South Africa should be seen as a model for removing racist monuments, HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen said in a series of viral tweets this week.
Polgreen said the #RhodesMustFall campaign, and changes to apartheid-era monuments, were progressive examples of how the events unfolding in Charlottesville could've been addressed.
I had white friends in South Africa who would take pride in wearing this t-shirt. It always stirred controversy. pic.twitter.com/kyK4kaKD83— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) August 13, 2017
South Africa's history provides some useful lessons for those of us grappling with the tragic events in Charlottesville.— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) August 13, 2017
Her comments come after a counter-protester was killed, and dozens more critically injured during a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to the New York Times.
The rally was organised in opposition to a plan by local officials to remove a prominent statue of Robert E. Lee – a confederate general, and hero of the Klu Klux Klan.
Polgreen was quick to make clear that not all the monuments to apartheid heroes had been removed in South Africa, and there was still a long way to go but 'at least they are trying', she said.
The struggle continues in South Africa. Not all the monuments are gone. Not all the history has been reclaimed. But at least they are trying— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) August 13, 2017
She was also clear about the futility of some of the removals in South Africa, and that changes to monuments will only be enough once economic justice is included in the redress of South Africa's socio-economic crisis.