Demolishing statues of once revered British Empire builders and slave traders will probably give the perpetrators a temporary sense of victory over racism and the establishment but in the grand scheme of things the statue of of British and indeed Western economic dominance remains steadfast and untouched.
I understand the anger and protests of many Black people who have targeted statues of British empire builders and slave traders.
No one would like to walk past a statue everyday and be reminded of one of the worse human Holocaust in human history. Who wants to be reminded of degradation, bondage and servitude? Yet I would like to argue that if we ignore history and eradicate the worse crimes human beings have done to one another, the future generations will be ignorant of why the world is in the state that it is in. Conflicts, wars over resources and the economic enslavement of entire nations can only be explained with a genuine education about world history. The good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Looking at the evils that we do reminds us of what we cannot allow in our societies ever again. If we remove the controversial aspects of history, who gains you have to ask yourself?
Have we torn down racism in the employment sector? Not according to the evidence.
According to the Centre For Labour and Social Studies (14/5/18: Kalwant Bhopal) racism in employment is ‘systemic’. (Read Systemic Racism In Employment Must Be Tackled)
The misery continues in employment where studies show that Black and minority ethnic workers are going through hell on a racist level, according to a Trade Union Congress report in September 2018. (Read Racism Ruins Lives: By Dr Stephen D. Ashe, Dr Magda Borkowska & Professor James Nazroo)
In the criminal justice system young black people are nine times more likely to be locked up than young whites. (Read Exposed: ‘racial bias’ in England and Wales criminal justice system:Fri 8 Sep 2017: By Owen Bowcott and Vikram Dodd)
The quote above is from one of my favourite authors and books, George Orwell, 1984, a tale looking into an imagined dystopian future run by a faceless organisation called Big Brother.
I like that quote because it reminds us that the past is important to remember as it is a part of our moral evolution. Who benefits from sanitising history?
Whilst some of us are demolishing statues, British corporations continue to plunder African resources in the same way that they plundered African resources during the slave trade, but there is no ‘I can’t breathe’ chants from UK Black protesters or indeed the wider global Black Lives Matter movement. Why is this I ask? (Read The scale of the UK’s involvement in Africa’s resources is staggering. So too is its disregard for the rights of those affected: September 13, 2016: Tom Lembert)
If corporations become the voice of of the anti-racism movement then arguably, the future of race relations will be superficial just like the fashionable items that we purchase on the high street. It will be soulless.
Western corporations continue the legacy of the European empires that have plundered Africa and Asia. When are we going to demolish the roots of the Western economic empire?
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