Author`s name Alexander Shtorm

What prompts Americans to remove monuments?

The case of the public confrontation to violence based, as many believe, on ineradicable racism in the United States has made a lot of headlines all over the world. In New York, it  was decided to  remove the monument to Roosevelt at the entrance to the famous Museum of Natural History. The monument depicts the politician on horseback, with an Indian and an African standing right beside him.

According to Ellen V. Futter, the president of the museum, the decision is not related to the statue of Roosevelt himself, who is honored in the museum as a pioneer of American conservatism, - the reason lies in the hierarchical composition of the monument.

Nadezhda Shvedova, chairwoman of the ISCRAN Center for Social and Political Research, spoke with Pravda.Ru about what prompts the Americans to fight against "racist" monuments.

"The killing of African-American George Floyd became a torch that lit up against the background of a number of factors," says Nadezhda Shvedova. "This was not the first violation of human rights. The number of deaths among blacks during the pandemic was larger.  In fact, it was three times as much as among white people. Black people die and get killed more frequently in comparison with whites, and all this comes as a reflection of social inequality."

According to Shvedova, all these significant problems struck during the election campaign. Many believe that Trump fuels racist sentiments.

"The Americans are pursuing a policy of positive discrimination. What does it mean? For example, they introduced quotas among professors in order to increase their representation in the teaching staff. They developed a network of higher educational institutions, where African Americans were widely welcomed. The Alcorn State University became the first historically black university in 1871 in Mississippi, when it was just a college.

"A lot has changed in the lives of African Americans since the active struggle for their rights in the 1960s. Speaking of universities, the state has provided and continues to provide substantial support to black students. Barack Obama's election as President also showed that the intensity of racist relations was a thing of the past. This phenomenon has not become obsolete historically. Therefore, when the Americans pay attention to the fact that there is a black person next to Roosevelt's pedestal, they take it painfully," the expert told Pravda.Ru.

The desire to get rid of racist sentiments, in her opinion, speaks of a healthy society.

Physical and psychological violence on the part of the police is a humiliating tool of coercion, which "overwhelmed the patience" of the US society as a whole. The American society believe in human dignity. This high value bar is widely recognized, the expert emphasized. It is no coincidence that a person with a criminal past became the banner of protest - this is also a reflection of the further development of humanism. Floyd "was not a person of high moral values," although at the time of his death George Floyd had already cleared his name.

"Clearly, removing monuments makes no sense. This is not a way to correct historical injustice. This is just a semblance of a struggle that takes one away from the essence of the problem," she said.

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