15 racist statues in Canada that people want removed
At least 15 statues in Canada have recently come under fire for celebrating racist historical figures, prompting some people to lobby to have the statues destroyed or removed to museums.
Statues of John A. Macdonald, Samuel de Champlain, Egerton Ryerson and James McGill are particularly controversial due to the politicians' links to slavery, colonialism and anti-Black/anti-Indigenous racism.
And this isn't the first time that the issue has arisen.
In 2018, a John A. Macdonald statue outside of Victoria City Hall was removed, with the city council describing the first Prime Minister as the "architect" of the Residential School system.
Many people watching this morning cheered as the statue was driven away. But others opposed to the removal sang the national anthem. #victoria pic.twitter.com/I2sp1Ntf9G— Megan Thomas (@meganTcbc) August 11, 2018
As of Friday, over 13,000 Canadians have signed a petition to remove yet another statue of Macdonald in Montréal.
Some Canadians have also expressed their frustration over the statue of eighteenth-century British explorer George Vancouver, located outside of City Hall in Vancouver, which was vandalized on Wednesday night.
A statue of George Vancouver is cleaned after being vandalized with paint outside of City Hall in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday, June 11. (Ben Nelms/@cbcnewsbc) pic.twitter.com/KZhDRF0Zbv— Ben Nelms (@Ben_Nelms) June 11, 2020
Thousands of Canadians are also demanding the removal of the Egerton Ryerson statue due to Ryerson's role in implementing the Residential School system.
Thousands call for removal of Egerton Ryerson statue from Toronto university campus https://t.co/boSQCFweK4 #Toronto #Ryerson pic.twitter.com/ri8wF2uFs2— blogTO (@blogTO) June 10, 2020
The controversial statues have become the source of debate in recent years, with some Canadians calling for the statues to remain as a warning to future generations.
To eradicate such symbols of history, some people suggest, is to risk losing the opportunity to learn from them.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said that he believes in examining history to educate ourselves, adding that if "we're blind to the past, we're blind to the future."
I'm very confused about toppling statues...— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) June 12, 2020
The Greeks, whose civilisation has long been admired in the West, believed that in the Ancient World, a cultured society was only possible if it was based on slavery
So should we be getting rid of statues of Socrates and Aristotle ?
Some Canadians, however, feel that the statues are a painful reminder of an imperialist past that is hurtful to historically marginalized groups in Canada.
Mayor Lisa Helps said that the City of Victoria felt they could only "really commit to reconciliation" by removing the statue of John A. Macdonald in 2018.
"We've been gathering for a year, having meals together, hearing some really painful stories," Helps said at the time, adding that removing the statue was a "very difficult decision."
Yo Canada, if we're gonna start throwing statues of problematic canadians in the lake can we also rename the universities that were named after racists, slave owners or general colonial dickwads? James McGill, John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, & Egerton Ryerson, for starters.— AJ ✌🏻 (@accordingtoajx) June 11, 2020
A full list of statues in Canada that have come under fire for ties to discrimination and racism is as follows:
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