In an earlier article entitled ” If Rhodes Must Fall, Why Should Nelson Stand” we took a look at the reason students at Rhodes University in Cape Town South Africa effectively protested against the presence of a statue of Rhodes and had it taken down. The article also spoke of how this movement to take down the Rhodes statue has spread to Oxford where 200 or so students protested to have the Rhodes’ alma mata Oriel College take down a huge statue which is displayed in his honor.
If we take a look at the deeper rational for the removal of these statues we could easily apply them to the removal of Nelson here in Barbados.
Nelson has remained through the efforts of many a man and woman to have him taken down and to have his story set straight for the records in our history books. The two achievements in this matter if we can call them that were the changing of direction in which he previously faced and the renaming of the area in which he stands.
Why is it so difficult to have this monument taken down. His achievements are based on his contribution to the guarding of the stolen lives of Africans and the capturing of lands not theirs, that were deemed property of the British Crown. He stood against the abolition movement and in this a time of global recognition of crimes committed against people of African descent we must know that people like Cecil Rhodes and Lord Horatio Nelson cannot be emulated in the form of statues if we hope to honor the movement of decolonization.
Why am I bringing up this matter again? I was sent a video clip on the taking down of 4 statues of Confederate Generals in New Orleans and investigated the matter. It is quite clear the argument that what transpired is part of history has no bearing on the removal of such statues. Again the rational for removal can and must be applied to Nelson here in Barbados. Before we progress with this article I invite you to view these video clips
As we proceed with this article I would like to draw from the philosophies of one of the more famous Chinese Generals, Sun Tzu. In his publication ” The Art Of War”‘ Sun Tzu meditates on the rules of war. He states ” “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
It is at this point I suggest that Nelson has not fallen because we don’t know the enemy and we are not aware of the true reason for the fight to topple this Lord of Colonialism.
Let us examine the reasons or if you will the history of erecting statues among the Europeans. We will start in this article with the French as it was the fight against them by the British that gave Nelson his recognition in the Napoleon Wars.
Maurice Agulhon a French historian states that statues were first erected by the French to put a stronger imprint, to perpetuate their values in the spaces they dominated. In big and small cities statues were erected of national figures local and otherwise who aided in maintaining their value system. The 19th century was the era that Agulhon called statumania.
Erecting statues was a pedagogic device used by the dominant political ideologies to win over the inhabitants, helping to create an imaginary community of Frenchmen. Statues were very useful as they helped to convey the message of dominance to highly illiterate communities.
Please note that the article does not state the French were the first to erect statues in the world.
The British likewise have given us Nelson under that same philosophy of dominance. Should he then not be removed under the same premise the rest of the world is moving their’s?
“In old war times, soldiers used to believe that the construction of statues had a mysterious aura or power which would favour them in war.”
Now that we know a little more about the enemy, let us now know more of ourselves and have Nelson taken down.
How can you assist with the removal of Nelson? First of all you can leave a comment here under this article simply saying “Nelson Must Fall”. You can further assist by sharing this article with at least one person asking them to read it and share it with someone else and so on.
Before any movement of mass public concern is effected, an educational campaign on the matter must be set in motion. Effective judgments cannot be made by uninformed people. To assist in building your awareness on the issue please click this link and read the comments it wrought on facebook . http://www.afrikanheritage.com/if-rhodes-must-fall-why-should-neslon-stand/
I must warn you the article and the discussion are lengthy.
We will continue publishing articles that will help us understand “Nelson Must Fall” better.
Until then, I thank you for your time and do hope you support this move in this the “Decade Of Recognition For African People” with its theme of Justice, Recognition and Development.
l now leave you with a quote from ” The Art Of War”
“Never venture, never win!”