As protests grow, Belgium faces its racist colonial past



As the protests over police racism and brutality rumbled across European cities some activists targeted that own country's colonial history in Belgium demonstrates a spray painted a statue of king Leopold the second Wallenstein U. K. statue of seventeenth century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into a rhythm can the push for justice move forward without first looking back maybe the best way to reckon with our racist history is to dump it in the river we're going across America and abroad today as part of our one A. across America project it's a partnership with six public radio stations in various parts of the country we're joined now by someone who once said a great nation does not hide its history it faces its flaws and it corrects them Mitch Landrieu is the former mayor of New Orleans and author of the book in the shadow of statues a white southerner confronts history welcome back to the show image thank you so much I haven't also joining us is only a haci nada she's a writer and organizer of black lives matter U. K. black lives matter U. K. has compiled a list of sixty statues that it wants removed because they celebrate slavery Aaliyah joins us from London welcome hi thanks for having me Mitch you brought down a number of Confederate monuments while you are male you may or you did that legally I wonder what do you make of protests in various cities that are taking down statues and monuments illegally well it I need to involve myself and I wasn't the first one to talk about it it's been a long history of people who were leaders in New Orleans who tried to take those monuments down they all legal processes for doing it and there are the process used to doing it a peaceful protest you know the important thing is is that people now are beginning to understand how insidious those monuments are the ones that was specifically put up to celebrate those individuals who've spent their lives protecting slavery and so that's what the Confederate monuments are in the United States of America I can't speak to the ones because I don't know enough about them in other parts of the in the south in the United States of America there are three thousand monuments that will play stop for the distinct indirect purpose of revering and honoring individuals who fought to split the United States and hand over the cause of preserving slavery and that's just about the civil war of the confederacy was on the wrong side of that war they were on the wrong side of history and the last thing that we should be doing is honoring what's called a lost cause which is meant that somehow of the confederacy was a noble cause when in fact it was not in these monuments will put in places of all public places yeah they got the money and on on public on public land and with and will put up with the specific purpose of Riviera the person by general Robert E. Lee Jefferson Davis PGT Beauregard and there a whole host of others whose mission it was was to preserve

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