I am totally against  the removal of statues of people like Gladstone and Cecil Rhodes, and the renaming of streets for the following reasons. You have to credit Mississippi Today. The current debate about removing statues and renaming streets In the last couple of days, a host of statues and memorials have come under attack. “It would be a mistake for Congress to remove statues placed in the U.S. Capitol by Mississippi or any state,” Wicker said in June. The current debate about removing statues and renaming streets. “There are clear rules and procedures set for the designation, receipt, and placement of statues in the United States Capitol,” Hyde-Smith said last month. If we are to debate whether or not Serra and Columbus still deserve a place in the American pantheon, let us debate the issue, not destroy the statues. Since retirement from teaching history to 11-18 year olds in 2008 I have spent a lot of my time writing articles and giving talks on the subject of the British Empire in order to raise people’s understanding of the impact the Empire had on the world in which we live. Let us instead of renaming streets and knocking down statues focus on what we can do to improve our understanding of empires and slavery, and work to improve social justice and the promotion of equal opportunities in our society. “Mississippi is unfortunately represented by Jefferson Davis and J.Z. Activists are campaigning for a statue of Cecil Rhodes to be removed from an Oxford college. For too long we have found the British Empire unpalatable and the tendency has been not to discuss it as it offends our sensibilities. In Britain, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign hit the headlines when it demanded the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford’s Oriel College, of which he was a leading benefactor, because of his colonialism. William Gladstone, whose statues have come under attack. I have been a resident of Brighton & Hove since 1973, living in North Laine for the past 33 years during which time I was Chair of the North Laine Community Association. The City of London on Thursday approved the removal from its ceremonial Guildhall home of statues of two figures that symbolise the financial sector's historic role in slavery. Mississippians are tired of Sen. Hyde-Smith’s continued preoccupation with keeping our state in the past, and they are ready to turn the page and move forward.”. Martin Luther King Jr. square with the current rush to remove offending Civil War statues? There has also been a long campaign to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a 19th Century businessman and politician in southern Africa, from Oxford University. Gladsone started life as a Tory opposing he reforms of the 1830s including the abolition of slavery and the Factory Acts but he went on to become the personificationof liberalism in Victorian society. In several cities, these tributes have been vandalized or torn down by protestors or removed by public officials. In 1864, Congress authorized each state to donate and display two statues at the Capitol of citizens “illustrious for their historic renown or for distinguished civic or military services.”. That debate led to Mississippi removing its 126-year-old state flag, which featured the Confederate battle emblem in its design. Do those who are condemning Gladstone have a full understanding of the nuances of his life? Colston was a 17th-century slave trader. When asked about the recent efforts to remove statues from the U.S. Capitol, Hyde-Smith said that the fate of the statues should be decided by individual states and not the federal government. He opposed imperialism and the annexations of Disraeli, thought politics should be based on morality and not materialism, and supported Home Rule for Ireland and independence for Italy. Will we be considering removal of his Blue Plaque? The removal in recent years of several monuments depicting Confederate leaders and other controversial historical figures by both politicians and unsanctioned activists have generated debate over whether their removal is justified. Debating the Confederate monuments ... How would the goals and philosophy of the Rev. There is little meaningful debate on the very real questions that ought to be asked and taught. Those who advocate the removal of memorials often have little background in understanding history and have latched on to a snippet of information about someone, usually to do with slavery. The issue of removing Confederate emblems and monuments has been hotly debated after the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of police sparked national protests about racial inequality in government. Just one of Mississippi’s four congressmen — Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson — voted to pass the House spending proposal, which included the removal of the statues, last month. George… Those men do not represent all Mississippians and do not project a positive image for our state. Hyde-Smith is the chairwoman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that considers and passes the spending bills to fund the legislative branch, meaning her subcommittee will have to consider the House measure. As a member of the Mississippi state Senate, Hyde-Smith sponsored legislation to have a highway in Mississippi named after Davis. This year, there was a proposal to replace the statue of George with that of civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer — a Mississippi native who led efforts to fight for voting rights for African Americans in the 1960s. The call for statues to be removed isn’t unprecedented. Davis was a slaveowner and president of the Confederacy, and George was a lead architect of the 1890 state Constitution that stripped voting rights from nearly 150,000 Black Mississippians. If you’re not able to add the byline, please include a line at the top of the story that reads: “This story was originally published by Mississippi Today” and include our website, You cannot republish our editorial cartoons, photographs, illustrations or graphics without specific permission (contact our managing editor. Following the protests and death of George Floyd, the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, has promised to remove the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue. Therefore, argue against removing statues to Washington, insist there’s no way to do one without the other, and declare Confederate monuments defended. To republish online, simply click the button, copy the html code and paste into your Content Management System (CMS). Founded in 2016 as the state’s first nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom, Mississippi Today’s roots in Capitol coverage have grown to encompass a myriad of beats beyond politics and policy, including education, public health, justice, environment, equity, and, yes, sports. If you share our stories on social media, please tag us in your posts using. Kellie Meyer, “Debate over Removing Confederate Statues on Capitol Hill,” Gray TV (August 17, 2017) James Grossman, “A Historian Explains Why Trump’s Defense of Confederate Statues Doesn’t Make Any Sense,” ATTN: Video (August 17, 2017) James Grossman, “Listen at 0:00:50,” BBC World Service Radio Newsday (August 17, 2017) The protests at the Confederate capital was focused on the removal of statues on Monument Avenue. Of those who support the idea in the latest poll, 84% are Black, 58% are Hispanic and 44% are white. I have written the following letter to her and to my local MP, Caroline