Which Statue Should Be Next?


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duke of sutherland

In a quiet week in the middle of August we have a sudden political squall of click bait and synthetic righteous anger.  Well I suppose it makes a change from worrying about non-existent Russians, or small fat despots.

Yes, indeed let’s have an absolutely HUGE row about an old statue.  Or 718 statues or 109 public schools, or 10 US Military bases.  Yes! Let’s shout about a war that has been dead a hundred and fifty years, and which none of us have taken part in, because we have nothing better to do.

This sort of madness is not just confined to America’s southern states though.  I have seen plenty of it closer to home.  Take for instance the picture above.  It is a statue of George Granville Leveson-Gower born 1758 and the first Duke of Sutherland and stands above the little town of Golspie, enormous and proud and dominating the skyline of eastern Sutherland.  He is utterly reviled.


Why?  Because he undertook a scheme of land management in the early nineteenth century that dispossed thousands of his tenants from their tenancies and led to their pennyless migration to the cities of the south or the plains of Canada and beyond.

My own family were part of these “clearances” as they were called, and why my family continued speaking Gaelic in their new home of Caithness where they settled until the mid-twentieth century.  My father’s great grandmother, who was still alive when he was young, had been part of that clearance.  Like the American Civil War this was until only recently a thing of living memory.

Over the years there have been many calls for this monstrosity (it’s not a very good statue – just very big) to be demolished to assuage the anger and sensitivities of those who were not there and have never been affected by these outrages.  It would just be stupid.  Gesture politics at its worst.  The general consensus has settled to leaving it alone, and using it’s example to help point up the history of the area.

What was happening this week in Virginia is also stupid gesture politics.  It reminds me of that fool Azealia Banks.

Now I may be wrong, but I’ll wager good money that those protesters won’t be interested in finding the descendants of the black overseers on “dem dere ole plantations”. Nor will they be nearly as keen on pursuing the families of the black carpet-baggers and collaborators who did very well at the expense of others of their race. Will these left wing protesters condemn the black business men in the North that wouldn’t give freed Southern black men jobs after the Civil War? Will they seek out the black African tribal leaders that led slave catching expeditions to snare their neighbours in the bush and dragged them in chains to sell them on the shore to the crews from Liverpool and Bristol and Istanbul?  Men to American slave fields, girls to Arab harems.  Would they even admit that the entire slave enterprise they condemn the Confederacy for, was unviable without fully complicit black African involvement?

I doubt it.  But I would love to hear that they intend to.  But somehow I doubt that these trendy. Leftie-liberal la-la’s will do anything other than run away from those truths.

But hey let’s cleanse out our parks and squares of all sign of this history, lets rename the streets and schools and military bases.  Its easy.  It would be wonderful exposure for the right on victim focussed comfortable middle class activists and expensive, time-consuming, wholly useless and utterly stupid for the rest of us.

That would be like Jewish people trying to find the descendants of Rameses II and making them pay reparations for being slave owners before Moses led them to the Promised Land.

You know, what irks me most about the left’s actions this week?  It is not that these ideas are ignoble, but that they are so Stupid. Stupid with a capital S. Stupid with a sense of self serving grandstanding Stupid.

So, what then might they be doing that I would find less daft?

Well the left and the black left, don’t have to go way back to find slavery and atrocities against your ‘own’ people.

Perhaps, just as a suggestion they might should sort out what black people are doing to black people on the mother continent of Africa.   Because, what is happening there is in the horrid dirty here and now, and not the nicely tidied up past you inhabit.  Please go check it out.

If you look for slavery to attack then looking in Africa today might be a good start. Here girl children are stolen from school by black men and raped by black men or sold for profit (and rape) by black men.  Good grief, instead of worrying about injustices a century and a half old will you stand against slave auctions in Africa today?  They take place in today’s Libya which America helped free from Gadhafi!.  If you want to attack slavery – will you condemn the religion that says slavery is acceptable?  At least Christianity has moved away from the biblical teaching that once gave a meagre cover for nineteenth century slavery.

It is a terrible and sad truth that slavery is still rife and happening today.  But not in America.  But it is true that women are bought and sold by black men in Africa today as if the 21st Century does not exist all in the name of some Religion of Peace, or in the more honest name of War and Profit.

Will the left come out and openly condemn this present slavery?  And if you are of the left and reading this – would you personally work for its eradication today?  Will you lead that charge?  Would you devote your name and time to this cause? Or is your condemnation only for the white descendants of slave owners ,dead now for over a century?  Is the vision of the left in America that limited?

These monsters live right here and now. If any need your ire and attack surely, surely it is these slave-masters?

I am sure there are those who in exasperation would tear out their Azealia inspired hair extensions at all this non-sense.  I am not a descendant of white slave owners, but I am a descendant of Gaelic speaking Highlanders cleared from their ancestral homelands to make way for bloody sheep. It was ethnic cleansing certainly, and it still leaves much anger with many descendants, but I would not suggest for a moment that a modern day descendant of some first Duke of Sutherland owes me money for it. It would be a nonsense, legally, morally and practically.

Better that we all, black, white Christian, Islamic, Jewish, whatever, learn from these horrors and instead of raking over our own pasts use the lessons to make certain this evil does not rise again anywhere in the world.

Or is the vision of America’s left no longer that wide?

Copyright David Macadam