Black Lives Matter Has ‘Cartoon-Like View’ of Colonialism, U.K. Minister Says

The Black Lives Matter movement in Britain has a “kind of cartoon-like view of what was happening over centuries across a quarter of the world,” U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said, criticizing protesters for seeking to topple monuments linked to the country’s colonial past.

Speaking on the BBC’s “Political Thinking with Nick Robinson” show, the minister, who is Black, said the British Empire was “something that lasted more or less 400 years and covered a huge expanse of territory.” People need “to understand history and understand that it’s very complex,” he said.

The killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis led to protests across the U.K. during the summer, including the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol. The U.K. this month announced plans to make it harder for public statues to be taken down, even as some boroughs like the City of London move to remove those of figures with links to slavery.

“I don’t think you can just rip down statues,” Kwarteng said. “That’s illegal and act of vandalism.”

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