The statue of Judge Matthew Begbie has thankfully been taken down from the New Westminster courthouse steps so it can be moved to a more appropriate site, like the New Westminster museum, with an in-depth history included along with it.
From what Coun. Chuck Puchmayr said on social media about how the removal went on Saturday, it was emotional for the members of the various First Nations who witnessed it.
One person tweeted about the news that it was fitting to see a rope around the neck of the statue, which recognizes a man known as the “hanging judge.”
I would say more about how the removal went, but media weren’t invited, to the best of my knowledge.
Nor should we have been.
Perhaps a public ceremony could have been arranged but, frankly, I think it would have turned into a gong show, especially after a certain “proud” group started making videos about the issue.
I saw a few dopes whine on social media about how local residents “deserved” to be there when the statue was taken down, but that’s not true.
The placement of this statue was an insult to Indigenous people. Removing it was about removing that insult, so you – “whitey” – don’t deserve jack squat. The people who were there were able to have some quiet reflection without interference from people trying to kick around a political football.
Get over yourselves.
Since the news broke on Saturday, my inbox has started to fill up again with more letters that include all of the same points that I wrote about back in May.
“Oh, he was just applying the laws of the time.”
“They don’t really want reconciliation.”
“I’m offended by totem poles, we should remove them.” (Yes, more than one person emailed that gem.)
Blah, blah, blah. There’s far worse in these letters, but I can’t even paraphrase this garbage.
The one point I still can’t believe is being propagated is about history somehow being “erased” – that’s just not happening. The statue won’t be melted down. According to the city, it will work with the city’s museum and archives, the community and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to find an appropriate place for the statue; and engage in a process of consultation to find an appropriate place to tell the history of the Chilcotin War.
That’s a lot more history than was being told with the “hanging judge” standing in front of a courthouse. The Law Society of B.C. agreed when it removed a Begbie statue from its lobby.
And, once again, I’m calling BS on these letter writers really caring about the reputation of poor ol’ Judge Begbie.
That’s not what this about for them. That’s never what it’s been about. Some people just want to continue to inflict pain on Indigenous people.
Well, guess what, this time you lost. Crawl back under your rock.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.