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  #121  
Old 06-13-2020, 03:21 PM
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Belgium isn't America or indeed Britain. Different histories & cultures. Those who shout loudest can put a lot of peoples backs up & end up alienating large numbers of those who would otherwise be supportive.

Every revolution has a counter revolution. People don't like being lectured to.
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  #122  
Old 06-13-2020, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durham View Post
Belgium isn't America or indeed Britain. Different histories & cultures. Those who shout loudest can put a lot of peoples backs up & end up alienating large numbers of those who would otherwise be supportive.

Every revolution has a counter revolution. People don't like being lectured to.
That's very true. My comments apply to the United States more so than Belgium.
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  #123  
Old 06-13-2020, 03:25 PM
Aristocracy
 
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To keep us from going around in circles, there is a majority in the Belgian parliament to get rid of the statues.

This is not any kind of a revolution.
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  #124  
Old 06-13-2020, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
To keep us from going around in circles, there is a majority in the Belgian parliament to get rid of the statues.

This is not any kind of a revolution.
Thank you for the link. Statues of Leopold are a straightforward question in view of the well documented history.

An attempted cultural revolution in some western countries is very real though. That's why Churchill is in a box.
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  #125  
Old 06-13-2020, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
To keep us from going around in circles, there is a majority in the Belgian parliament to get rid of the statues.

This is not any kind of a revolution.
It's the Brussel parliament (the city) not the Belgian parliament (the country), and the city has no power whatsoever on the fate of the statues as they are State properties , overseen by the Regie des Batiments. If they have to be removed, the subject has to be discussed on a regional, if not national, level :

https://www.euronews.com/2020/06/09/...s-ex-king-says

For instance :"In Wallonia, a region just south of Brussels, Heritage Minister Valérie de Bue has indicated she's against removing statues of King Leopold II, with a spokesperson telling Euronews it would "be a way of denying history".

So the debate is still largely open.
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  #126  
Old 06-13-2020, 03:55 PM
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From the BBC today: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53017188

"When Leopold II died in 1909, he was buried to the sound of Belgians booing.

But in the chaos of the early 20th Century when World War One threatened to destroy Belgium, Leopold II's nephew King Albert I erected statues to remember the successes of years gone by.
This makeover of Leopold's image produced an amnesia that persisted for decades."

Well, since Albert I seems to be responsible... that goes some way to explaining why nothing's been done up to now.... and why they exist at all. Doesn't sound like the Belgians of 1909 thought he deserved any.

Also there are 13 of these statues?!? I thought it was 4!
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  #127  
Old 06-13-2020, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Gawin View Post
But sometimes you need to raise your voice to even be acknowledged let alone heard. I'm not in favor of toppling or defacing statues but at least the protesters have lit a much needed fire under those who need to sit up and listen. As an American, I can assure you that well reasoned arguments aren't always enough especially when you are dealing with extremists who don't even want to listen. In some cases they have always had the loudest voice.
I think Durham said it very well.

It unsettles most people to see monuments toppled by a mob, unless it's a part of a popular uprising as we saw in say Iraq. And even then...
Because it's an attack on order and stability. Also when it's a controversial figure. And because this "attack" is perpetrated by a minority.

So of course there is a counter-reaction. We are seeing it in Britain today. Where groups of shall we call them nationalists are taking to the streets to protect such monuments. - With considerable silent, albeit mostly reluctant, support by the silent majority.
I don't like that. It's a can of worms where the lid has been cracked slightly.

Apart from that it makes little sense to deface and violently pulling down statues.
Leopold II doesn't care. He's long dead.
The victims of the atrocities in Congo don't care. They are long dead.
Those who directly committed the atrocities in Congo don't care. They are long dead too.
But the racists today, the nationalists today and the would-be nationalists of tomorrow they care!

So if anyone think they can remove resentment by creating resentment, then they live in another reality.
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  #128  
Old 06-13-2020, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nico View Post

For instance :"In Wallonia, a region just south of Brussels, Heritage Minister Valérie de Bue has indicated she's against removing statues of King Leopold II, with a spokesperson telling Euronews it would "be a way of denying history".

I'm baffled by the belief that removing statues denies history.

It is possible to remember history without erecting statues honoring its miscreants. Do we need statues of Hitler or Stalin to remember them?

Move the statues into a museum & provide some historical context. That way those who want to view them can while those who don't aren't forced to see them while on their way to work, school, etc.