Lucas. Hyde-Smith respects the work of her House counterparts, but will continue to work with her Senate colleagues on a Senate legislative branch bill,” said Hyde-Smith spokesman Chris Gallegos. The movement against him is part of a wider drive to … U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, facing a November election challenge from Democrat Mike Espy, could find herself in the middle of a national debate over whether Congress should mandate the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol. Support for removing Confederate statues is heavily split by party, based on the poll. Listen Panel begins debate on removing statues from MN Capitol Two ropes are tied around the neck of a Christopher Columbus statue before a group of … “It would be a mistake for Congress to remove statues placed in the U.S. Capitol by Mississippi or any state,” Wicker said in June. “In my view, such an overreach would be counterproductive to the healthy conversations on race happening across the country. And what about our very own Queen who paid homage to Rhodes in what was described as a pilgrimage in 1947? The debate for removing statues and renaming buildings has reignited in the wake of protests surrounding racial injustices and police brutality. Hyde-Smith is refusing to use her power to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, including two from our state of Mississippi,” Espy said in a statement. Are you aware that much of the money used to pay for the building of the London - Brighton railway came from the compensation paid out to slave plantation owners? The current debate about removing statues. Improving our understanding of the past and bringing about a more equal society is the issue not renaming streets. The removal in recent years of several monuments depicting Confederate leaders and other controversial historical figures by both politicians and unsanctioned activists have generated debate over whether their removal is justified. Are you going to take down every monument and memorial  associated with imperialism including all the war memorials, including those from WW1 and WW2 which according to many historians were fought to defend the empire? Are you going to take down everything from the past 400 years and take down the statue of every monarch who presided over the British Empire? This debate occurred on DylanBurnsTV. During her 2018 special election against Espy — where both were vying to replace long-time Sen. Thad Cochran who resigned for health reasons — Hyde-Smith created controversy by saying she would sit on the front row of a hanging if invited by a particular supporter whom she was praising. Last month, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending measure for the legislative branch that would remove 14 statues of Confederates and others “with unambiguous records of racial intolerance” from the Capitol building. He argues that all have complicated histories, all did bad as well as good, and therefore there is no logical reason to remove statues of some but not others. Denton County’s monument, in the courthouse square since 1918, was completely removed Thursday. I can't speak for all 1500 Confederate statues and monuments scattered across the South, But where I live in North Carolina the statues were erected in 1924 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, A group that also has ties to the construction of monuments in honor of the KKK. The Mississippi statues were placed in 1931 after they were approved by the state Legislature in 1924. Gladstone was an anti-imperialist and opposed Disraeli’s annexations although he was persuaded to launch the expedition to rescue Gordon. He lost support as the jingoists of the late c19th turned against him. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. She said at the time she was only joking. Check out the online debate Statue removal. They include statues of Victoria, Rhodes and Gladstone. Some of Brighton’s most important families invested in the slave plantations (there were 28 households that were beneficiaries from the compensation pay-out in the 1830s). The protests turned violent, and a counterdemonstrator was killed. Before we rush to appear to be doing the right thing, do we have a full enough understanding of the nature of empire and slavery, and the context in which they existed? “In my view, such an overreach would be counterproductive to the healthy conversations on race happening across the country. Statues are part of our historic streetscape and reflect the develoment of our villages and towns and the people who lived there. Until yesterday, when you visited Monument Avenue, you would find a statue of the … Yet again we are discussing statues and colonialism as if it only concerned a few Victorians, and yet again the level of debate is derisory. … Hannington, who was killed in east Africa, believed in the ‘Mission to Civilise’. Firstly, Thank you for accepting the debate. In several recent years, lawmakers in the Mississippi Legislature have proposed bills to replace the state’s statues at the U.S. Capitol. I have attached two of my essays from my website www.britishempire.me.uk, one on the importance of studying history and the second on the removal of the statue of Rhodes on Oriel College. Are we also aware of the efforts Britain went to after 1807 to eradicate slavery around the world? As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on donations from readers to power our work. In several cities, these tributes have been vandalized or torn down by protestors or removed by public officials. That means learning about the British Empire and other empires -including the Roman Empire and African empires- and the role of slavery in societies past and present, including Indian  indentured labour and what the British did to eradicate slavery throughout the world after 1807. The media confine their coverage to discussing statues and street names, and how evil the Empire was. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column. https://www.c-span.org/video/?473704-1/debating-removing-monuments Any web site our stories appear on must include a contact for your organization. LONDON – The City of London on Thursday approved the removal from its ceremonial Guildhall home of statues of two figures that symbolize the financial sector’s historic role in slavery. In the 2018 Senate special election, photos surfaced of Hyde-Smith in Confederate memorabilia at Davis’ home Beauvoir, which is now a private museum operated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Kellie Meyer, “Debate over Removing Confederate Statues on Capitol Hill,” Gray TV (August 17, 2017) James Grossman, “A Historian Explains Why Trump’s Defense of Confederate Statues Doesn’t Make Any Sense,” ATTN: Video (August 17, 2017) James Grossman, “Listen at 0:00:50,” BBC World Service Radio Newsday (August 17, 2017) “Sen. There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. I say this because there was hardly an area of Britain that did not benefit from the pay-out of compensation in the 1830s. Just prior to that dramatic conclusion, though, Kelly and Braunwyn debate removing statues of historic figures with questionable human rights records. The police killing of George Floyd sparked widespread protests and reignited efforts across the U.S. to remove Confederate and other statues viewed as symbols of slavery and racism. If you are concerned about what is happening in your locality I urge you to write to the relevant authorities. 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