The custodial death of George Floyd in the United States has caused a ripple effect as people all over the world are coming out to large numbers to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movements. Citizens across the globe are protesting against the custodial death of an African-American man in the United States. Similar protests were also witnessed in England where activists from Bristol toppled the statue of a slave trader Edward Colston.
Similarly social media websites went abuzz when pictures of a statue of former wartime leader Winston Churchill with a “was a racist” graffiti went viral. A Facebook page called Redfish shared a post with the defaced statue claiming “Black Lives Matter protesters defaced a statue of Winston Churchill in London.”
The post was then shared almost 8,000 times by various Facebook users.The same post was also shared on Twitter by the same account and was retweeted several times.
The post also said, “Churchill in his own word:”I do not admit that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the Black people of Australia. I do not admit that wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race, to put it in that way, has come in and taken their place.”
“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.””I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.””Aryan stock is bound to triumph.”
The Opoyi team while fact checking this claim found that:
Indeed a statue of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was defaced during a “Black Lives Matter” protest. According to a report published by The Evening Standard, protestors graffitied “(Churchill)was a Racist” on the statue.
Our team also tried to fact check the claims made by Redfish and found that Churchill had indeed said ” “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”
This was said by Churchill in a conversation and was published in the book Leo Amery : Diaries (1988), edited by John Barnes and David Nicholson.pg 832.
Similarly Churchill’s claim of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes is also an official statement made by the leader. “I cannot understand this squeamishness about the use of gas,” Churchill had written during his tenure as minister for war and air in 1919. However it was later pointed out by the BBC that the anger was misplaced and Warren Dockter a research fellow claimed “What he(Churchill) was proposing to use in Mesopotamia was lachrymatory gas, which is essentially tear gas, not mustard gas.”
Churchill had also talked about tribes in a disparaging manner and had said “I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place” in 1937 to the Palestine Royal Commission.
Similarly the comment “Aryan stock is bound to triumph” was made by Winston Churchill in an interview to Michigan Quarterly review in 1966.
Winston Churchill is still remembered in India as the architect of the Bengal famine of 1943 that caused the death of 4 million people.
Thus deducing from the presence of information about Churchill it can be said beyond doubt that the post is not misleading as there is plenty of evidence to corroborate the claim.