On Statues: Discourse, Historiography, Distraction

On Statues: Discourse, Historiography, Distraction.

Dónal Mac ERLAINE
Independent researcher

Introduction

Much to the chagrin of conservatives, statues of the slave traders of old are being torn down around the world, and not only just in post-colonies.[1] In Bristol, Edward Colston was pulled down, jumped upon, knelt upon on the neck in the same manner by which George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis;[2] Leopold II was removed by authorities after suffering vandalism in Ekeren, Belgium; Spanish Conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar, was toppled in Popayán, Colombia; and Columbus himself was beheaded in Boston; and many more.[3]

In a manner of criticism by the self-proclaimed leaders of the free-world, in a backhanded way they were egged on, by Trump tweeting it a ‘disgrace’,[4] threatening a 10-year prison sentence,[5] and by Boris Johnson penning a response in The Telegraph referring to Winston Churchill as a ‘hero’, after his statue was vandalised, labelling him as racist.[6] These acts are certainly complex and divisive, as the individuals themselves were. But what does this flurry of behaviour towards statues mean? Why now? And can we understand some of these behaviours on their own terms, through the actions themselves?

In an era where the existence of colonial statues is questioned, it is interesting to turn towards the situation in Ireland, the only EU member state that is a post-colony. It therefore occupies an unusual position, having suffered the other end of colonialism, but now being part of the developed global north. None of the monuments or figures from the colonial era remain. The most famous was Nelson’s Pillar, located as the centrepiece of Dublin city, phallically dominating what is locally believed to be the widest street in Europe. It was half blown-up by the IRA in 1966, only to be demolished in full by the Irish Army a week later. The inhabitants of the former second city of the empire are today surrounded by statues of their own cultural and political heroes.

But yet despite this, the contemporaneous vandalism of statues does exist in Ireland, in particular of Luke Kelly (1940-1984), a well-known and indeed beloved Dublin balladeer. At the time of writing, one of the two statues of the singer in Dublin had been vandalised seven times in the previous twelve months.[7] There is a vast difference, of course, between tearing down a statue of say, Edward Colston and the recent spate of daubing of the Dublin singer, but they are related in more ways than simply vandalism of statues, as we shall later see.

Beyond Irish shores, these statue attacks are something that people seem to feel very strongly about. Reactions are fierce—most interestingly—even among people who are demonstrably uninterested in history. On one level we are being shown the depth of tribalistic political siding, where one camp will refuse to agree with a member of the other on any given theme. This much is relatively obvious and goes without the need for much comment. But the relationship between the mindless vandalism of Luke Kelly in Dublin, and that of the colonialists, slave traders, imperial apologists etc, is rather subtle and weaves itself through three planes which I shall consider: the discursive; the historiographical; and the distractive.

Discourse

A common claim is that by tearing down statues one ‘re-writes’ history.[8] It reveals an unquestioned belief in a linear, objective past, an argument I shall come to later. Even the British Prime Minister has fiercely argued along this line, that these acts somehow are a contortion. ‘If we start purging the record and removing the images of all but those whose attitudes conform to our own, we are engaged in a great lie, a distortion of our history,’ he says.[9] As his comments are well-documented to be consistently misogynistic, Islamophobic, Homophobic, slavery-apologist, and racist, one would be right to wonder what his idea of history really is.[10]

Other high profile commentators argue this, such as Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s claims that these acts are ‘Stalinist’ without seeming to acknowledge the history itself of the country he inhabits, or the fact that Stalin himself riddled the USSR with statues glorifying himself.[11] Through the forces of history, the economic division in the world is undeniably still hugely powered by colonial theft and slavery. These are, of course, the same forces that empower some people and disempower others, and this criticism comes from those who have more access to various platforms of vocality. Another member of Johnson’s cabinet argues that the removal or vandalism of statues is an attempt to re-write history so that we can live in a politically correct world.[12] Applied to speech, we can say that some forces of history and culture censor some whilst enabling others to speak freely. The resistance to tearing down these statues relates to this subtler level, and intention to not confront many of these difficult issues. In a way the censorship is strangely self-inflicted and evasive then.

