Here's why Nelson's Column should not be taken down
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Recently an article appeared in the Guardian, written by Afua Hirsch, calling for Nelson’s Column to be toppled due to its ‘links’ to slavery. In a piece which laments Britain for failing to denounce “the shameful era”, Hirsch uses the fact that Admiral Nelson, alongside his immense naval success, used his position to resist the increasing call for abolition to argue that leaving his statue intact is essentially facilitating the glorification of slavery and white supremacy. The argument follows a number of Confederate statues being pulled down or at least being called to be pulled down, across America due to their links slavery, and it is easy to understand why people want them removed. Indeed, the American statues which have been toppled, such as those dedicated to Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia and Jackson-Lee in Baltimore, Maryland, were specifically built to celebrate the fact that the individuals represented were heroes South of the Mason-Dixon line. They led an army of a country that claimed independence because they wanted to keep slaves. As such, due to the racism, they represent it is clear that they have no place in modern America, or indeed the modern world. However, the same cannot be said for the tribute to Admiral Nelson. Indeed, it is absolutely impossible to claim that Nelson’s Column was built specifically to celebrate the Admiral's stance on slavery, or any of his other modern misdemeanours.
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