Students scrubbed Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ off a university wall, saying he was “racist”. Is it ever right to erase work when a historical figure’s reputation is revised by modern standards?
@Diane_toller I don’t think their work should be erased. It’s history. We need to learn from it. Kipling came from a different era. Places of learning should stop putting the written word, by anyone, on walls.
@ ShahidMohmand79 Kipling, like all of us, was a product of his time. Trying to re-invent him or his work as per today’s requirements would be atrocious and an utter travesty. @humanisthobbit It is impossible to take any artist, scientist, writer and leader out of their time to choose what we find palatable without dealing with their generation’s prejudices, racism and gender stereotypes. We must see them in their historical context.
@ maddie_ foster98 It isn’t erasing history. The poem still exists. There is a difference between acknowledgement/representation and celebration. Students have a right to choose what celebrates their communal values. It’s about time that BAME ( black, Asian and minority ethnic) art was celebrated.
@ Gabe55Gabe It is wrong to try to remove historical work because its author or constructor offends our modern views but there should be more education about the darker side of our past ‘ idols’ and ‘ heroes’.
@RobAKemp1966 No, the past is the past and we must learn from it. Otherwise, how are we to evolve? Learn about Kipling, the times and locations of his life. He also wrote
The Jungle Book – would you erase that and his other great works?
@katydid_ alot Erase? No. But wiser heads should have prevailed before putting it up. Such works should be consigned to historical study and we ought not cling to an inglorious past.
@ dollidancer The important thing is to study why people thought that way at the time so that students, or anyone, can understand how and why views change.