There's been another statue removal. But this time it's not a Confederate. It's a statue of none other than Mohandes K. Gandhi, considered a great universalist hero of mankind. And it's been removed by black Africans.
Wow, could the world be more complex than portrayed by the Mainstream Media ?
Britain's The Guardian reports that in the African nation of Ghana, a statue of Gandhi has been removed due to the Indian leader's racism.
A Mahatma Gandhi statue has been removed from the campus of the University of Ghana after protests from students and faculty who argue the Indian independence leader considered Africans “inferior”. The statue was unveiled at the university in the Ghanian capital Accra two years ago but has been the subject of controversy and was removed in the middle of the night on Tuesday [December 11th], leaving just an empty plinth.
Statue of 'racist' Gandhi removed from University of Ghana Michael Safi, The Guardian, December 14, 2018
Removing a statue in the middle of the night? Sounds like something that would happen in the United States.
Scholars have highlighted evidence in past years showing the revered freedom-fighter, whose theories of civil resistance helped India throw off British colonialism and inspired generations of activists including Martin Luther King Jr, held derogatory views towards native communities in South Africa.
By "native communities" the article is referring to Black South Africans. The true natives of South Africa are the Khoisan peoples. Black Bantu peoples arrived later and took the land of the Khoisan. Back to Gandhi....
A 2015 book by two South African writers pointed to instances where Gandhi complained that Indians were being forced to use the same separate entrances as Africans, meaning “their civilised habits … would be degraded to the habits of aboriginal natives”.
“About the mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians, I must confess I feel most strongly,” he wrote in a letter in 1904.
Hello. Gandhi was an Indian. When he lived in South Africa, he fought for the rights of Indian South Africans, not Black South Africans.
More sympathetic students of Gandhi’s life say his views were ignorant and prejudiced but a product of their time, and that his campaigns for social justice hold universal resonance and have fuelled some civil rights activism in Africa.
That's certainly a more complex view. Maybe a more complex view could be applied to the legacy of Confederate leaders also.
Students at the university welcomed the decision to remove the statue. “It’s a massive win for all Ghanaians because it was constantly reminding us of how inferior we are,” Benjamin Mensah told Agence France-Presse.
Oh really? You mean you just walked by that statue and felt inferior?
The head of language, literature and drama at the Institute of African Studies, Obadele Kambon, said the removal was an issue of “self-respect”.
“If we show that we have no respect for ourselves and look down on our own heroes and praise others who had no respect for us, then there is an issue,” he said.
“If we indeed don’t show any self-respect for our heroes, how can the world respect us? This is victory for black dignity and self-respect. The campaign has paid off.”
So who will be portrayed in the statue that replaces Gandhi?
Ghana’s former government had said the statue would be relocated to prevent the controversy from “becoming a distraction from our strong ties of friendship” with India. But two years later the statue had still not been relocated.
Campaigners in Malawi are trying to stop another Gandhi statue from being erected in the country’s second city, Blantyre.
Wow, it's almost like all the world's non-Western peoples don't see eye to eye on everything. Who woulda thunk it?
There's an interesting article about Gandhi by the late Richard Grenier, published way back in 1983 in Commentary magazine. The Grenier article, a response to the 1982 Gandhi movie, was entitled The Gandhi Nobody Knows. You can read the article here.