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Calls to remove Confederate Statues reopens accountability for European Colonial European White Supremacy & Church crimes

An unexpected turn of events gives hope that even after over 500 years the crimes committed by European explorers and the Church will be exposed and lead to an overdue accountability, apology & compensation. As Confederate Statues are being brought down including those of statues of Christopher Columbus, it should take the world to revisit crimes of the Colonial European invaders & the Church. To understand what white supremacist rule is about one has to return to colonial rule, a period wherein whites regarded themselves as Christian/Catholic & superior while all others were uncivilized. Civilizing non-whites became known as the ‘white man’s burden’. White supremacy rationalized unjust rule of people and lands, theft of land and resources, enslavement, and genocide. It is no better a time for the world to know the nature of the crimes committed by the European colonial rulers & the Church and questions their moral right to dictate human rights ignoring these heinous crimes some of which are taking place presently without any international accountability for the illegalities they continue to commit. It certainly questions the pontification of Joseph Vaz in Sri Lanka and calls for all of the injustices and historical falsehoods to now be corrected.

Following the election of President Abraham Lincoln (who was against slavery) in November 1860 – the American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 wherein 11 states that held slavery as legal, seceded to form the Confederate States of America. In 1865, after the loss of more than 600,000 lives, the Confederacy was defeated, and slavery was abolished. The whole point of confederate statues was to celebrate white supremacy and subjugation of blacks. Jim Crow laws segregated blacks from whites. Whites without a doubt enjoy structural advantage income/wealthwise, politically, educationally & even socially. There is nothing to be surprised about white supremacy as it emerged with colonial rule and has continued unabated though camouflaged to a great extent by creating cloned locals to carry out the what the while rulers wanted. These became known as sepoys, lascoreens, brown sahibs and kalu suddas! Today there are 1.3billion white people in a world of 7billion but the brown sahibs probably outnumber the whites!

In April 2017 the Charlottesville town council voted to remove the Robert E. Lee statue. A public protest with a candlelit vigil followed. In May an injunction temporarily stopped the removal. In June the statue was vandalized with paint. In July the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in Charlottesville to protest the statues removal and police had to be used. On 12 August 2017, a clash between remove the statue protestors and maintain the statue protestors resulted in the death of counter protester Heather Heyer. This eventually led to the removal of several Confederate Statues while in Durham North Carolina, a group toppled a statue. What is shocking is that part of America is against white supremacy but another part is not. So much so that Christopher Columbus, the man who committed genocide and murder even enjoyed a federal holiday and countless American history books projected him as a hero!

A 2017 study by Southern Poverty Law Center reported that at least 1,503 symbols of the Confederacy can be found in public spaces across the United States. These memorials include monuments and statues; flags; holidays and other observances; names of schools, roads, parks, bridges, counties, cities, lakes, dams, military bases, and other public works. The largest numbers were constructed in 1911! There are 10 major U.S. military bases named in honor of Confederate military leaders, all in former Confederate States.

The relevancy of the outcome is that all of a sudden people the world over began reading about Confederacy, the US Civil War, slavery, racism and the horrendous crimes of colonial European invaders and the Church are now coming out into the open. What the West had been so tightly guarding except for handful of people who dug deeper into the crimes of the countries who today pretend to be cherubic angels and guardians of human rights, are now beginning to come out with all the gory details.

Why would the US be still celebrating Columbus Day if the American populace did not know Christopher Columbus was a mass murderer?

How many historians will come boldly forward to point the finger at the Church & the Papal Bulls that divided the world between European countries (Treaty of Tordisillas 1494) and the Pope ordered to declare all lands that were not Christian/Catholic as ‘Discovered’ and sent thousands of missionaries to convert or kill the natives and plunder their lands? Between 1493 and 1820, Spain sent some 15,585 missionaries to the Americas. The book a “Short Account of the Destruction of the West Indies’ by Bartolomé de las Casas details the atrocities committed.

