Right now the world seems to have gone a little bit crazy. I tend to think of “The Edge“ as a little bit of light relief from the politics and drama going on all around us. Covid has affected us in so many ways!
The mood around the globe seems to be one for change. “Black Lives Matter” as do all lives. We should adopt a policy of “seeing people“ not the colour of their skin. I grew up in the East End of London. I went to school (and am still in touch weekly) with 65 friends from all ethnic backgrounds. We have been close all our lives, long before online media. We used to write to each other and pass the letters on in a “round robin style”. We sent postcards and all piled into a phone box with a stack of 2p and called each other every Sunday afternoon. Our bond is still rock solid. Colour of skin has never been an issue. We all rib and banter and stand by one another regardless.
So I am saddened to hear today there are calls to remove the statue of Henry VIII on the basis that he was a wife beater and Baden Powell too for racist views Not to mention the baying mob want Churchill down too. People who grew rich on the back of “slave trading” I agree do not deserve statues, but where do we draw the line? Will we be taking down the Pyramids next as they were built by slaves?
Gone with the Wind (one of my all time favourite films). I am most definitely Scarlet. I first watched the movie with my nan aged 10 and she became my idol. I identified with her – I am her to a tee. The film had a powerful message. It centred around the war in the South of Georgia to end Slavery.
At the time Black actors and actresses were not allowed to mix on set. Clark Gable (Frankly, my dear – I don’t give a damn”) sat and ate with the black cast every day and ate the Same food they were given.
He refused point blank to attend the Premier unless the black cast came too. Unheard of, but he won and it changed the film industry.
GWTW changed Hollywood. Hattie McDaniels (Mammy) and Butterfly McQueen (Prissy) both wrote and spoke extensively on the film throughout their lives empowering black people.
So to ban it is a travesty to future generations. As is Bill Hailey’s “Roots” and “The Colour Purple” movie which showed Oprah beaten and degraded for standing up to white rule.
I am not political – I value people of all colours and nationalities. We must not erase our history from future generations. We cannot change it but we can learn from it.
In years gone by – Households would be required to declare their allegiance in a battle. I declare for Tudor! Leave Henry’s statue where it is. Pick up a history book and learn, Catherine of Aragon and Elizabeth I both had black ladies in waiting who were well respected.
Knowledge is Powerful – we can empower ourselves through learning and growth! That should be the legacy of Covid 19 – tolerance of each other.
In the words of the famous proverb on tolerance in Tudor times “Praise the God of all, drink the wine, and let the world be the world”.