racist, Adolf Hitler, might have killed many more people on racial grounds than he did anyhow."


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

Churchill was born in the era of the "white man's burden" when there was an assumption that "colored" people were inferior and were meant to be ruled by strict but benevolent supervision such as in  the British occupancy of India and some of it's other Victorian era colonies. 

There are words of his that display racism. Do his good deeds outweigh his racism? Depends on who you talk to.  I think people who care about this have to live with the fact that Churchill is a mixed bag.

It doesn't bother me that someone spray painted "Racist" on a statue of Churchill, and it doesn't bother me that others cleaned up the graffiti. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
Do his good deeds outweigh his racism?

That is a good question. Maybe the people of the UK will accept that there leaders were not perfect - like most people!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1    one month ago

Of course they could remove the statue of Churchill entirely and his legacy would be unchanged.  That is where these things will eventually go. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago
Of course they could remove the statue of Churchill entirely

Who is they?  Will there be a national vote or is it going to be at the discretion of a few protesters?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.2    one month ago

You want a national referendum on whether a statue should be removed? 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1.4  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.3    one month ago

That would be the fair way and you would have unity - everyone would respect a decision arrived at via a vote!

 
 
 
Tacos!
1.1.5  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.1    one month ago
they could remove the statue

By the standards of the most extreme of these protestors, no one who ever walked the Earth would be worthy of a statue. But they are full enough of themselves to sit in judgment of people who did far more for society than they ever will. They are conceited children.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2  Nerm_L    one month ago

What a farce.  The protesters are going to great lengths to make the protests nothing more than a pointless stunt to justify breaking things and getting likes on social media.

If these protests were really serious about 'removing the legacy of racism' then they should be aware that Prophet Muhammad (founder of Islam) bought, sold, and owned slaves.  African slave traders were not only transporting slaves west; the slave trade also supplied the eastern Muslim world with African slaves.  As many African slaves were transported east to the Muslim world as were transported west to the colonies.

According to the logic employed by the protesters, every mosque is a monument to slavery and racism.  Muslims don't erect statues; Muslims erect mosques to honor the memory of Prophet Muhammad, slave trader and slave owner.  No worries though, somehow the protesters will find a way to ignore the history of Islamic slavery and racism.  There won't be any self righteous outrage over Islamic slavery and racism.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Nerm_L @2    one month ago

Slavery has existed all over the planet for thousands of years, with black, white, yellow and other races being both slaves and enslavers. Does that mean that everybody ought to apologize to everybody else for what their ancestors did?.....Thomas Sowell

 
 
 
Nerm_L
2.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1    one month ago
Slavery has existed all over the planet for thousands of years, with black, white, yellow and other races being both slaves and enslavers. Does that mean that everybody ought to apologize to everybody else for what their ancestors did?.....Thomas Sowell

Maybe so.  But there were more African slaves on the continent of Africa than on any other continent.  The practice of slavery on the African continent continued into the 20th century.  The African ivory trade was as much or more dependent upon slavery than southern plantations in the United States.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3  Trout Giggles    one month ago

This will not be a popular opinion here but it's time the British owned up to their own racist history.

 
 
 
Kavika
3.1  Kavika   replied to  Trout Giggles @3    one month ago

Exactly

 
 
 
MUVA
3.2  MUVA  replied to  Trout Giggles @3    one month ago

I think they like us still have racist amongst us.I watch MU TV most of the time the players comment all the time about racist taunts at way grounds especially Man city in Italy it is even worse.

 
 
 
Tacos!
3.3  Tacos!  replied to  Trout Giggles @3    one month ago
it's time the British owned up to their own racist history.

What for? So we can wag our self-righteous fingers at 21st century people for the thoughts and actions of their grandparents? Or their great-great-great-great grandparents? That approach just creates problems. It's not positive. It's negative.

I find it ridiculous that people can, with a straight face, condemn countries like England or America, who have done more to promote equality and justice than any other country or society I can think of.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.3.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tacos! @3.3    one month ago

You don't think England hasn't wagged her finger at America more than a few times in the last 175 years while ignoring their own brutality in India, China, and Africa?

 
 
 
Tacos!
3.3.2  Tacos!  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3.1    one month ago
You don't think England hasn't wagged her finger

Did I say that? It doesn't matter that they have. It doesn't change what I said.

Also, your comparison isn't the same thing. You're talking about the hypocrisy of criticizing someone for doing a thing you're doing at the same time.

