Black Lives Matter activists are targeting statues and other memorials to Captain James Cook, the great British explorer who charted much of Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii, for removal.
The Yorkshireman is one of many great Britons who had made his way on to the sprawling ‘Topple the Racists’ hit-list compiled by the already-out-of-date Stop Trump Coalition. Its targets have previously included the likes of Sir Francis Drake, the English mariner who defeated the Spanish Armada, and Earl Grey, the former prime minister who oversaw the abolition of slavery but is today most famous for the aromatic tea named in his honour.
“James Cook invaded Australia just over 250 years ago. He claimed possession over the entire nation even though it clearly belonged to the people already there,” declared the iconoclasts’ website, somewhat questionably, in a statement reported by the Telegraph.
“What followed was 250 of genocidal activities and policies based on race that murdered thousands of women, men and children. Captain Cook symbolises racial oppression and violence… [The statues] must be removed,” they declared.
Memorials targeted for removal or renaming include statues in Whitby and London, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, the James Cook University Hospital, and a number of stree names and pubs named after the explorer and his ships.
To those seeking to denigrate statues of Captain Cook, as the MP for his birthplace let me say this: #Middlesbrough is immensely proud of our most famous son, a labourer’s son whose extraordinary courage and abilities meant he was entrusted (1/)https://t.co/p0UDXZYkpp
— Simon Clarke MP (@SimonClarkeMP) February 4, 2021
Britain’s governing Conservative party have done are are doing little to fight the so-called “culture wars” against leftist campaigners and academics seeking to denigrate and undermine Britain’s history, “decolonise” British education, and take down or transform the country’s built heritage — beyond somewhat belated moved to introduce a “retain and explain” policy on statues, with limited success — they do appear to be pushing back against Cook’s detractors.
“To those seeking to denigrate statues of Captain Cook, as the MP for his birthplace let me say this: Middleborough is immensely proud of our most famous son, a labourer’s son whose extraordinary abilities meant he was entrusted with a series of major voyages of science and exploration,” declared Conservative parliamentarian Simon Clarke.
“He was by all accounts a good and decent man, and he rose to worldwide renown. His statues will stay in place and we will continue to celebrate his achievements,” Clarke vowed.
“Captain Cook is one of the proudest sons of Whitby. The statue is one of our best known landmarks, and the Captain Cook Museum is one of our most popular tourist attractions,” concurred Robert Goodwill, the Conservative MP for Whitby and Scarborough.
“They’re trying to erase important aspects of our history,” he added.
Enlightenment was 'Little More Than White Identity Politics', 'Racist Knowledge' https://t.co/BngdmyX7sf
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 6, 2021