When they arrived in Berlin in 1945 and ended World War II, the Soviets began to demolish Nazi statues. After shooting Benito Mussolini and exposing his corpse, the fascist monuments were put on the ground. At the end of the Soviet Union, Stalinist landmarks were destroyed.
Today, there is again a great tendency towards extremism all over the world, especially on the right, and, just as in the 20th century, there is opposition from those who want freedom and respect for human rights (even if these did not exist before). One of the many paths of this opposition is to rethink whom we honor: the oppressor or the oppressed?
Then, there is the controversy: when the oppressor is honored, should it continue like this? And with a simple look at the question itself, the answer comes to mind: no. If we focus on the cases of homage to racists and slavery, the most current, we see that the lack of information about the person portrayed there is almost unanimous. It may be known that the character helped someone or their city, but it is not known that he lived on slavery or stimulated it.
What was normal before, is no longer, and we must begin to make the world a portrait of our time, just as it was of our ancestors and their ideologies, now outdated. For that, we must reconsider who should be in our squares.
The process will be slow and, if ideal, each case must be thought of individually. That the attitudes taken by the honorees be judged to find out if they still deserve a pedestal. We must also consider that your thoughts were influenced by your time, not that it should justify anything, it doesn’t. Historian Eduardo Bueno would say: “From the first moment in which slavery existed, decent people were against it. There is no context, there were always opposing people, whether in Greece, Rome or Sumer ”.
What to do with the statues?
But what to do with the statues? First take it out of the squares, this is the place for tributes, history is in books and museums (which already eliminates the thought that history would be erased). Some activists and thinkers try to create a concept of “Cemetery of Statues”. The works that became dated would be placed in a type of museum, just for its artistic value. Which would exclude those that, besides being absurd, are ugly (watch out Borba Gato!). Thus, maintaining only the usable works.
The world is changing, maturing. We must not prevent, as frightened conservatives, but help the wheel of progress to move forward.