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Empty pedestal after a confederate statue was removed in Baltimore on Aug. 17
Empty pedestal after a confederate statue was removed in Baltimore on Aug. 17
Mathieu Bock-Côté

MONTREAL — In the aftermath of Charlottesville, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he was considering taking down a statue of Christopher Columbus because it could be offensive to Native Americans. If you were to believe it, this statue risked arousing hate, like so many symbols associated with European expansion and American colonization. In Canada, an Ontario teachers' union has proposed renaming schools that bear the name of John A. MacDonald, one of the country's founding fathers. In Britain, there have been proposed plans to remove the statue of legendary Admiral Horatio Nelson, accused of having defended slavery. There are plenty of other examples of this hunt for statues in the news these past few weeks.

Some only see a new manifestation of the sin of anachronism, which pushes us to abolish history for the sake of a rather foolish adherence to present-day attitudes, as if past eras should be condemned and their traces erased from public spaces. But beyond a basic lack of culture, there are many other factors driving this purifying fury that stirs the masses with vengeance. How can we explain this sudden rage that pushes a certain leftist faction to want to eradicate memory, as if we might somehow create a blank slate? We stand before a demonstration of the power of the penitential reflex that has been written into contemporary Western political culture.

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International Swimming’s top ruling body FINA voted last weekend to ban transgender athletes

Welcome to Worldcrunch’s LGBTQ+ International. We bring you up-to-speed each week on the latest news on everything LGBTQ+ — a topic that you may follow closely at home, but can now see from different places and perspectives around the world. Discover the latest news from all corners of the planet. All in one smooth scroll!

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