Charles Dickens Museum Defaced with Graffiti Branding Victorian Author ‘Racist’

English writer Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870), from the original wet-plate negative by Herbert Watkins. (Photo by Rischgitz/Getty Images)
Rischgitz/Getty Images

A British politician has warned that “our culture is under attack” after reports the Charles Dickens Museum in Broadstairs, Kent, was vandalised with graffiti branding the beloved Victorian writer a “racist”.

Charles Dickens frequented Broadstairs during his career, writing and basing some novels in the picturesque seaside town in the south-east of England. He had once lived in the clifftop Bleak House, after which he named one of his most famous novels. A large white house on Victoria Parade had been the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood’s home in David Copperfield.

Now home to the Charles Dickens Museum, the Victoria Parade property was vandalised overnight with the words “Dickens Racist, Dickens Racist”, according to a Sunday report in the local news outlet KentOnline.

Dickens Road was also vandalised, with Black Lives Matters activists attempting to blot out the name of the street with paint.

Peter Whittle, a London Assembly Member and director of the New Culture Forum, wrote of the vandalism that the “next stop” will be “printed warnings on Dickens books”.

“Our culture is under attack,” he added.

While Dickens may have held some opinions considered offensive in the current year, the Victorian author spent much of his life highlighting issues of social injustice, child abuse, and poverty. He was also a slavery abolitionist and founded a home to help destitute women, many who were former prostitutes, criminals, or workhouse inmates that were considered write-offs by Victorian society.

This recent attack against an iconic piece of British artistic culture is not unique, however.

Earlier this month, Black Lives Matter activists vandalised four road signs in Liverpool for Penny Lane, made famous by The Beatles in their 1967 song of the same name which was originally released on a double-A side single with ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, later to be included as the ninth track on the album Magical Mystery Tour.

BLM activists had attacked the sign, writing “racist” on the brick wall above, in the mistaken belief that it was named after slave trader James Penny. Liverpool’s mayor has repeatedly said that the road was named for the penny toll bridge.

If Penny Lane represents an ignorant and bizarre attack by Black Lives Matter, it is not the first.

Two weeks ago, Black Lives Matter activists graffitied the statue to Scotland’s most famous king, Robert the Bruce, calling him a “racist king” — even though he lived in early 14th-century Scotland, centuries before colonialism and mass migration.

BLM vandals also graffitied a statue in Leeds of Queen Victoria, labelling her a “slave owner” amongst other assertions, despite ascending the throne after slavery had been abolished.

Anyone in Britain with a cursory knowledge of history would understand the false nature of all these assertions against Britain’s famous monarchs; however, Nigel Farage warned that ignorance is a large part of the problem of the current year’s iconoclasm.

The average Briton is also aware of the extent to which a poor history education has left youngsters vulnerable to Marxist propaganda that Britain’s history is something to be ashamed of.

A poll by Policy Exchange published on Sunday revealed that Britons are concerned that “children aren’t being taught enough history, or well enough, to make value judgements about contemporary questions such as removing statues”. Sixty per cent of Britons say they think that all children should be taught history until the age of 16.

Against the backdrop of Black Lives Matter activists calling for the destruction of monuments to the great men of the past who build Britain, but by today’s standards have “problematic” histories or opinions, 65 per cent of Britons said that it was “unfair to make judgments about people in the past based on today’s values”. They agreed that “statues of people who were once celebrated should be allowed to stand”.

“We should learn from history rather than try to re-write it,” said a further 77 per cent of those polled by Policy Exchange.

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