Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Decolonizing Decolonization

It's now clear to everyone that we need to tear down all statues of Queen Victoria, Robert E. Lee and Father Junipero Serra. That much is certain. After all, Queen Victoria, Robert E. Lee and Father Junipero Serra taught us to do it.

Queen Victoria would have been proud to see her subjects following her ethics.

This makes sense when you think about it. Who else provided us with the ethical framework to make moral judgments on the past? Imagine going to the Ashanti or Angolans around 1840 and telling them that slavery was wrong. They'd laugh in your face! If you'd have told the Iroquois or Comanche that you were sending Indian children to boarding schools, they'd think you were a sissy. "No! You must torture them to death!" they'd advise.

And so it goes. The people who left you the morality you use to decide which figures from the past you must hate are the people from the past you hate.

Hmm. Wait a minute there. If you adopt the ethics of colonizers, then you become a colonizer. We know we must decolonize, but if we use colonial attitudes to decolonize things, then all we've done is perpetuate colonialism.

I think I've just rescued the humanities from their publishing dead ends. Imagine the mental gymnastics required for our social justice crowd to figure out how to pass judgment on Victoria, Lee and Serra without using the ethics of Victoria, Lee and Serra. Oceans and oceans of journal articles and conferences will be necessary!

To the Ivy League professors and their jealousy-stricken comrades in the lower-tier schools, I say, "You're welcome."


tim eisele said...

So, why do these statues exist in the first place? Why should anyone have a statue to them? Isn't that running perilously close to idolatry?

Personally, I don't see why I should care if the statues go away. I can't say that the concept of a statue of some random famous person does much for me one way or the other. I suppose pigeons like them.

K T Cat said...

I love you, Tim. Your scientisty utilitarian calculations are refreshingly honest. I totally get it.

Personally, I can't figure out why wife kitteh wants to clean the house before we have guests over for dinner. They're only going to bring in more dirt and the cooking will make a mess.