Following the images coming out of England that show Anti-racism protesters tearing down a statue of a 17th-century slave trader while demonstrating in solidarity with the US Black Lives Matter movement – Australians have been advised to avoid this conversation altogether.

The protesters in the city of Bristol, in southwest England, tied the bronze statue of Edward Colston with rope before toppling it to cheers from the surrounding crowd.
However, in Australia, where schools and politicians are are even better at forgetting the unflattering moments in history – like the namesakes of Townsville and Mackay – the idea of revisiting since revisioned history is something to be avoided at all costs.

The Department of Education, as well as several policing and security agencies have today asked Australians to try and avoid snooping around the backgrounds of some of the old white men we have currently immortalised in bronze throughout our city green spaces around Australia.

“Just. Do me a favour. Don’t do it” says the former Prime Minister’s wife and prominent Australian historian, Lucy Turnbull.

“My uncle wrote about a bit of this stuff in Fatal Shore. Some of these old boys were pretty dodgy”

“You’ll be surprised on how many suburbs were named after people who enjoyed torturing Aboriginal people and convicts… Yeeessh!”

“You can look that one up yourself”

The ‘Father Of Australia’ as he is commonly referred to, Governer Lachlan Macquarie, is often associated with the founding of post-colonial Australia, but is also well-known to historians outside of the Australian school system as someone who enjoyed throwing Aboriginal women and children off cliffs.

In 1816 Governor Macquarie was accused of covering up his genocidal crimes against local natives, after he sent parties to punish the Gundungurra and Dharawal people on their lands along the Nepean River. The expendition ended as soldiers used their horses to force a tribe men, women and children to fall from the cliffs of the gorge, to their deaths below.

Experts say it’s probably better that that doesn’t get brought up, because there will be a lot of scary people who will be willing to rally to protect our history in a similar way to the Charlottesville’s thinly-veiled Neo-Nazis.

“Jesus. You don’t have to scrape the surface on many of these guys to see that they were pretty dicey” says University of Western QLD professor Kerrod Tuqiri.

“Like, they don’t teach in school that General Darling liked to crush convicts testicles with his bare hands. But he did”

“We named an entire river system after him”


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