But are the statue vandals really erasing the facts of the past? And if so, precisely how? Were the facts of the past somehow genuinely embedded in those figures? It could equally be argued that it is an act of full awareness of the past. Might these critics have to agree that Luke Kelly is being erased or re-written too, by the same logic? If Kelly’s legacy is immune to the re-writing of history simply by virtue of his fame being primarily that of a musician (although he was popularly known to hold strong political views), how does that historical-political mechanism work? If it does not apply in the case of Kelly (which we can presume), then it must be based on intentionality but critics won’t hear those who do tear down the statues. An ulterior motive is then presumed, but never examined.

Another criticism is that by removing statues of colonial heritage, a certain group of people are censored. It is unlikely to be true, simply by virtue of the polemic’s common occurrence. Many people openly complaining about being censored, only leads to a self-contradiction. On a more interesting level however, the removal of statues brings a new manner of historical examination and debate to light. If true, censorship of colonial history, and the removal of it from history books—whitewashing it—would more likely aid the beneficiaries of colonialism. Censoring slavery would do nothing more than aid right-wing extremists and empirical apologists,[13] and indeed this is the case as documented by some UK research.[14] This mechanism is easily seen in denial of the Holocaust or Armenian genocide. The actions of those who remove statues alluding to slavery today are a far cry from this, being led by popular, grassroots groups protesting against racism.

Unfortunately, the argument that covering up history rather than understanding it, seems invariably to come from those who benefit from that same history, or support those who do, and themselves refuse to understand it. Louise Richardson, the vice-chancellor of Oxford university—commonly understood to be the best such entity in the world—argues that removing statues covers up history rather than confronting it.[15] In a mind-boggling faux pas for a professor of political science, she continued arguing along this line, to include a quotation from none other than Nelson Mandela, in fact doing little more than strengthening the arguments surrounding white entitlement for her opponents.[16]

I would argue, on the other hand, that the intention behind these actions is to de-glorify the slave traders, rather than censor anybody’s voice in particular. Simply put, slave traders such as Colston, the industry and institution of slavery all told, had a net negative impact on mankind, and some people are expressing their natural reaction to that fact. 

Historiography

Reactions are strong in relation to these figures. As a species, Homo sapiens have been making anthropomorphic figures for about as long as we have been making art. There is a deep connection between one’s idea of another human being, oneself, and an effigy. It’s almost as if the statue is the person, and in some cultures they are treated as such. Fetishization would explain why people’s reactions are so intense to this.

Regarding the idea of censorship or ‘editing’ history or the past, there is a profound error here. History and the past are not the same thing. History is a contemporary phenomenon. It is written by whichever generation, in their language, to serve their needs, wants, and to a varying level informed by their biases, experiences, or intentions, conscious or unconscious. We write rather than make history, it is not something that happens to us, or that exists outside our experience, and agency is higher among many of the vocal critics such as Trump, Johnson, Turnbull, Richardson etc. How many names of the statue vandals are household names? History, rather, is the product of research and writing. The erasure of history would be equivalent to censorship, as it would involve removing certain information.

Any writing of history must use some sort of selective mechanism, separating the mundane from the necessarily important. Agency must be engaged in this. Facts and events do certainly have effects. By destroying a statue of any figure, be it Lenin, Mandela, Colston, Luke Kelly, or Voltaire, we don’t erase the past, we react to some of the facts of it, and in so doing create further discourse. Erecting or removing a statue is discourse, as is the statue itself. And the destruction of a statue only comes about alongside awareness of the relevant past.

