The statue of King Leopold II riding proudly on his horse at Place du Trône, just steps away from the Royal Palace has been once again vandalized and spray-painted with various tag lines. Prominently across the King’s chest, we could see a big “Pardon”. Other messages read “Fuck racism” or “This man killed 15 Million people”, a “BLM” in reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, was also found on the base of the statue. This is the same effigy of the King that had already been targeted Sunday, June 7 after the march against racism organized in front of the Law Courts of Brussels.
The hands of Leopold II on his horse were symbolically painted red in reference to the blood that the king had on his hands for crimes perpetrated against the native population during the Congolese Colonial era.
The words “Pardon’ written by the vandals Across his chest and “Racism” on his Horse
Additional tag-phrases such as “King Assassin”, “fuck U” or “No justice, No peace” were also spray painted on the base of the monument to King Leopold in Place du Trône.
Another statue of Leopold II had also been similarly targeted in the gardens of the Museum of Africa just on the outskirts of Brussels in the municipality of Tervuren.
The same modus operandi, using red paint to deface Leopold II. Under the statue, surrounded by animals and native congolese, is spray painted the word “FDP”. An acronym for “Son of a bitch” in French.
But the vandalism didn’t end with King Leopold II, statues of other Belgian monarchs such as the the King Baudouin were also defaced with red paint in front of the Cathedral of Saint Micheal and Gudule, right in the center of Brussels.
The words “Reparations” can be seen tagged on the back of this statue, it was during King Baudouin’s reign in in 1959 that he announced the intention of the Belgian Government to grant independence to the Congo.
On June 30, 1960, he traveled to the Congo to witnessed the transfer of power in Kinshasa (still called Léopoldville at the time). During this ceremony, the King delivered a speech which was later considered by many to only glorifying the Colonial work and ignore of the wrongdoings committed during the era of Belgian rule in the country.
Other statues of the King Léopold II have also been defaced throughout Belgium in the cities of Hal, Ostende and Ekeren as seen in the picture above. Leopold II is criticized for some atrocities that took place in the Congo in the 19th century, when the territory belonged to him personally. The debate on the presence of such monuments in public space, and more broadly on the colonial past of Belgium and the role of the second Belgian sovereign reappears at regular intervals.
Only a very small minority actually support the removal or vandalizing of statues of Leopold II (25% according to the latest polls), but as usual in today’s world, it is more often minorities who dictate their ideology to the majority. The reign of Leopold II corresponds to a period when Belgium is – briefly – the second industrial power in the world and it is during this period of great prosperity, that the King redesigned Brussels and had some of the cities’ biggest landmarks built.
But make no mistake! This is only a small part of their much bigger agenda. In the UK, we’ve seen the venerated Admiral Nelson, winner of Napoleon at Trafalgar being defaced, as well just recently statues of Sir Winston Churchill, the revered icon of WWII.
The choice of the people targeted, even the most illustrious, is secondary. This is not a question of putting words that are unacceptable today in their historical context, but to eradicate a supposed “colonial mentality” still pervasive in the minds of white people.
Decolonization activists and their new allies of the radical left want to put an end to the West, wipe out it’s history, civilization and what it represents.
Like in the old days of communism or more theocracies such the Islamic State tried to impose, it is a question of eradicating the old world in order to build a brand new “radicalized” future. Where everyone is labeled under a certain category and views are scrutinized by a thought police and everyone made to conform to the new dogma.
As they say in politics, The road to hell is paved with good intentions. There is no better time than now to pick up and read once more “Brave New World” (Huxley) or “1984” (Orwell) in order to prepare for what’s to come if boundaries are not set now.
Another bust, this time of the Lieutenant General Émile Storms, who acted in Africa as a soldier, explorer and official for the Congolese Free State between 1882 & 1885. Strangely enough he was know for trying to suppress the East African slave trade.