Raise a statue to the perseverance

Élever une statue à la persévérance

Neither George Floyd, the victim, or Derek Chauvin, the executioner, or Darnella Frazier, the teenager who filmed the scene, is not to be doubted that this particular moment in the may 25, 2020 would cause a jolt of such magnitude as symbols trees were going to be blown away. Minneapolis to Antwerp.

We will see the time it will last. It is one of the lessons that my years of living and working in the United States have taught me : never overestimate the enthusiasm of the moment for an individual, a cause, a cry of rage.

The politicians the more charismatic Obama, for example – come and go without more influence. The most intense indignation – the slaughter of school children in Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, in particular – will not lead to any tightening of gun control. And the death of an African-American by an act of police brutality – I won’t start to list them – to shock and enrage… until the next blunder.

The impulse of the day is to rip down to that the best of it. Under the impetus of the movement ” Black Lives Matter “, the monuments and statues that pay tribute to the confederate soldiers – those who fought the United States to defend the retention of slavery – are stormed, vandalized, knocked over.


Everyone has heard about the cemeteries, statues of Stalin and Lenin in eastern Europe. No image shows better the end of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein that the somersault of his statue in the square Firdos in Baghdad in April 2003. And if the monuments were not of importance, the felquistes would not have wanted to the Nelson column.

On this side of the border, they are far from being insignificant, the statues paying tribute to the Confederation. At the end of the 19th century, they were built at the same time in what has been nicknamed the “laws Jim Crow” that imposed racial segregation in the southern United States.

A fascinating report by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2016 tells the story of how these monuments were part of a vast campaign of terror against Blacks. It is this “domination” that reject those who déboulonnent today at all costs.


The death of George Floyd also proved the spark – in Europe, in particular, a movement comparable to questioning of a past colonialist and racist. In England, the statue of Edward Colston – wealthy human trafficker of slaves in the 17th century – was found in the river Avon which runs through Bristol. In Belgium, the monuments to king Leopold II – who had made the Congo his personal property and exploited in an appalling manner the local people – are vandalized.

France is no exception, with efforts to spread the tributes to Colbert, famous minister of Louis XIV, but, more troubling, the editor of the black Code, the text surrounding slavery in the French territories. And that’s not counting the desecration of repeated just about everything, which celebrates Christopher Columbus.

It remains to be seen if knock a statue, it is more that give the illusion of eliminating a problem. We can throw the object to the sea ; the attitudes, themselves, will they follow ?

Monuments constestés, vandalized, knocked down

Bristol, ENGLAND

  • Edward Colston (1636-1721)
  • Wealthy merchant of slaves

Brussels, BELGIUM

  • Leopold II (1835-1909)
  • King of Belgium
  • “Owner” of the Congo
  • Responsible for the death of millions of Congolese


  • Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
  • Prime minister, anti-fascist famous, racist known


  • Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683)
  • A minister of Louis XIV
  • Editor of the Edict on the police of slaves, on the borders of slavery in French territory

Richmond, VIRGINIA

  • Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)
  • Commander of the army of the confederate States of America, which held the maintenance of slavery


  • Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
  • Navigator and “discoverer” of the Americas
  • Responsible for the genocide of native americans
Share Button