In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, a number of things are being canceled: Statues are being torn down, state flags are being reconsidered, movies and TV shows are being removed – here is how the culture is changing.
In the wake of the protests against police discrimination and brutality, the paramount network has decided to drop the true-crime reality TV series Cops, after its 33rd season and 31 years on the air.
HBO Max has removed the classic film Gone with the Wind from its streaming service, saying the 1939 film was “a product of its time” and depicted “ethnic and racial prejudices” that “were wrong then and are wrong today.”
On Tuesday night, protesters in Richmond, Virginia, pulled down an 8-foot tall statue of Christopher Columbus and William Byrd Park, defaced it with paint, set it on fire, and then threw it into nearby Fountain Lake, Fox reported.
On Saturday, a few miles away in Monroe Park, protesters tore down a statue of Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham.
In Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday night, protesters there beheaded a statue of Christopher Columbus in the park named after him, CBS Boston reported.
The Confederate flag has always been controversial. While many in the South see it simply as a symbol of southern pride, others view the flag as a reminder of racism and slavery.
To that end, the Confederate flag is being reconsidered in many areas of American life, from the military to NASCAR, to state flags.
In the top left quadrant of the Mississippi flag, is a square of the Confederate flag. Bipartisan lawmakers in the state are now drafting a proposal to remove the battle emblem from the flag.
The state of Georgia formally had three-quarters of its flag occupied by the Confederate battle emblem but adopted a new design on May 8, 2003, that replaced the stars and bars with red and white stripes.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy announced it is working to ban the Confederate flag from all public spaces on Navy installations, ships, and aircraft. Three days earlier, the US Marine Corps ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from all public displays on Marine installations.
Now, the US Army is also considering banning Confederate flags and is reviewing the new policy by the Marine Corps, according to a defense official who spoke to military.com.
On Monday, an Army spokesperson said it is open to discussing changing the names of US bases that are named after Confederate leaders, according to a report by Politico.
At least 10 Army bases bear the names of Confederate leaders including Forts Bragg, Gordon, Benning, Pickett, A. P. Hill, Lee, Polk, Hood, Rucker, and Camp Beauregard, Louisiana.
Confederate flags are often displayed at NASCAR races, and Bubba Wallace, the only black driver on the circuit, is demanding that the racing league remove the flag from all racing events and raceways.
In 2015, NASCAR had already requested that fans “refrain from displaying” Confederate flags at events, but officials stopped short of issuing a ban. NASCAR has banned the use of the flag on its racecars and merchandise.
And it is not just in the United States where statues are being removed, purposely, or forcefully.
On Tuesday in Belgium, a Statue of Leopold II, the Belgian King who brutalized Congo, was removed in Antwerp. However, the statue will be relocated to a museum, but no word on whether it will be displayed or warehoused for posterity.
The statue had been vandalized with red paint over the weekend, by protesters angered over his brutal rule and Belgium’s African colonies.
Another statue of King Leopold II, in the park of the Africa Museum, in Tervuren, just outside Brussels, was found sprayed with graffiti on Tuesday, DW reported.
Two days ago, in the UK, Black Lives Matter protesters in Bristol tore down a statue of 17th-century slave trader and philanthropist Edward Colston, covered it in red paint and threw it in the dock.
In Parliament Square, a statue of Winston Churchill was defaced with the words “was racist,” The Daily Mail reported.
Protesters at Oxford University were also calling for the removal of a statue of “imperialist” Cecil Rhodes.
But the University’s Chancellor called out the “hypocrisy” around the protests, as the trust that funds the renowned Rhodes Scholarships pays for the education of over a dozen African students at Oxford each year.
Nonetheless, the Chancellor called for a “sensible discussion” over the potential removal of Rhodes’ statue, The Daily Mail reported.