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Some of those from the past that society considered heroes or generally well thought of sometimes turn out to have been politically incorrect - racist, misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, you name it...  From ancient Romans and Greeks who turn out to have supported slavery, to upstanding ladies and gentlemen of the Empire who turn out to have uncomfortable views, there may be more of them around than we normally give thought to. 

So, what should we do when we find out? Should we call them out for it? Should we stop citing them at all? Where does it end?

It's one thing to take down a statue of Cecil Rhodes, but what about famous people celebrated in (say) Scottish street names, do we rename the streets? Or famous scientists, do we stop referring to their laws and findings as theirs and call them something else? 

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6 minutes ago, exile said:

Some of those from the past that society considered heroes or generally well thought of sometimes turn out to have been politically incorrect - racist, misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, you name it...  From ancient Romans and Greeks who turn out to have supported slavery, to upstanding ladies and gentlemen of the Empire who turn out to have uncomfortable views, there may be more of them around than we normally give thought to. 

So, what should we do when we find out? Should we call them out for it? Should we stop citing them at all? Where does it end?

It's one thing to take down a statue of Cecil Rhodes, but what about famous people celebrated in (say) Scottish street names, do we rename the streets? Or famous scientists, do we stop referring to their laws and findings as theirs and call them something else? 

Just to keep this debate typically highbrow, was watching First Dates the other night and the voice over guy referred to one of the female 'dates' as 'exotic', I think he meant brown, her date was also 'exotic'.

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Who or what was Sandton?   A racist filled swamp?

Well Glasgow renamed Sandton Square to Nelson Mandela Square, but didn't touch Queen St, George St, Waterloo St, West Regent St, Argyle St, W. Nile St, Dundas St. nor the other great and the good streets.

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11 minutes ago, Grim Jim said:

Who or what was Sandton?   A racist filled swamp?

Well Glasgow renamed Sandton Square to Nelson Mandela Square, but didn't touch Queen St, George St, Waterloo St, West Regent St, Argyle St, W. Nile St, Dundas St. nor the other great and the good streets.

Sandton was renamed Nelson Mandela Sq because the South African Embassy (this was when Apartheid was still in existence) was located there.

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1 minute ago, ErsatzThistle said:

Sandton was renamed Nelson Mandela Sq because the South African Embassy (this was when Apartheid was still in existence) was located there.

Cheers ET!   I do remember the Outspan boycot, though more the blue rinse cringe.   I however still cringe just waiting for a bus on Union St now though, so wish somewhere else's name like that was chopped :lol:

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I’ve been to New Orleans a few times. I love the place. It was weird seeing the General Lee statue done away with the last time I went. It’s a huge focal point in the city and sat high on a column in a roundabout. 

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I think judging people from different generations on how society thinks and operates now is slightly dangerous, especially when to the more vocal of folk almost anything can be described as offensive. 

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1 hour ago, exile said:

Some of those from the past that society considered heroes or generally well thought of sometimes turn out to have been politically incorrect - racist, misogynist, homophobic, bigoted, you name it...  From ancient Romans and Greeks who turn out to have supported slavery, to upstanding ladies and gentlemen of the Empire who turn out to have uncomfortable views, there may be more of them around than we normally give thought to. 

So, what should we do when we find out? Should we call them out for it? Should we stop citing them at all? Where does it end?

It's one thing to take down a statue of Cecil Rhodes, but what about famous people celebrated in (say) Scottish street names, do we rename the streets? Or famous scientists, do we stop referring to their laws and findings as theirs and call them something else? 

Don't know.

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I can present myself as an accidental foil of racism, though the loud one may or may not have thought himself as such.   Once upon a time as a youngster I remarked that a young black American, a quiet lad (like me) had a Scottish name - Campbell.

Oh dear, his boss, ex. navy (big, white and very loud), took that lead to rip the pish about his ancestry and his mother.   All good banter like?   Maybe.   Wee Campbell kept quiet.

I met young Campbell a year or two later and feck me, he had been working out.   Jeeez, impressive, but I still feel bad.   Was that partly me?   :hammer:

I felt awkward at the time, but learning more about how Scottish names were taken takes me back to the incident and I feel even worse.   That's why I remember it.

I'm sure Glasgow named Jamaica St. proud in the trade and wealth created (Jamaica was worth more to Britain than the lost American colonies), but I'd be afraid to go and ask folk over there what they think about us.

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7 minutes ago, Grim Jim said:

I can present myself as an accidental foil of racism, though the loud one may or may not have thought himself as such.   Once upon a time as a youngster I remarked that a young black American, a quiet lad (like me) had a Scottish name - Campbell.

Oh dear, his boss, ex. navy (big, white and very loud), took that lead to rip the pish about his ancestry and his mother.   All good banter like?   Maybe.   Wee Campbell kept quiet.

I met young Campbell a year or two later and feck me, he had been working out.   Jeeez, impressive, but I still feel bad.   Was that partly me?   :hammer:

I felt awkward at the time, but learning more about how Scottish names were taken takes me back to the incident and I feel even worse.   That's why I remember it.

I'm sure Glasgow named Jamaica St. proud in the trade and wealth created (Jamaica was worth more to Britain than the lost American colonies), but I'd be afraid to go and ask folk over there what they think about us.

Ach, don't worry about it, that would probs be the last thing on your mind if you were on hols thousands of miles away. Just nick across the Irish sea if you need an outside opinion of us.

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1 hour ago, Grim Jim said:

I'm sure Glasgow named Jamaica St. proud in the trade and wealth created (Jamaica was worth more to Britain than the lost American colonies), but I'd be afraid to go and ask folk over there what they think about us.

That's not correct.

The huge tobacco and cotton industry of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia was worth much more than anything in Jamaica. And that's not counting the wealth of New England's sea ports.

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There were centuries of almost everyone in white western culture being inherently racist (whether they were aware of it or not) that only really started to end in the last 50 years IMO

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You can't judge the people you can their ideas though.

Also the vast majority of them are dead so pulling them up isn't an option.

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William Beveridge, architect of the modern welfare state, was a big supporter of eugenics & would often address meetings during the Commons debates to explain why his proposals were eugenic in nature. He argued that people on benefits should have their right to have children removed and that middle-class families should be paid a higher rate of Family Allowance (Child Benefit) than poor families to encourage a higher rate of childbirth amongst better-educated classes & discourage uneducated people from breeding.

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there's a plaque round the corner from me to a man who thinks slapping women (open hand) is acceptable 

keeps them in line apparently

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27 minutes ago, Huddersfield said:

William Beveridge, architect of the modern welfare state, was a big supporter of eugenics & would often address meetings during the Commons debates to explain why his proposals were eugenic in nature. He argued that people on benefits should have their right to have children removed and that middle-class families should be paid a higher rate of Family Allowance (Child Benefit) than poor families to encourage a higher rate of childbirth amongst better-educated classes & discourage uneducated people from breeding.

If he was still around today, views like that would be good enough to get him a job as a government minister. 

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