The protests that began with the murder of African American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the U.S. quickly reached the shores of Europe, particularly the U.K. and France.
The fact that the protests transpired in countries with dark colonial legacies escaped no one’s notice. As I said last Sunday, "The U.S. is paying the price for its racist-colonial past today."
The protests led by the "Black Lives Matter" movement are now targeting statues belonging to notorious figures of the colonial eras.
Protesters who march against white supremacy also want the sculptures of prominent names in the "American Civil War" to be removed from public spaces.
In some states, they’re also protesting for the removal of statues of Italian seafarer Christopher Columbus, who was thought to have been the one to discover the new world.
U.S. President of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi argues that the sculptures of 11 famous names who advocated slavery must be removed from the Congress building.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is asking for the figures of those who defended slavery to be taken off streets and public places. In England, demonstrators threw the statue of the famous slave trader Edward Colston into the river.
On the base of the statue, they wrote, "This plate is dedicated to the slaves who were uprooted from their homes."
Demonstrators are also campaigning for the removal of the statues of Cecil Rhodes, who played a major role in the colonization of Africa, along with British Prime Ministers William Gladstone and Winston Churchill.
Defending slavery and colonialism, Gladstone was an imperialist politician who made it his life’s mission to divide the Ottoman State and remove Turks from Anatolia.
Churchill, on the other hand, was the architect of the operation that launched the invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915 when he was serving then as the First Lord of the Admiralty.
According to all three figures, the British race was superior and qualified to rule the world.
White Supremacist racism in the U.S. and Europe was served up a justification for the legitimization of colonialism. The colonization of Africa was also associated with the so-called “Christian civilization” mission.
This distortion, which afflicted even some of the brightest minds in the Western world, showed non-Whites as a subspecies of man.
It is remarkable that the German thinker Hegel, who religiously embraced the "1789-French revolution” and made long analyses on the "Master-Slave" relationship, failed to mention the Haitians who rebelled against the French colonists and founded the "modern history’s first Black Republic" in the same period. His silence towards them was deafening.
Hegel, who saw 1789 as the pinnacle of human thought and freedom, remained very “French” to the Haitian Blacks.
Then there was Belgian king Leopold II. He enslaved the Congolese and forced them into hard labor. He decreed that the hands of Blacks who did not collect enough rubber must be amputated. The majority of those whose hands were amputated were poor children.
The Brits amputated the hands of Indian weavers to monopolize the market with their own fabrics.
Leopold II, who made great investments in Belgium using its colonial income, was deemed responsible for the death of millions of people, yet his sculptures are scattered across the country.
In the U.S., white colonies of European origin regained independence by rebelling against the British ruler, but kept the slavery system in place.
Researchers cannot begin to estimate the economic benefits that resulted from kidnapping Blacks from Africa, which they see as the source of American wealth.
Throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand, White Supremacists carried out attacks against immigrants. And now, racist movements in the U.S. and Europe are cornering more centrist parties.
The Western world is now facing the mutated present state of racism inherited from colonial times.
The U.S., England, Brazil, France and Spain are among the countries where the coronavirus death toll has been highest. Deaths in the U.S., the UK and Brazil are more prevalent among blacks and other people of color. These people constitute the most vulnerable groups in these countries. This is why the "Blacks Lives Matter" movement is spreading like wildfire.