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What is the intellectual framing of the UK statues debate?
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The fight against injustice should focus on changing the present

Focusing on redressing these past issues is ineffective. The danger posed by this current movement is in its short-sightedness. People should focus on the grave social injustices that exist today.

The Argument

Fighting against injustice by attempting to change history is ineffective and distracts from the real issues at hand. Taking down statues in an illegal manner will not help combat racial and social injustices. The realities that non-white communities face are not the result of these monuments. It is almost offensive to focus a battle for equality on this "issue" rather than seek change through policy, political representations, and other channels that exist for this purpose. The law must be upheld so that we do not fall into chaos and anarchy.[1] Instead of focusing on inanimate statues, we should fight against injustice through democratic channels. Vote, petition, and call on your MPs to get the change you desire. Vandalizing statues and property stains the movement for justice and takes away from its power.[2] The fight against injustice should focus on policy that can go into effect now and positively change the present.

Counter arguments

Taking down monuments and statues of racist figures does change the present. We can fight for justice through democratic means and by redressing protracted injustices simultaneously. This fight is not binary, and taking down controversial public items helps show people the truths about their history. For example, the removal of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol exposed much of his past that people tried to sweep under the rug. At the same time, momentum for addressing these historical injustices increased across the world.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 00:39 UTC

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