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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
In truth, all the students managed to achieve is a 1-0 against older values. They stuck their middle finger at the history books, but who hasn’t?
This is not an isolated case, however. In fact, it is in line with a trend that started to gain traction around the 2000s. The history is incompatible with the present, as they say. It must be torn down. It’s exactly why there are petitions to rename buildings such as the iconic Wills’ Memorial Building in Bristol. It’s why there are those that ask for Nelson’s column to come tumbling down. It’s the incessant demand that we are to live in a tolerant utopia, not erecting statues of those who maybe, perhaps, at one time disagreed with 2018.
But why oppose it? Why write an article going against it? Surely tolerance is a good thing; it should be celebrated and those that oppose it shut up, right? Well, to me it seems emblematic of something far greater than just merely renaming buildings. It screams to me of this constant trend of always searching for the political, always looking for something to disagree with. Nelson’s column no longer stands as the symbol for naval dexterity and heroism, but an incompatible past. It’s the reclaiming of history. Actually, more harrowingly, it’s the wiping out of history and replacing it with one a little more palatable.
When the Nazis took over and made sure that any book posing as a slight disagreement to their own twisted ideology be burned, we rightly called out with disgust their authoritarian ways. But now, for some reason, the left has adopted a similar kind of scheme. Shut up anything that doesn’t agree with us, get rid of it, put a sock in it, burn it, block it, report it, ‘I’m offended’ it. What are we doing? Must we stifle everything? The left used to champion the right to freedom of expression, of speech, of going against authoritarianism and totalitarianism – the very right to exist. Now it seems caught up in its own net of one-upmanship.
Not only that but it creates a world in which seems tangibly false. The world isn’t as racist as it seems. People do not gather round Nelson’s column with triangular hats and a cross, nor, I presume, do people of colour shriek of fear when looking up at Nelson’s Column. These constant assumptions of victimhood, this infantile calling out of everything, is ridiculous and has to stop.
Yes, protest. Yes, be angry at the world. But please do it at things that are worth protesting, that are worth being angry about. Otherwise, it brings shame to those who worked the hardest for your right to do it.
Image Credits: independent.co.uk