The mania currently sweeping much of the Western world apparently knows no limits. In the U.K., Black Lives Matter activists are trying to tear down statues of famous Britons, including Robert Peel. Why Robert Peel? Because he is “seen as the father of modern policing,” having founded London’s metropolitan police department. Which, of course, was famously unarmed.
But that isn’t the worst of it:
Nelson’s Column is the latest target of anti-racism campaigners who want it torn down over links to the slave trade.
The Royal Navy hero is included in a hit-list of 60 statues on a “topple the racists” website listing memorials across the UK that activists say “celebrate slavery and racism”.
Nelson’s column was erected in 1840 in honour of Horatio Nelson, one of the most famous naval officers in history.
Towering 170ft high, it’s topped with a statue of Lord Nelson, in memorial to the British Navy’s inspirational leader.
Nelson is one of the great heroes of British history; along with Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, he led the years-long effort to defeat Napoleon. His column dominates London’s Trafalgar Square.
Trafalgar Square, of course, is named after the great naval battle in which England’s fleet, under Nelson, destroyed the French fleet in 1805.
It’s news to me, but apparently Nelson favored the slave trade and was hostile toward the abolitionist movement. These days, that is more than enough to get a historical figure canceled. The point that the activists don’t seem to grasp is that Nelson (to stay with this instance) has never been honored for his views on the slave trade. His monument does not “celebrate slavery and racism.” Rather, Nelson is remembered as perhaps the greatest naval commander in history, who contributed greatly to saving Britain from a likely French invasion and died doing it. It is ridiculous to denigrate that achievement because he happened to agree with the majority sentiment of his time on an unrelated issue.
In any event, my guess is that Nelson’s Column is secure, as is his place in British history. The crazies aren’t going to succeed in tearing down either.