History, per se, belongs to whom it is written, because it serves them, or the culture around it. The creator of historiography himself, Hegel, fabricated his ideas of the purpose of historical ‘progress’, a totally unfounded idea, but one which nevertheless served his patron for the project.[17] It is undivorceable from a certain possessiveness by its creators and/or its beneficiaries. When a culture exists that cannot discern history from the past, it forms a strong condition for problems to arise. A deluge of colonial statues, would of course be beneficiary to the class created by that same colonialism. It is a non-material benefit, as the material has already been granted them, but a glorification, embedded in bronze, or on horseback etc.

Boris Johnson—himself both a classicist by training, and a documented pathological liar[18]—argues that we ought not to ‘edit’ our history, seemingly outside of any awareness that he himself is a weighted agent in this by virtue of his position, it in turn being supported by weighty historical forces.[19] His Telegraph article betrays an inane but nevertheless common belief in the existence of an objective, linear, Platonic past. Putting one’s possession of history in a centric position, as he does, equates to a fundamental belief in a natural inequality between peoples, and it is this that forms the moral basis for the atrocities of colonialism in the first place.

Nature of time

Putting history aside, the past on the other hand is rather more complex. It is important to discuss this as the common Platonic linear past is one which supports these other claims. Rudimentary logic informs us that an argument is only ever as good as its premise, and so some discussion on this must be had. I have claimed earlier that many of today’s economic, social and political problems are due to the fact of colonial activity in the past. It is tempting to extrapolate from loudly obvious facts of cause and effect and all things work this way through the fabric of time, but in reality its operations are far more subtle, slippery, and fuzzy.

Time is a real phenomenon, at least on the physical level on which we operate. We cannot say the same at the quantum level so easily, but that is not politically relevant. Within the space where we operate, live out our lives, and die, there exists the law of entropy. Otherwise known as the 2nd law of thermodynamics, this shows that the directionality of time is a real phenomenon. Briefly, this cosmic law states that energy shall always move in the direction of where there is less of it. The heat from my cup of coffee gradually disperses into the relatively cooler air around it. It never naturally happens the other way around, unless by application of a greater energy from outside that system. This means that, on the whole, the dispersion of energy gives a direction to actions in the universe, and therefore direction of time.

We must understand there to be that arrow of time, but perhaps not cling to it so tightly. Causes do have effects, but in reality the linearity is less clear. Causes can overlap, for example within one’s life a particular cause may not have effect for many years, during which other causes make effect. Suddenly that earlier cause is relevant when it wasn’t before. Therefore cause and effect come before temporal linearity in terms of operation in reality.

The lens of possessiveness that I mentioned demonstrates the dangers of historicism. Knowledge or even existence of any objective past is simply impossible. We can know from simple human storytelling or reflection of events, that real-time experience simply cannot be accurately recounted by any single discourse, no matter how detailed. A representation of events must be stitched together in order to extract a meaning from these, and this selective process will always have a guiding force in its narrative. To quote a major thinker in this field, Collingwood, ‘the fact demanding attention is neither the past by itself… nor the historian’s thought by itself… but the two things in their mutual relation.’[20]

Meaning is what we humans look for after all, and we invest hugely in our past, to make sense of our present. I have yet to see the argument that the statue vandals are erasing or editing the past, come with a detailed accompaniment of how precisely they might be doing it. Surely as the grains of time slip by, our actions inevitably are added to some future’s past. And we can equally—and more correctly, I believe—see the actions of removing a statue as an addition to that past, whether we may agree with it or not. The difference is between writing a new past, and believing that there exists an objective—Platonic—linear version of events through time.

