As the trend of tearing down statues gains steam, one leader is taking a stand and making it clear that no statues are coming down no matter what the subject of the statue did during their lifetime.
French President Emmanuel Macron released a video statement that made it clear that racism is deplorable but that France’s history is what it is. As such, no statue will be torn down regardless of the reasoning for it.
“We will be inflexible when it comes to tackling racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, and new strong decisions will be made to reinforce the egality of chances,” Macron said in the video. “But this noble fight is perverted when it turns into communitarianism, into a false rewriting of history.”
“This is unacceptable when it is picked up by separatists. I tell you very clearly tonight my dear fellow citizens, the Republic will not erase any trace or name from its history,” he continued. “It will not forget any of its deeds or take down any statue. What we need to do is to look all together with lucidity on all of our history and all our memory. Our relation to Africa in particular so we can build a present and a possible future from one to the other side of the Mediterranean.”
— TIME (@TIME) June 14, 2020
As of late, tearing down statues has become a direct response to the regaining of societal prominence of Black Lives Matter, which piggybacked itself into the spotlight by riding on the back of George Floyd’s murder.
Since then, hard-left groups across the western world have utilized the Black Lives Matter movement as a way to begin acting out, push for sweeping reforms, and generate groundswell for socialist systems.
The tearing down of statues issue has been one of the actions most reported on. Groups such as Antifa or Black Lives Matter will select a statue to be torn down and give reasons why based on racist actions that were taken or words that were said that, in their day, seemed perfectly reasonable.
Sadly, it doesn’t have to include much racism at all. The statue of Winston Churchill in London is in the crosshairs by many leftist groups simply because Churchill reportedly said some racist things during his lifetime, with some claims going so far that he’s hardly differentiated from a Nazi, the very group that Churchill went to war with and helped defeat. Many of these claims of racism have been taken out of context, but it appears that no context is needed anyway.
One London leader doesn’t even know who Churchill is, yet is still in support of taking his statue down.
Even if you were against slavery and worked to bring equality to the black people in America, your statue will still be vandalized as abolitionist Matthias Baldwin’s statue was.
You can find a good many sins in any given person’s closet, and attitudes and verbiage that seemed completely in-line with the thinking of the time may be completely horrid today, and fair enough. Humanity learns from its mistakes and we evolve socially because of it. There can be no evolution if our past is completely wiped, however. While some statues may be justified in their removal, blindly tearing them down does nothing to help our society at all.
Emmanuel Macron has the right idea, but this shouldn’t be considered a bold stance. It should be more along the lines of common sense.
Hindsight is still sight and it does no good to blind ourselves.