Frankly, I was a pissed off when a rather stupid Rhodes scholar wanted to tear down a statue of Cecil Rhodes – the man who’d just funded his university education – because he was a racist. For an intelligent ( sorry, well educated not intelligent ) Oxbridge student to come out with such rampant bollocks left me speechless. Speechless is not an easy thing to achieve in my case!
And after the bullshit in the States where the non-whites want to tear down statues of confederate war heroes, we’ve now got the same bollocks over in this country. It’s been suggested that Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson was a white supremacist and therefore Nelson’s Column – a landmark of the Capital city and massive tourist attraction – should be torn down.
So what idiot is proposing this nonsense? Afua Hirsch is a 36-year-old half-British, half- Ghanaian journalist brought up in London who, until this week, scarcely anybody had heard of. Her attention focuses on Nelson’s friendships with West Indian slave traders, and his description of the ideals of abolitionist William Wilberforce as ‘a damnable and cruel doctrine’.
Notably, Nelson treated all his sailors equally – black and white – chastising those who screwed up and commending those who performed their duties well. He was a man of his time. He would undoubtedly have opposed women getting the vote, but this would not make him a misogynist. He hated the French because we were at war with Napoleon not because he was a xenophobe.
Cecil Rhodes was by all accounts an unpleasant man, but he served his country diligently and did his bit for the empire. And let’s not conveniently forget that Britain was the first country to abolish slavery.
These men and their attitudes were of their time. We don’t expect the Japanese or Germans to apologise for their actions in WWII despicable as many of them were. The modern generation were not the ones responsible, and yet idiots like Hirsch think we should be atoning and apologising for the actions of our ancestors.
These people are the real racists. And let’s not forget that racism is only white on black and never the other way around. Personally, I’m proud to be English and refuse to apologise to anyone for what my grandparents did. I object strongly to calls for Rhodes statue to be torn down, Nelson’s column to be demolished and – let’s not forget this one – Waterloo Station to be renamed because it’s offensive to the French.
These things are part of our heritage and are what make Britain British. In New Zealand there are calls for the statue of Captain Cook to be torn down because it offends the indigenous people of that country. And yet in the UK it’s open season on the indigenous peoples whose culture is being eroded on a daily basis.
To those people who espouse such things, I have a simple message : Fuck off and live somewhere else..!