Many of the men who’s statues are being torn down by protestors either supported the slave trade or actively owned and sold slaves, and with the killing of African American George Floyd, it’s been brought to everyone’s attention just how inappropriate it is to revere these men with such chequered pasts.
Given how many statues are tumbling, it was only a matter of time before someone got injured, and it appears that time is now.
That’s because a protester has reportedly been seriously injured while pulling down a Confederate statue in Portsmouth, Virginia, with viral footage showing the moment said statue falls on them.
“There was a gentleman who was directly in front of the statue and when the statue finally did give way it came and fully hit him in the head,” a local Black Lives Matter representative told a news reporter.
“You could see his skull was actually showing, he was convulsing on the ground. He lost a fair amount of blood, we’re asking everybody to pray for that man right now.”
The Virginian Pilot reported the man was in his 30s and lost consciousness, and was later taken to hospital.
Police chief Angela Greene said they quickly stepped in after the incident and told protesters to leave.
It comes after a statue of 18th century slave trader Robert Milligan was brought down in east London after campaigners vowed to protest every day until it was removed.
Milligan, born in 1746, was involved in the construction of the West India Docks, which is where is statue was located. When he died in 1809, he owned 526 people who were forced to work on his family’s sugar plantations in Jamaica.
He also advised the government on how to quash a rebellion by escaped slaves on the island in the late 1700s.
The Museum of London Docklands said the statue of the prominent British slave trader had “stood uncomfortably” outside its premises “for a long time”.
“The Museum of London recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity,” they added.
A word of warning though: if you are going out thinking and tearing down a monument of a former slave trader, just be careful it doesn’t fall on top of you.