Interestingly there exists a strong element of spatiality of time, going equally unquestioned by the typical westerner. There is the tendency to think of time as a line, often running from left to right, or of the future in front of one, and the past behind. These of course are cultural constructs. Some non-western cultures equally understand time to move uphill,[21] or in a reversal of the western spatiality, see the past in front and the future behind oneself.[22] Others have no depth in past time, the battle of Hastings being no ‘farther away’ than the 9/11 attacks.[23]

If the statues themselves are present-day phenomena, erected on today’s streets and plazas—which of course they are—then we must ask why this is so, if colonial historical facts are correct. Of course the protests aren’t being listened to by those on the other side. And if they were, there would be no counterargument. This is because the BLM and other groups are not attempting to re-write, edit, censor, or erase history. They are very clear in their communication as to what their message is. Chants of ‘black lives matter’, ‘no justice, no peace, no racist police,’ are a very clear reaction to the murder of George Floyd whose death by police is unfortunately only one of many such occurrences.[24] To any casual observer, it would seem plainly obvious what the point of attacking the statues is. And on that, it may be wise to remember Kimberly Jones’ phrase, ‘they are lucky that what Black people are looking for is equality and not revenge.’[25] But the tribalistic division and copying from one side by the other in endless reactionary discourse is now so developed that at one point, statues of both Churchill and Mandela had to be protected by London police from fear of vandalism.[26]           

Cui Bono?

Time and time again, some of the same questions are worthy of repetition. The adage of cui bono? may pop its head up here. Who benefits from all this? It is clear who has benefitted from the colonial period, and those who did continue to do so. Ours is a world built upon structural violence, and through the forces of history some are still economically powered by colonial theft and slavery. As these are undeniable facts, the fierce resistance to the tearing down of these statues may come from a subtler level. The history embedded by those statues and monuments is simply that of the western, upper class, male-dominated, pillaging: a very niche one indeed. The frustrated reaction to the damage is very revealing in this. It benefits the west just as the facts of that same history did (and does). It is theirs. Many argue that to change this would only be in order to be politically correct. Somehow a world history from the point of view of the Arabic golden age is biased, immature, and reactionary, but not the former.

It is of massive benefit to colonial apologists to confuse history with the past. To obscure the argument serves as a wonderful smokescreen. Some tweet this and similar arguments which are not rationally thought through, but their followers nevertheless repeat it, driven by emotion rather than reason, humans being irrational beings after all. But in the end the removal of a statue of any figure, be it Lenin, Mandela, Colston, Kelly, or Voltaire we don’t erase the past, we react to the facts of it. Indeed the destruction of a statue only comes about alongside awareness of the relevant past, except in the case of Luke Kelly.

The true agenda here is to support the continuance of the historical force of colonialism, and keep the dreaded conversation of reparation at its farthest bay. In desperation there is a spin of discourse into something else, another distraction, because there is no policy, no action, not even an ideology. Running out of polemic, those beneficiaries are left to resort to clownishness, hence the cultural relevance in the non-discursive vandalism of Luke Kelly. Unlike any other political movement in history, disaster capitalism consists of nothing, just like the rash of attacks on Dublin’s famous singer, yet certain parties can benefit from it. 

Distraction

The third plane through which I wish to discuss this is distraction. Both the politically motivated statue attacks and the mindless ones of Kelly function as distraction. Furthermore the discourse surrounding and opposing the vandalism serves as distractive. For the historical revisionists, the attack on a statue operates symbolically while evading a genuine confrontation against a seemingly impervious system, in a way admitting that one cannot easily overcome that system. If they cannot dismantle the structural violence in the world, it is far easier to attack a statue that in some way resembles it. For those opposing the idea of removing the statues, the discourse serves them in committing to what we have seen is a nonsense-based position in order to look elsewhere from the natural guilt for these atrocities. Any distraction may fit for this end, but these polemics are so close to the bone that they come heavily underpinned with emotion.

Here it may be of interest to bring in the vandal (or vandals) of Luke Kelly. This action reflects the clownishness of people who are other-than-politicians. Berlusconi the media mogul; Johnson the tabloid commentator; Trump the reality-tv star; and Grillo—literally a comedian—all subsequently resulted as politicians. But nobody is more impressive than the Cross-fit coach-cum-conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene, who when not wearing a facemask emblazoned with the word ‘censored’ whilst taking the microphone in the US state Capitol, encourages African Americans to be proud of confederate statues.[27] All essentially rely on clown tactics to divert attention from real-world stories that affect real-world people. It is less than a coincidence that the most powerful person in the world during this period of statue vandalism was a reality-tv star.