IMO those who want to continue honoring Leopold with a public statue are the deniers.
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  #129  
Old 06-13-2020, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
Apart from that it makes little sense to deface and violently pulling down statues.
Leopold II doesn't care. He's long dead.
The victims of the atrocities in Congo don't care. They are long dead.
Those who directly committed the atrocities in Congo don't care. They are long dead too.
But the racists today, the nationalists today and the would-be nationalists of tomorrow they care!

So if anyone think they can remove resentment by creating resentment, then they live in another reality.
What about removing resentment by... removing resentment?

The descendants of those who survived the atrocities in the Congo are alive and well and some are living in Belgium, Muhler.

They care.

The main person who started things in Belgium is 14, I believe. Noah has a future and can't understand why his country has a statue of a man like that.

If I were 14, I would be intensely upset to have my king and country supporting something in that fashion for so long. I'm not 14, and I think he has a good point.

Is there a counter-reaction in Belgium at the moment? This isn't newly inflamed politics; it's Belgium's deliberately ignored powder-keg for the last fifty years or so.
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  #130  
Old 06-13-2020, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawin View Post
I'm baffled by the belief that removing statues denies history.

It is possible to remember history without erecting statues honoring its miscreants. Do we need statues of Hitler or Stalin to remember them?

Move the statues into a museum & provide some historical context. That way those who want to view them can while those who don't aren't forced to see them while on their way to work, school, etc.

IMO those who want to continue honoring Leopold with a public statue are the deniers.
These statues were not erected in 2020, they were erected between 1873 and 1930 in a particular national and dynastic context. They are telling a story, a common story, sometimes great, sometimes difficult. Of course they need explanations, and many already have :

https://www.lecho.be/economie-politi.../10040740.html

Also in many cases they are work of arts, parts of an urban project . To remove them is, as we say, "out of sight, out of mind" and yes it's denying a part of what is making a Nation : its History.
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  #131  
Old 06-13-2020, 05:16 PM
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I hope that there's sufficient security at Notre-Dame de Laeken where Leopold is buried.
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  #132  
Old 06-13-2020, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by An Ard Ri View Post
I hope that there's sufficient security at Notre-Dame de Laeken where Leopold is buried.
I haven't heard anything about hell freezing over.

(I don't think there's anyone offended by him being dead. Just having his face where it no longer belongs, if it ever did.)
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  #133  
Old 06-13-2020, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
What about removing resentment by... removing resentment?

The descendants of those who survived the atrocities in the Congo are alive and well and some are living in Belgium, Muhler.

They care.

The main person who started things in Belgium is 14, I believe. Noah has a future and can't understand why his country has a statue of a man like that.

If I were 14, I would be intensely upset to have my king and country supporting something in that fashion for so long. I'm not 14, and I think he has a good point.

Is there a counter-reaction in Belgium at the moment? This isn't newly inflamed politics; it's Belgium's deliberately ignored powder-keg for the last fifty years or so.
They don't constitute the majority of the Belgians, they are the ones you have to win over.
The only way to genuinely accomplish IMO that is by information.
Information about what went on in Congo about what Leopold II was responsible for.
That will be a very painful and long process. And most unpleasant. At some point during that process the Belgians themselves may decide to remove the statues. Or more likely they won't.
But at least the statues will serve as a reminder of what went on.

Another, but not insignificant point and which I why I put such emphasis on "they are long dead" is: Most people don't care.
It all happened long ago, far away and to people they don't identify with.
It's a painful, unpleasant chapter in a past, I'd say most people don't feel they are the least bit responsible for. Something they can't change anyway. And it's irrelevant in their daily lives.
But national pride. That's another matter. That happens today. That's relevant. - And that's why you get a backlash when toppling statues.

I'm honestly surprised Herge and Tintin hasn't come under attack yet.
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  #134  
Old 06-13-2020, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nico View Post
These statues were not erected in 2020, they were erected between 1873 and 1930 in a particular national and dynastic context. They are telling a story, a common story, sometimes great, sometimes difficult. Of course they need explanations, and many already have :

https://www.lecho.be/economie-politi.../10040740.html

Also in many cases they are work of arts, parts of an urban project . To remove them is, as we say, "out of sight, out of mind" and yes it's denying a part of what is making a Nation : its History.
I disagree. These statues aren't there to tell a story, they were erected to honor the subject. As I stated before, it is possible to remember history without honoring its miscreants.

