British statesman Edmund Burke, known for his advocacy for abolishing slavery, has recently been added to a Black Lives Matter-inspired shame list for historical figures with supposed connections to the slave trade.
Burke, widely regarded as one of the fathers of conservatism, is just the most recent target of Black Lives Matter — a movement known for its obsession with tearing down statues and trying to erase history that it disagrees with.
The abolitionist’s name was added to the shame list by U.K. parliamentarians, who have placed his statues and portraits under review for possible removal from the Palace of Westminster. Despite the fact that Burke never owned slaves, and was fiercely opposed to the practice of slavery, these British MPs have targeted him amidst their effort to assess the palace’s artwork to ensure it falls in line with woke progressive standards.
An article from The Times of London reported that the father of conservatism was added to a list of those who “supported slavery [or] had financial or family interests in the transatlantic slave trade and slavery” — all because his brother had profited from slave plantations in the Caribbean.
While there is no suggestion that Burke himself profited from slavery, especially his brother’s actions, the left seems to be continuing with their agenda of “guilt by association.”
Abolitionist 'Father of Conservatism' Edmund Burke Put on BLM-Inspired Slavery Shame List https://t.co/w40j3UiCHL
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 27, 2022
The list was sparked from the resurgence of the BLM movement in Britain in 2020 following the death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States. The purpose of the list is supposedly to transform the art collection in Parliament to become “more representative of diversity.”
The review of the art is being led by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s advisory committee on works of art in the House of Commons, and is also chaired by Conservative MP Dean Russell.
Including Burke on the list has elicited backlash on historical grounds, with Richard Bourke — professor of political thought at King’s College, Cambridge — referring to the addition of Burke to a group of people supporting slavery as “nonsense.”
“It’s definitely nonsense that Burke was a supporter of the slave trade. He was a critic of slavery from his first recorded views. He found it abhorrent,” Bourke told The Telegraph.
“Being an abolitionist is a little more complicated. He supported immediate abolition in the late 1780s, but then retracted during the French Revolution,” he continued. “The moment, he thought, was not right.”
“In general terms Burke opposed slavery but not its forthright abolition. Before abolition, he proposed alleviating the barbarities of the trade itself. Given these complexities, there are commentators out there who conclude that because he had a scheme for reforming the trade he was a supporter of it. Ideology knows no bounds,” Bourke added.
Burke had also fought to impeach the governor of Bengal, Warren Hastings, in response to the colonial injustice under his leadership.
An Irish-born British statesman who served in Parliament as a Whig between 1766 and 1794, Burke’s writings have become central to political conservatism, especially in the U.S., and have led to him being referred to as one of the “fathers of conservatism.”
The prominent abolitionist — who expressed sympathy for the American revolution — is best known for his 1790 pamphlet, Reflections on the Revolution in France, which accurately foresaw that the leftist revolution would descend into a bloody tyranny.
In his 1932 essay “Consistency in Politics,” British wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill praised Burke as a figure of conservative admiration — going on to refer to him as the “foremost apostle of Liberty, on the other as the redoubtable champion of authority”.
“His soul revolted against tyranny, whether it appeared in the aspect of a domineering Monarch and a corrupt Court and Parliamentary system, or whether, mouthing the watch-words of a non-existent liberty, it towered up against him in the dictation of a brutal mob and wicked sect,” Churchill added.