Racism: risk of preventive appeasement of protest as local authorities review symbols of slave trade

London,  10 June 2020 – Besides the many British who identify themselves with a culture of racism and see the removal of public statues and monuments glorifying slave traders as a deprivation ‘erasing’ their history, rationality and democracy are currently prevailing: 

The following day the historic toppling of 17th century slave trader Edward Coulson in Bristol, local Councils in London have anticipated a wave of justifiable rage against the institutionalised racism: monument to slave trader Robert Milligan has been removed from West India Quay and many others will be ‘legally toppled’ at the hands of local govs.​

It’s clear there’s  huge concern across local (and national) governments over escalation of protest as anti-racism movements might go on toppling statues and horrifying symbols of colonialism still, unjustifiably, allowed across Britain and de facto giving historical  and  cultural ground to racism primarily against black ​people. 

But this acknowledgement of people’s need for radical change looks more a preventive measure to calm down protest and avert its mutation into 2011 style riots than a genuine will to deliver justice and a cultural step forward across the UK, apart from London where Mayor Sadiq Khan is himself a guarantee of true commitment to eradicating racism and related discrimination.

“We must use this moment as a catalyst for change to tackle racism, discrimination and inequality – he tweeted – That’s why I’ve tasked City Hall to work on a new, urgent action plan to be developed with community groups and look at how we improve trust and confidence”.