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I wonder if the Duke of Sutherland is feeling a wee bit shoogly upon his plinth high above Golspie.
Placed there, he looks over the land denuded of people due to he and his wife’s policies, and as an inadvertent representation of Victorian familial ego-centricity.
Today, statues are tumbling as people vent their anger on the physical elevation of the enslavers and purveyors of human beings. Personally, I am not worried about statues falling as I am not a pigeon. However, I do understand the arguments that by removing these visible signs we could erase the warnings of history. And, that as all human being are flawed where do you draw the line on morality? Statues to those who profited from slavery are on another level though, for they are a racist ‘in your face’ provocation. Why inflict them on our brothers and sisters whose ancestors were innocent victims. The legacy of racist slavery needs to be rectified in practice and in symbol.
For what it is worth, I would put the offending characters in a museum.
We are warned in the Ten Commandments; You shall not make for yourself an idol (Exodus 20 v 4). Wise words indeed, for the veneration of flawed human beings is problematic. My Caithness forbearers (maternal-side) include those who were cleared by the Duke’s henchmen. Thank goodness there is a statue in Helmsdale to those who were Clearance victims. That is appropriate and Gospel – blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.
So, the telling legacy we should leave from our age is the genuine elevation of all who have suffered, been marginalised and brutalised.
Reverend Dugald Cameron, Kilmore and Oban