I'm talking about the pointlessness and divisiveness of attacking someone for something that someone else did, said, or thought. And it's even more unfair when we're talking about judging people based on a modern standard for something that happened a long time ago.

 
 
 
user image
4      one month ago

If you think what he said is not true, then move to Africa. Why stay in white countries and shame white people who made them beautiful and amazing places to live? If you truly believe we are all the same, move to Africa, or India, or Mexico. You don't have to live around racists. Churchill just lived in a time when you could state the obvious without progressives crying like babies about their hurt feelings. This is why we need Trump. Just state the facts and don't give a fuck about the emotional cry babies. Some things need to be said, and they aren't easy to hear.

 
 
 
devangelical
4.1  devangelical  replied to  @4    one month ago
This is why we need Trump.

we = white supremacist assholes

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  @4    one month ago

The first thing I have to say, is you have to judge a man in his time. Churchill was a pile of contradictions and said many things that were both good and bad. His beliefs in race were wrong, but commonly held in his time. 

That being said, your comment is just so off. 

If you think what he said is not true, then move to Africa. Why stay in white countries and shame white people who made them beautiful and amazing places to live?

First of all, many of the black people who live in England do so because they were brought there as slaves or colonialism. They didn't come by choice. Second, there are many beautiful countries around the world that are not white, and were beautiful long before white people came out of the dark ages. 

You don't have to live around racists.

That is their home now. They have every right to live there.They have every right to express their opinions. It is a free society.

Churchill just lived in a time when you could state the obvious without progressives crying like babies about their hurt feelings.

Churchill did but you don't. That has to be the most disgusting comment ever said on NT. Do you believe in Eugenics because Churchill did? Put aside all the other BS. This is purely a scientific comment. Do you believe that one race is better than another?

This is why we need Trump. Just state the facts and don't give a fuck about the emotional cry babies. Some things need to be said, and they aren't easy to hear.

You like Trump because he sends out the right dog whistles for you. He has brought this nation to a base level that I have never seen before... and emboldens people to make comments like you just made. I am sure you thought these things before Trump, but the difference is now you feel free to say them. 

 
 
 
user image
4.2.1    replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.2    one month ago

I don't think one race is better than the other. However I believe there is glaring differences between them. Certain races have certain natural abilities. I think those abilities have developed a culture within those races and I do believe that some cultures are better than others. When you live in a country you should conform to it's culture, not try to make it look like other parts of the world. England is for the English. Churchill is English. If a minority lives in England and doesn't like England's past, they should leave instead of expect the English to conform to them. That's my opinion.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
4.2.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  @4.2.1    one month ago
I don't think one race is better than the other. However I believe there is glaring differences between them.

Please list them and cite a reference

Certain races have certain natural abilities.

I'm gonna need you to clarify this and cite a reference

I do believe that some cultures are better than others.

If you're talking parts of the world that treat women worse than their camels and mutilate their daughters I tend to agree with you there. But which cultures specifically do you think are better than others specifically?

When you live in a country you should conform to it's culture, not try to make it look like other parts of the world.

Sooooo.....when the Irish came to America and saw signs that said "Irish need not apply", do you think that applied to their culture? Especially as how the WASPs might have seen them? Do you think it was fair for WASPs to discriminate against Irish Catholics and Eastern European Jews because they worshiped differently, spoke differently, or maybe dressed differently? Cause, I gotta say I'm glad the Irish Catholics and European Jews didn't bow to WASP pressure.

WASP = White Anglo-Saxon Protestant

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
4.2.3  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.2    one month ago
He has brought this nation to a base level that I have never seen before

See 4.2.2 Maybe you haven't seen it personally, but it has always been there. And trust me, if you think that Hispanics are only "demonized" due to Trump, you are sadly mistaken. Look and previous administrations from Mr. Obama to Mr. Clinton espousing closed borders.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.2.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  @4.2.1    one month ago

who is North America for? 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
4.2.5  Vic Eldred  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.2    one month ago

“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear greatly that the storm will not pass. It will rage & it will roar ever more loudly..." - Churchill

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
4.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  @4    one month ago

No... closer to the truth is that white racists need Trump to protect their asses, otherwise they would be back hiding under the rocks that they slithered out from under.  The rest of America and the world will be much better once Agent Orange is gone.  Too bad white racists and Trump can't grasp and follow the entire US Constitution as they should.

FYI.... this emotional crybaby logged over 3000 flight hours defending white racist bastards and real Americans with indifference.  