It doesn't matter what Belgium or any other country did between 1873 and 1930. Presumably, we've outgrown the racist, imperialistic, and sexist views that all western countries shared at that time. It's time to put the symbols that honor those views away as well.

Put the statues in museums, where they can be studied alongside the symbols of other historical attitudes or beliefs we now reject, such as slavery or child labor.

Surely we can come up with other great works of art for public display.
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  #135  
Old 06-13-2020, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
They don't constitute the majority of the Belgians, they are the ones you have to win over.
The only way to genuinely accomplish IMO that is by information.
Information about what went on in Congo about what Leopold II was responsible for.
That will be a very painful and long process. And most unpleasant. At some point during that process the Belgians themselves may decide to remove the statues. Or more likely they won't.
But at least the statues will serve as a reminder of what went on.

Another, but not insignificant point and which I why I put such emphasis on "they are long dead" is: Most people don't care.
It all happened long ago, far away and to people they don't identify with.
It's a painful, unpleasant chapter in a past, I'd say most people don't feel they are the least bit responsible for. Something they can't change anyway. And it's irrelevant in their daily lives.
But national pride. That's another matter. That happens today. That's relevant. - And that's why you get a backlash when toppling statues.

I'm honestly surprised Herge and Tintin hasn't come under attack yet.
From that BBC article today:
In 2019, the cities of Kortrijk and Dendermonde renamed their Leopold II streets, with Kortrijk council describing the king as a "mass murderer".
And in 2018, Brussels named a public square in honour of Patrice Lumumba, a hero of African independence movements and the first prime minister of Congo, since renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Last year a UN working group called on Belgium to apologise for atrocities committed during the colonial era.
Charles Michel, prime minister at the time, declined. He did however apologise for the kidnapping of thousands of mixed-race children, known as métis, from Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda in the 1940s and 1950s. Around 20,000 children born to Belgian settlers and local women were forcibly taken to Belgium to be fostered.

Some people may not care, but others won't stop until something gets accomplished. And some people on both sides apparently do care.
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  #136  
Old 06-13-2020, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
From that BBC article today:
In 2019, the cities of Kortrijk and Dendermonde renamed their Leopold II streets, with Kortrijk council describing the king as a "mass murderer".
And in 2018, Brussels named a public square in honour of Patrice Lumumba, a hero of African independence movements and the first prime minister of Congo, since renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Last year a UN working group called on Belgium to apologise for atrocities committed during the colonial era.
Charles Michel, prime minister at the time, declined. He did however apologise for the kidnapping of thousands of mixed-race children, known as métis, from Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda in the 1940s and 1950s. Around 20,000 children born to Belgian settlers and local women were forcibly taken to Belgium to be fostered.

Some people may not care, but others won't stop until something gets accomplished. And some people on both sides apparently do care.
Great.

If that's what the Belgians want, good.
And I assume that if the residents in other Belgian cities decide not to remove statues or rename places, that will be respected as well.
Because that is what it is all about. What the Belgians want.
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  #137  
Old 06-13-2020, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
Some people may not care, but others won't stop until something gets accomplished. And some people on both sides apparently do care.
If both countries agree, I hope this will be the start of something new. Although, I personally know it won't actually do much in so far as healing the wounds of the past.

Hoping that other European Imperialists of the past will also do the same in years forward.
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  #138  
Old 06-14-2020, 09:34 AM
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This thread has been cleaned up. Posts about Priti Patel, the Body Shop, To Kill a Mockingbird, Scrooge McDuck and The Beatles have been removed.

We expect members to treat each other with respect. Posts trying to belittle members by using tribal remarks such as 'woke crowd' and 'woke brigade' have been removed. Although the terms themselves may not be terribly harmful, the intent behind it is hostile & therefor not in the spirit of this forum.

Posters who are interested in right/ left tribalism have many other social media platforms available to them where they can fight each other. TRF is not one of them.

In the future the following will happen in this discussion:

1. Posts that are not about Leopold II will be deleted from this thread.
2. Posters who use a hostile tone will face appropriate disciplinary measures.
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  #139  
Old 06-22-2020, 09:43 AM
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The city of Ghent announced Thursday that a defaced bust of Leopold II will be removed June 30 to mark Congolese independence. "His criminal actions do not deserve tribute."
https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgiu...serve-tribute/

Another one bites the dust.
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  #140  
Old 06-29-2020, 03:56 PM
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A long article about what's going on, including lots of quotes and some good points.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/25/europ...ntl/index.html
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