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British Courage

That is a portrait of courage in the face of the mob. You would expect a Hitchens to be doing just that, wouldn’t you?

Things are getting truly crazy with left-wing iconoclasts in the UK. I understand taking down the statue of a slave merchant, though it ought to have been done by democratic deliberation, not by mob action. Had they debated it, they would have discovered that the city erected Edward Colston‘s statue to honor his philanthropy. How many heroes of the past would survive strict scrutiny according to the values of the present? Look how insane it is getting in the UK:

The thing is, Winston Churchill was undeniably a racist — tragically, a product of his era. He also saved Britain from being conquered by a fanatically racist regime that incinerated six million human beings as a burnt offering to its racial gods. History is as complex as the men who made it, you damned fools. Any Britain that turns its back on Winston Churchill is a Britain that no longer deserves its freedom.

If that’s how Black Lives Matter regards Churchill, they are the Enemy, straight up.

Now look what’s happening:

Black Lives Matter supporters have compiled a “hit list” of dozens of statues across the country, as the Mayor of London said controversial monuments should be removed to avoid causing offence.

Statues of historical figures including Sir Francis Drake, Nancy Astor, Christopher Columbus and William Gladstone should be toppled “for celebrating slavery and racism”, campaigners said on Tuesday night.

It came as councils and museums rushed to remove contentious statues after protesters threw a statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader, into a river in Bristol on Sunday.

More than 100 Labour councils announced wide-ranging reviews of controversial landmarks, while London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he hoped a new Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm would recommend the removal of memorials that “don’t accurately reflect our values”.

This could include the names of “certain institutions” thought to include the Tate galleries and Guy’s Hospital, whose founders profited from slave labour.

Murals, street art, statues and other memorials will also come under scrutiny, the Mayor added, while street names linked to the slave trade, thought to include Black Boy Lane in the West Green area of north London, will be removed and replaced.

Mr Khan suggested London had “an uncomfortable truth” with historical links to slavery, telling the BBC: “Our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and, while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored. This cannot continue.”

London Assembly Conservatives hit out at the Mayor’s plans, accusing him of “declaring war” on the capital’s monuments. “Instead of virtue signalling and starting a divisive debate, Sadiq Khan should focus on his job,” said Assembly Member Susan Hall.

You know who is on the Black Lives Matter London monuments hitlist? Statues or monuments to Sir William Drake, Admiral Nelson (!), Charles II, and William Gladstone, among others. More:

Perhaps the most unexpected inclusion on the list is a monument in Newcastle to Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, the former Prime Minister whose Government oversaw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833.

His monument should be removed because “reparations were paid to white ex-slave owners instead of black ex-slaves”, the activists say.

A college in Liverpool is changing the name of a residence hall named after William Gladstone, the great 19th century Liberal prime minister, because his father — his father! — owned slaves.

This is nothing more than an attempt to defile, negate, and erase Britain’s history, in the name of antiracism. Where are the men and women who will stand up to this hysterical iconoclasm? You’re looking at one in Oxford. Who else is with him?

If you, my fellow Americans, think they aren’t going to come for Washington, Jefferson, and the Founders now, you are dreaming. Those London Black Lives Matter berserkers even defaced a statue of Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves:

UPDATE: Readers, Disqus is being even stranger than usual this afternoon. There are over 400 comments waiting for approval, but the system won’t let me see them. Sorry about that — it’s not TAC’s fault. Thank you for your patience.

UPDATE.2: Reader Sunny:

 I find Rod Dreher’s defence of Winston Churchill repugnant.

Winston Churchill was the cause of the great Bengal Famine in which over 3 million people died of starvation, and compares well with Hitler’s genocide of Jews..

I come from that part of India Bengal, and have heard horror stories of that event from my Dad who was eye witness to that..

Shame on you Rod, look whom you are defending!

I will certainly not defend Churchill’s policy that led to the West Bengal famine. But I don’t expect to find monuments to Churchill in Calcutta, any more than I expect to find a statue of Harry S Truman in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, or Admiral Nelson’s likeness in the Pantheon in Paris.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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