Populism and distraction can work hand in hand to carry far more complex political agendas, to the unaware voter. People can too easily be sold an archetypal, one-dimensional figure, but unfortunately the reality is that individuals are far more complex. Although this is true for all people, it is more so for those who have more reach because of political position or other privileges, hence the surprising ‘banality of evil’ described by Hannah Arendt.[28] Winston Churchill, the west’s famous war hero, has left behind a complex legacy. The same man who is the poster-boy for fighting the Nazi army, saving the British from almost certain invasion, was also antipathetic to millions during the Bengali famine.[29] The forcing of a real person acting under a myriad of circumstances and influences cannot easily be measured up and delivered as an archetype. And this results in a dissonance between the personality in history and the statue. We can prove this with a simple thought experiment. Ask yourself if there has been a time in your life that has made you proud of your actions; again ask yourself if there has been an action that you regret. With some reflection we quickly realize that there are no inherently good or bad people, only archetypes, and they aren’t real. We all act under a complex net of conditionality. Perhaps it is telling that there are many who feel compelled to attend a protest or counterprotest, but who won’t read a history book.

The identification of an archetype as a leading symbol of a group demonstrates how deep the political division is. Rather than understand the historical characters, their representative talismans are sided with on the streets. Unfair even to the characters themselves, they have been fetishized by all these goings on. It even goes one step further when we browse certain web pages online. The conspiracy theories which wash all over the internet today are ever increasing in their complexity, as they need to distract their audience before any reason comes into play into their argument.[30] If a growing number of people are being led to believe that the earth is flat, what hope do we have for the facts of Churchill’s political decisions during the war? More than there being asinine ideas such as that, there are also real-world consequences. In December 2016, armed gunman Edgar Maddison Welch entered a pizzeria in North Carolina believing the QAnon conspiracy that children were being kept there underground for the Democrats to eat them.[31] In the lasting days of Trumps term in office, the Capitol building was stormed, for the first time since the early 1800s, by a white supremacist armed mob (complete with their obligatory confederate flag) in the believe that Biden’s win in the election was fraudulent. Extremism aids extremism, as it distracts from any discussion, indeed from any facts. It is a purely emotive reaction, led on by internet echo chambers. During the Trump administration the whole world was dragged through a constant and exhausting chain of distractions.

Rather than admit that some people have benefitted incalculably from the state of structural violence in the world, desperate attempts are made to distract. As disaster capitalism rages from the natural (Hurricane Katrina) to the man-made (Brexit, withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal and Paris Accord), we only see clown-acting on the surface (Johnson’s messy hair, Trump tear gassing protesters for a photo-op). Summed up so eloquently by T. S. Eliot, we are ‘Distracted from distraction by distraction.’[32] This is what the attack on the statue of Luke Kelly can represent, as a reflection of the other statue attacks. Its vandalism ought to be thought of as the artistic expression of disaster capitalism. Art critics might call it—à la Benjamin Constant—‘vandalism for vandalism’s sake,’ a sort of disaster-art which makes a good match to affront the political statue attacks. 

Just as the Kelly statue attacks have no meaning, disaster capital neo-liberalists have no policy. They only want to make money, without ideas underneath this as to what to do with it once attained. This is often masked in ideology such as free-market capitalism and then that ideology being contradicted (e.g. government-controlled arms trade, US foreign intervention backing of a coup d’état, etc). Disaster capitalism consists of an ideological nothing, just as the spate of attacks on the Dublin statue, yet certain parties can still benefit from it. It is interesting that these acts appear in a former colony, one which has removed the amulets of colonialism long ago. Even when minting its first independent currencies, the then Irish government decided to print indigenous animals on the coins, and cultural figures on the banknotes, to steer away from the fallout that may occur by glorifying the complexity of the human individual.