 
 
 
Kavika
5  Kavika     one month ago

It's quite easy to be a keyboard warrior. Since my ancestors have been in America since the beginning of time. I would suggest that if anyone leaves it would be you going back to where ever you and your ancestors came from.

And this liberal crybaby served as 24 months in combat in Vietnam.

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1  Tacos!  replied to  Kavika @5    one month ago
Since my ancestors have been in America since the beginning of time.

Not really. At best, they migrated here about 15,000 years ago. Maybe they should go back to Asia - or even better: Africa - and leave the Americas for the animals.

 
 
 
Kavika
5.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Tacos! @5.1    one month ago

Ok, they are been here for over 16,000 years that we have confirmed. So if we leave that means you'll leave as well...Good for you.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
5.1.2  Trout Giggles  replied to  Tacos! @5.1    one month ago

At least Kavika's ancestors didn't push anybody out of the way when they got here.

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.3  Tacos!  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1.2    one month ago
At least Kavika's ancestors didn't push anybody out of the way when they got here.

Not people, no. They just hunted several species of large fauna into extinction. What about the people who migrated a thousand years later? Or a thousand years after that? (the land bridge wasn't just there for a weekend, ya know)

Didn't they push people out of the way? For that matter, how many people did any of them push out the way as they marched across Asia?

When are we going to be done with the noble savage bullshit? Do you imagine that all the "native" American people lived in harmony with each other all the time?

People have been pushing into other people for as long as there have been people. No one has a special right to the land. You control what land you can through strength. That has always been the way of things.

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  Kavika @5.1.1    one month ago
So if we leave that means you'll leave as well

I'm not looking to make anyone leave. I just don't buy into this bullshit that any particular group of people has some moral right to America (or any place else) the supersedes the rights of anyone else.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.3    one month ago
You control what land you can through strength.

So then it was ok for Hitler to conquer Poland and all the other countries he absorbed during 1938- 43.  ? 

He was strong, he took, whats the problem? 

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.6  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.5    one month ago
He was strong, he took, whats the problem? 

He wasn't strong enough to hold it. That was his problem.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
5.1.7  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.6    one month ago
He wasn't strong enough to hold it. That was his problem.

I think you should quit digging. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.8  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.7    one month ago
I think you should quit digging.

I looked in my bag of Shit I Care About and any feelings for what you think just weren't in there.

You wanna whine and cry and deny the truth of human civilization? You want to deny Reality? Hey be my guest, but you crying about it isn't going to change anything.

Every square inch of land on the planet is controlled through strength. You don't have to like it. Heck, I never said I liked it. But it's the truth. Speaking the truth doesn't mean you endorse it. Don't you know that yet?

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.9  Tessylo  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.8    one month ago

Seems the only folks denying reality would be tRump and his supporters.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
5.1.10  Tacos!  replied to  Tessylo @5.1.9    one month ago

I believe I could post a recipe for muffins and you would find a way to make it about Trump and his supporters.

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1.11  Tessylo  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.10    one month ago

You are incorrect, AGAIN.  

 
 
 
user image
5.2    replied to  Kavika @5    one month ago
I would suggest that if anyone leaves it would be you going back to where ever you and your ancestors came from.

As long as we get to take all of the technology and advancements we made here with us. I don't have a problem going back to Germany and leaving the native Americans to roam their plains and throw sticks at buffaloes again.

 
 
 
Texan1211
5.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  @5.2    one month ago

And who gives a shit who got here first? What possible difference can it make now?

Some act like they were here when it was some long-ago ancestor who was here. 

All I know is this is America. 

We are AMERICANS.

That used to count for something, but now some want to wallow in self-pity and claim that their lot in life is someone else's fault.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.2.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  @5.2    one month ago

I suggest you adjust your line of thinking, or it be best not let the NA's get ahold of you prior to you heading back to "The Fatherland".... they have some tortures that make water boarding feel like a Sunday stroll.

Might I suggest reading and learning as an alternative if you aren't going to pull up stakes for Germany... Try reading the books 1491 and 1493 by Charles Mann before you're overcome with the strong desire to burn them.  You just might find out how sophisticated the different societies in the Americas were to their European counterparts than what your basement collection of comic books depict. 

 
 
 
MUVA
5.3  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @5    one month ago

If you lose the war you lose the country (land) it is the way the world has worked forever being a Native American doesn’t make you a better human than anyone else.

 
 
 
Kathleen
6  Kathleen    one month ago

There is something that Churchill might of said that I loved.

He told Hitler to go F himself. 

 
 
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