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Black Lives Matter protests reignite debate over Captain Cook statues

Commentators are decrying the revision of history following a renewed call from protesters to tear down statues of European explorers.

The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked the destruction of statues and monuments of controversial historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus and famous slave traders, in the US and UK.

Closer to home, the movement has seen a renewed push to remove statues of Captain James Cook.

Australian National University historian Professor Bruce Scates told Deborah Knight that while “nobody is beyond critique”, monuments can be instead used as “a platform for truth-telling”.

“We have an uncomfortable history.

“I welcome the conversation that’s taking place now, because it offers us an opportunity to redress the wrongs of the past.

“There are memorials that are an affront to Aboriginal communities, and I think we can address them – we don’t necessarily have to tear them down.”

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