Aboriginals have called for the removal of a statue of Captain Cook which claims he ‘discovered Australia’.
It follows violent protests in the US over a statue of Confederate leader Robert E Lee which many argued celebrates America’s slave-owning past.
And only yesterday, a British broadcaster led calls to tear down Nelson’s Column in London, arguing the 18th Century naval hero was a ‘white supremacist’.
Indigenous Australian broadcaster Stan Grant said his country should follow the example set by the US and consider changing statues which leave a ‘legacy of pain’.
He said the statue of Captain James cook which stands in Sydney’s Hyde Park makes indigenous people feel ‘invisible’.
Claiming that it makes Indigenous people and culture feel ‘invisible’, Grant has called for the inscription on this statue of Captain James Cook located in Sydney’s Hyde Park to be changed
It follows violent protests in the US over a statue of Confederate leader Robert E Lee which many argued celebrates America’s slave-owning past
Indigenous broadcaster Stan Grant (pictured) has called on Australia to follow the example set by the United States and consider altering a statue of Captain James Cook that leaves a ‘legacy of pain’
Having led the ‘First Fleet’ of British ships to Australia in 1770, the statue of Captain Cook unveiled in 1879 is inscribed with: ‘DISCOVERED THIS TERRITORY 1770.’
But in an opinion article written for the ABC, the respected Indigenous advocate told how the claims on the statue were a sore point for Indigenous people.
While saying he didn’t want the statue pulled down, Mr Grant called it a reminder of ‘the violent rupture of Aboriginal society’ – one he claimed they are still enduring.
‘This statue speaks to emptiness, it speaks to our invisibility,’ he said.
‘It says that nothing truly mattered, nothing truly counted until a white sailor first walked on these shores.’
Referring to the lack of acknowledgement about the way Australia had been taken in an instant from the Indigenous people, Mr Grant called it the ‘great silence’.
In the past week, following racist rallies and riots, calls to tear down a statue of Confederate army leader Robert E Lee in Charlottesville have grown louder.
A British broadcaster led calls to tear down Nelson’s Column in London, arguing the 18th Century naval hero was a ‘white supremacist’
The U.S. has been rocked in recent weeks by violent conflict, stemming largely from a push to tear down statues of Confederate army figures (pictured) such as Robert E Lee
Following racist rallies and riots, calls to tear down a statue of Confederate army leader Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville have grown louder
Just like Lee, who fought to keep slavery in the American Civil War, Captain Cook is a figure that brought pain to Australia, according to Mr Grant.
‘Captain Cook’s statue stands in the centre of our biggest city. There are Indigenous people who for good reason would prefer to see it removed,’ he wrote.
Mr Grant added: ‘Personally I accept that it remains; Cook is part of the story of this nation.’
His call to change the statue’s inscription comes after a second Melbourne council voted in favour of not celebrating Australia Day in 2018 because its ‘racist’.
The City of Darebin council, which governs several of Melbourne’s northern suburbs, made the decision on Monday night – a week after the City of Yarra.
Workers in Charlottesville, Virginia, covered a statue of Confederate Robert E Lee in black to mourn a woman killed protesting a white nationalist rally earlier this month.
Heather Heyer was mowed down by a car during a counter-demonstration against the ‘Unite the Right’ event, believed to be the largest gathering of white nationalists in a decade.
Workers in Charlottesville, Virginia, covered a statue of Confederate Robert E Lee in black to mourn a woman killed protesting a white nationalist rally earlier this month
Heather Heyer was mowed down by a car during a counter-demonstration against the white nationalist ‘Unite the Right’ event
Local staff used ropes and poles to cover the imposing statue of Lee on horseback as some onlookers cheered and applauded.
White nationalists and counter-protesters clashed violently on August 12, largely uninterrupted by police until the event was declared an unlawful assembly and the crowd was forced to disperse.
And yesterday, Sky News journalist Afua Hirsch said it was time to ‘look at our own landscape’ and tear down Nelson’s Column following campaigns to remove similar statues in the US.
She said the monument in London’s Trafalgar Square was a prime example of one which should be felled because Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson defended slavery.