I began by asking three questions, the first being what does this behaviour mean? I believe that they are frustrated having to communicate differently—non-verbally—due to the rise of the Internet, coupled with more time at home during the pandemic. The discourse of verbal rationality is increasingly distant, a worrying sign. Secondly, why now? As wealth inequality rapidly increases, subsequently people are ever more disenfranchised. And can we understand this on its own terms? Yes, I believe so. The statue of Luke Kelly shows us the way towards seeing the clownish figures of reality, such as Berlusconi, Johnson, Trump, Duterte, Abbot, Bolsonaro. The world of statue vandalism is obviously complex, incorporating many meanings, as it straddles somewhere between the artistic commentary and the real world lives of its characters boiled down to a simple figure.

[1] ‘Edward Colston statue: Protesters tear down slave trader monument’, BBC News, 7 June, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52954305. Accessed 13 Feb, 2021.

[2] ‘How George Floyd was killed in police custody’, The News York Times, 31 May, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html. Accessed 3 Feb, 2021.

[3] ‘Estatuas de figuras históricas en todo el mundo, bajo ataque de los antirracistas’, Gestión, 12 Jun, 2020. https://gestion.pe/tendencias/estatuas-de-figuras-historicas-en-todo-el-mundo-bajo-ataque-de-los-antirracistas-noticia/. Accessed 3 Feb, 2021.

[4] Richard Hall, ‘Trump cries “disgrace” as protestors topple Confederate statues and monuments across US during Juneteenth celebrations to mark the end of slavery’, The Independent, 20 June, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-juneteenth-statues-monuments-confederacy-black-lives-matter-a9577141.html. Accessed 3 Feb, 2021.

[5] Chris Riotta, ‘Trump threatens protestors who threw red paint on George Washington statue with 10-prison sentence’, The Independent, 30 June, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-twitter-protests-george-washington-statue-manhattan-new-york-a9593501.html. Accessed 11 Feb, 2021.

[6] Boris Johnson ‘Rather than tear some people down we should build others up’, The Telegraph, 14 June, 2020. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/06/14/rather-tear-people-should-build-others/. Accessed 3 Feb, 2021.

[7] Rachel O’Connor, ‘Statue of Luke Kelly vandalised for seventh time in a year’, The Irish Post, 13 July, 2020. https://www.irishpost.com/news/statue-of-luke-kelly-vandalised-for-seventh-time-in-a-year-188942. Accessed 4 Feb, 2021.

[8] Jamie Johnson, ‘More than three-quarters of Britons believe we should learn from history rather than rewrite it’, The Telegraph, 28 June, 2020. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/27/three-quarters-britons-believe-should-learn-history-rather-rewrite/. Accessed 11 Feb, 2021.

[9] Boris Johnson, ‘Rather than tear some people down we should build others up’, The Telegraph, 14 June, 2020.

[10] Adam Bienkov, ‘Boris Johnson called gay men “tank-topped bumboys” and black people “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”’, Business Insider, 9 June, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/boris-johnson-record-sexist-homophobic-and-racist-comments-bumboys-piccaninnies-2019-6. Accessed 4 Feb, 2021. For a typical example see Boris Johnson, ‘Africa is a mess, but we can’t blame colonialism’, The Spectator 14 July, 2021. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-boris-archive-africa-is-a-mess-but-we-can-t-blame-colonialism. Accesseed 4 Feb, 2021.

[11] Malcolm Turnbull’s Facebook post of 26 Aug, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/malcolmturnbull/posts/10155761463461579/. Accessed 4 Feb, 2021.

[12] See Robert Jenrick, ‘We will save Britain’s statues from the woke militants who want to censor the past’, Sunday Telegraph, 16 Jan, 2021. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/16/will-save-britains-statues-woke-militants-want-censor-past/. Accessed 8 Feb 2021.

