By Amechi Idumuebor (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel has implored anti-racism campaigners not to tear down statues because they serve as grave reminders of past atrocities.
The activist said: ‘I believe even it might be much more positive to keep them because you are going to tell generations to come “this is how it started and this is how it should never be.”‘
Her remarks put her at loggerheads with the Archbishop of Canterbury, who today revealed he would be reviewing statues at Canterbury Cathedral.
Justin Welby said monuments would be looked at ‘very carefully’ to see if they all ‘should be there’.
In a wide-ranging interview, he also urged the West to reconsider its prevailing mindset that Jesus was white, and pointed to different portrayals of Christ as Black, Middle Eastern and Chinese in different countries.
The two figures waded into the heated statue debate at a time when monuments of controversial figures are under the microscope following the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests.
But Machel, the widow of the former prisoner-turned-South African president who campaigned against apartheid, stressed that historic sculptures were important to learn the lessons of the past.