Moreover, Americans cannot be selective and pick only Confederacy, slavery and racism chapters completely forgetting that the white nation called the US was built by confiscating the lands of the Native Indians, inflicting disease and killing them, making them landless in their own indigenous habitats.

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This part of the history cannot be ignored and removed from correcting the injustice. Simply removing statues that have stood for centuries cannot remove the scars that have been created. Americans celebrate Thanks Giving for all that they have but do they also remember how they got all that they have & the murky murderous past?

Spanish conquests of South America destroyed the Mayan, Inca, Aztec civilizations. Spanish Hernán Cortés de Monroy led the Conquistador that resulted in the fall of the Aztec empire. He was awarded the title of Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca. Francisco Pizarro led the conquest of the Incan Empire.

Similarly, how many know of the Scramble for Africa wherein taking a pen Africa became divided among Anglo-Europeans drawing artificial borders all of which are the root-cause of conflicts aroused by these same Anglo-Europeans for their thirst to plunder continues still. There is no historical monument in Africa because the white nations have destroyed them. The 14th century the city of Timbuktu in West Africa was five times bigger than the city of London, and was the richest city in the world? Today, Timbuktu is 236 times smaller than London.  siliconafrica.com

King Leopold II of Belgium, who ran the Congo Free State as a personal property and said to have ordered the killings of over 10m Africans has statues of him erected throughout Belgium! Britain knighted SIR John Hawkins the first British slaver!

However the statue of British colonialist Cecil John Rhodes was defaced while statues of British monarchs Queen Victoria and King George V were splashed with paint in South Africa. Demonstrators even vandalized the statue of Gandhi!  www.dailymail.co.uk

In Sri Lanka we have named a road after Brownrigg the Butcher of Uva Wellassa. Many Portuguese, Dutch & British colonial rulers remain revered and knighted for their crimes regarded as service to their nations!

What is clear is that while there are thousands of statutes of colonial rulers, their governors etc because their murderous past have not been detailed and taught to natives of their countries, the Western citizens have come to revere these figures totally clueless of how they ruled in Africa, Asia and South America and their murderous past.

Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra who decimated Native Indians in America. Francis Xavier was canonized but how many know that it was he who called for the Inquisition on Goa? Hindu India was subject to atrocities of unimaginable nature by these Catholic missionaries. satyavijayi.com  Similarly Joseph Vaz was canonized in Sri Lanka in 2015 – yet how many are aware of his role in the Inquisition upon both India & Sri Lanka, when he came disguised as a beggar to forcibly propagate Catholicism and murder those that did not willingly convert. How many people know or have bothered to search the truth of their past and rationalize the validity of calling murderers as Saints!  bharatabharati.wordpress.com

It may be a shock to them now to realize that all these years they had been holding murderers with reverence. Many today, feel ashamed and guilty while another lot wish to continue the white supremacist dominance. Then there are the locals who have been mentality programmed to believe the white race to be their superior and that they are born to be slaves to the white race continue to hero worship the murderous heroes of the past and the present day murderers as well.

Nevertheless, the incidents that have taken place in the US has had a welcome domino effect. For starters people are now taking out their history books and doing their own research to find out the shocking truth. Ideally, what should happen instead of removing the statues or destroying them is to have an epitaph engraved giving the gory details of their crimes for all to remember. Possibly, the plan to remove the statues may be to remove even the remaining evidence of their crimes since the history books have all been doctored to showcase how lovely colonial rule was. That however is far from the truth.

We hope that the white natives that are now beginning to open their eyes and see the reality of the crimes that took place in the past will help us to get the overdue apology, acknowledgement and compensation and also help fend off these same nations that are now returning to the lands they destroyed for a new phase of plunder and murder this time with more sophistication and backed by Media & the UN their fronts to hide their crimes from public domain.

From colonialism’s horrid past we are now entering neocolonialism’s ghastly present.

Shenali D Waduge

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