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What is the intellectual framing of the UK statues debate?
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The crisis forces us to confront the scourge of racism

These statues send a clear message to people about their relative importance. They uphold institutional racism. Their impact on race relations is felt in the lived experience of our minority communities and seen in their lopsided poverty, police profiling, imprisonment, and abuse.


The rise in civil unrest after police in the United States killed George Floyd led to worldwide protests against racial injustice.

The Argument

Removing statues of controversial or even racist figures rectifies historical injustices. Statues are symbols that people celebrate.[1] Specific controversial figures – like Edward Colston, a slave trader from Bristol – should not be publicly venerated.[2] Instead, people in favor of this argument believe that these statues should be taken down to remedy historical mistakes.[3]

Counter arguments

Many UK residents were appalled by the removal and vandalism of statues, including one of Winston Churchill in London. They argue that the removal of statues should be voted on democratically. Others believe that it is unfair to judge past figures by today’s morals and standards. One Churchill supporter offered the opinion that winning World War II deserves a statue regardless of the former Prime Minister’s personal beliefs. [1]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 17:21 UTC

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