The Memorial Test

Citizens, based on retrospective judgement of historical figures character and actions, are actively undertaking cultural redaction by toppling sculptures, defacing monuments and renaming streets, schools, buildings and bases. Sometimes these changes are over-the-top and miss the point that you need to preserve some things, perhaps in museums, to maintain memory and learn from the past.

But retrospectively action is not enough. I propose the Memorial Test for determining whether prospective action is required to prevent the election of inappropriate officials and/or the erection of what might be in the future a culturally distasteful monument.

To apply the test imagine your current public figure had a statue. Would you as a citizen protester think it should be toppled based on the public figure’s actions? If the answer is yes then (1) don’t vote for them – assuming voting is allowed in your country and (2) don’t name anything after that person or build any monuments to them.

Donald Trump wouldn’t even unveil a portrait of Barack Obama. Don’t even paint a portrait of Donald Trump.

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