[13] See Gary Younge, ‘Why interviewing Richard Spencer was a risk worth taking’, The Guardian, 8 Nov, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/08/interviewing-richard-spencer-white-supremacist. Accessed 15 Feb, 2021.

[14] David Gillborn, ‘Education policy as an act of white supremacy: whiteness, critical race theory and education reform’, Journal of Education Policy vol.20, no.4 (July 2005), pp. 485-505.

[15] Sean Coughlan, ‘Don’t hide history, says Oxford head in state row’, BBC News, 11 June, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/education-52999319. Accessed 5 Feb, 2021.

[16] Matt Mathers, ‘Oxford University’s Cecil Rhodes statue row deepens as dons accuse vice-chancellor of “inappropriate” Mandela comments’, The Independent, 22 June, 2020. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/oxford-university-cecil-rhodes-statue-protests-vice-chancellor-louise-richardson-a9571331.html. Accessed 5 Feb, 2021.

[17] Karl Popper, The Poverty of Historicism (London: Routledge, 1957).

[18] See https://costofjohnson.com/. Accessed 8 Feb 2021.

[19] Rachel O’Connor, ‘Statue of Luke Kelly vandalised for seventh time in a year’, The Irish Post, 13 July, 2020. https://www.irishpost.com/news/statue-of-luke-kelly-vandalised-for-seventh-time-in-a-year-188942. Accessed 4 Feb, 2021.

[20] R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History (Oxford: OUP, 1956), pg. 2.

[21] Anil Ananthaswamy, ‘Time flows uphill for remote Papua New Guinea tribe’, New Scientist, 30 May, 2012.

[22] Rafael E. Núñez, & Eve Sweetser, ‘With the Future Behind Them: Convergent Evidence From Aymara Language and Gesture in the Crosslinguistic Comparison of Spatial Construals of Time’, Cognitive Science, 30 (2006).

[23] Alan P. Merriam, ‘African Musical Rhythm and Concepts of Time-reckoning,’ African Music in Perspective. (New York: Garland Publishers, 1982), pp. 443-461.

[24] ‘Confederate statue toppled in Washington, DC amid Black Lives Matter rallies’, Deutsche Welle, 20 June, 2020. https://www.dw.com/en/confederate-statue-toppled-in-washington-dc-amid-black-lives-matter-rallies/a-53880395. Accessed 13 Feb, 2021.       

[25] ‘Kimberly Jones: “they are lucky that what Black people are looking for is equality and not revenge”, The Reasons for Riots-2020’, https://speakola.com/ideas/kimberly-latrice-jones-protests-racism-instagram-2020#:~:text=Great%20and%20Small,Kimberly%20Jones%3A%20’they%20are%20lucky%20that%20what%20Black%20people%20are,The%20Reasons%20for%20Riots%20%2D%202020&text=There%20are%20the%20protestors%2C%20there,and%20there%20are%20the%20looters. Accessed 11 Feb, 2021.

[26] ‘London monuments boarded up ahead of protests’, BBC News, 12 June, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-53020306. Accessed 8 Feb, 2021.

[27] Zack Budryk, ‘House GOP leaders condemn candidate who said black people should be “proud” of Confederate statues’, The Hill, 17 June, 2020. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/503281-house-gop-leaders-condemn-candidate-who-said-black-people-should-be-proud-of. Accessed 13 Feb, 2021.

[28] Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Viking Press, 1963).

[29] Madhusree Mukerjee, Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II (New York: Basic Books, 2010).

[30] I have written about this phenomenon in more detail. See Dónal Mac Erlaine, ‘The Culture of Flat Earth and its Consequences,’ Journal of Science and Popular Culture, vol.3, no.2 (Oct 2020).

[31] ‘”Pizzagate” gunman sentenced to four years’, BBC News, 22 June, 2017. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40372407. Accessed 11 Feb, 2021.

[32] T. S. Eliot, ‘Four Quartets: Burnt Notion, III’, Collected Poems 1909-1962 (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.: 1963), pg. 178.