Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

Moreland City Council’s decision to change its name after discovering connections to a Jamaican sugar plantation of the same name, which employed slaves in the 18th century, is part of a broader movement of decolonization sweeping across the West.

Proponents of decolonization believe that racism is endemic in Western societies today, and that this racism stems from the same “white supremacy” that was used to justify slavery of blacks in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The town of Moreland includes suburbs such as Brunswick (pictured) and Coburg.

The town of Moreland includes suburbs such as Brunswick (pictured) and Coburg.Credit:Paul Jeffers

For those who demand decolonization, colonialism is much more than a historical error from which we can learn and develop. Instead, it is a persistent and pervasive feature of the present that delays true equality, still causes pain to the colonized, and prevents equal distribution of power. They mix past and present and behave as if colonization is a contemporary problem of enormous urgency that needs to be addressed before society can truly be fair.

In the last few years, decolonization has manifested itself in attacks on statues across Britain, the United States and Australia under the banner Black Lives Matter and similar social justice groups. Crowds of people have taken to the streets to persecute stone and metal for the real and imagined racism sins of those depicted. In Sydney’s Hyde Park, the statue of Captain Cook briefly had its own horse guard to protect it from activists.

Last week, the statue of Thomas Jefferson was banished from New York City Hall. It does not matter that he wrote the words “We consider these truths to be obvious, that all human beings are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ” Facts are irrelevant to this movement, which chooses emotion and superstition over reason, whim over common sense and barbarism over civilization.

Decolonization also manifests itself in feverish attempts to rename places. It is extraordinary that no one in Moreland had been bothered in the slightest by the name, even though the connection to the sugar plantation had already been established.

Police are guarding a statue of Captain James Cook in Hyde Park during protests in 2020.

Police are guarding a statue of Captain James Cook in Hyde Park during protests in 2020.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

This is a master class in virtue signal from some members of the Moreland City Council, who clearly believe that they are morally superior to the “racist” men and women of the British Empire. They suggest that if we continue to use the name Moreland, we are as racist and guilty as our predecessors. We are being unfairly compared to slave-owning colonials who lived and died about 300 years ago.

Perhaps the Council should be reminded that while it is true that the British followed Arabs and Africans into the slave trade, they were also the first to leave it, and with it the heinous racism behind it. Riley and his fellow councilors should remember that the British Empire made history by being the first great power to abolish the slave trade and slavery in the name of the Christian notion that all human races are equal in the eyes of God.

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