“Rodes must fall? Why exactly should he?” by Valentine Martine
Why the outcry, yes the man had a world view that does not hold sway with what we believe today, or at least most don’t. But what in reality would be the result of removing his statue from History would we not be sanitizing it even more, presently all our history is riddled with gaps, pieces missing that the victors tough did not matter or thought better to have not known. How do we rectify that? By creating bigger gaps by cleaning and whitewashing history to a point where it is just a clean slate? I thing that is a big mistake, we need to add the missing pieces complement the grand displays with commentary to, written or additional visuals to put them in perspective without cleaning or white-washing history. Why not add a simple plaque with explanatory words or ask artist to submit additions to the works on display that add the negative the unreported or the evil parts of the glorified villains?
The victorious write history
As it stands today we all know that history as we learned it is not as it was and quite likely very different from what is thought to people in other distant places we do not need a simplified white washed history that eliminated the eyesores and agitations from public view lest someone is offended, we need a more offending historic display of our human history so we can all feel offended and remember not to fall in the same trap of over glorifying over amplifying the works of individuals and at the same time not forget that these individual in all their evil also contributed to where we are also added to the greater experience of what we as people are their legacy might be overwhelming evil but it most certainly had some very positive impact on individuals from all over the planet and that contribution is very possibly the cause for some major shifts in human development that are quite likely to have positive results.
Not all offence has to be retained
Granted there are clear instances when statues are around offensive, a dictator who has his statues places rampantly and overwhelmingly placed in various public places for the sake of self-glorification are obviously to be dealt with in a very different vain than those placed in public places official buildings by persons and officials after the death of that same glorified villain. ( I use villain intentionally since all persons are villas in the eyes of someone or other) Also persons who have their likeness placed in memory of a major contribution be it financial of otherwise should also be judged in a very different light than villains who selfishly had their likeness forced upon locations regardless of contribution(regardless of how the finances were amassed).
Closing our eyes won’t make us see
Let us not fall into the trap of what u can’t see can’t hurt you , let us rather add the unseen to what we see so that we are not blinded by the brightness of what is displayed but sober up to what we as humans really are, flawed and imperfect with a desire to be better . There is the real danger that the removed statue will eventually come back to haunt us all by having more myth and martyrdom created around it by those that venerate the exact evil we try to remove by having them expunged from history. Let us add value to that which is incomplete, let us work on creating real inclusive history which acknowledges all contributions and does not hide any even the negative; all needs to be placed into perspective let us not whitewash or blackwash but rather add all the shades and colours that make up our shared so we can finally see the multi shaded real history instead of the black and white fantasy we are made to believe. Let us take the good and avoid the bad, by acknowledging the bad and displaying it with the good, only by doing that can we as humans get towards a greater acceptance and understanding of each other.