Criticism of historical figures is not censorship

Certain people belong in a museum instead of on a pedestal.

Criticism of historical figures is not censorship

Criticism of historical figures is not censorship

I see Conservatives claim all the time that criticism of certain historical figures is “censorship”. Taking down the statue of John A. Macdonald is censorship. Criticizing Columbus and the Founding Fathers is censorship. Removing their names from buildings is censorship.

I’m here to tell you that it absolutely is not, and I’m also here to tell you why.

These people achieved great things. No one is denying that. However, the horrific things that they did greatly outweigh any contributions they made. The Founding Fathers owned slaves. Columbus killed hundreds of thousands of First Nations people. What he did was genocidal. Macdonald was instrumental in the development of residential schools, actively working against the rights of First Nations people in Canada.

And we are supposed to celebrate these people? I have seen arguments that they were simply acting according to the values of their time. This is not an excuse. The things that they did were wrong regardless of the time they were doing them in. Just because they did things that were beneficial, does not mean they were good people or should be celebrated. We can clearly see that their actions should be questioned, discussed, and worked against to the highest degree.

Taking down statues and removing names from buildings is not an act of censorship. It is simply recognizing that certain people belong in a museum instead of on a pedestal. It is people deciding that these men were not heroes, and should not be celebrated. Because celebrating them condones the atrocities that they committed. What they did was objectively wrong. It is not a subjective issue up for discussion. Abuse and acts of hatred against minorities are discrimination, and they are horrific. Plain and simple.

Those who believe it is censorship, those who believe these men deserve to be celebrated, may want to consider their moral standpoints, and why they have the heroes that they do.

Piper Cote

Cowichan Bay