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Drag Race UK icon Sum Ting Wong wants torn-down Bristol slaver statue replaced with a C**k Destroyer

Reiss Smith June 9, 2020
Bristol protesters dropping slaver statue into the harbour / Sophie Anderson

Sum Ting Wong has called for Bristol's toppled slaver statue to be replaced with one of Cock Destroyer Sophie Anderson. (Getty/Netflix)

Drag Race UK star Sum Ting Wong has come up with a worthy replacement for Bristol’s torn-down statue of slave trader Edward Colston: Cock Destroyer Sophie Anderson.

A statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled by anti-racism protesters in Bristol on Sunday (June 7) and thrown into a harbour, to the delight of Black communities and anti-racist allies but the chagrin of politicians including Priti Patel and Keir Starmer.

Patel has labelled those responsible for the toppling “thugs”, and Starmer is among those to argue that the statue, though offensive, ought to have been removed “properly”. Calls for its removal have been many and vocal over the years, yet it has remained erect.

As the act of protest sparks a wider conversation over statues of racist historical figures, there now stands an empty plinth in Bristol city centre.

There have been many suggestions as to what might replace the statue, with one very tongue-in-cheek idea coming from Drag Race UK star Sum Ting Wong.

Sum Ting Wong
Sum Ting Wong. (BBC)

“The British empire is shrouded in colonialism, slavery and racism,” Sum Ting wrote.

“But some good things have come out from it, we should be celebrating the good and not the bad.”

That good, she suggested, is gay icon and LGBT+ ally, “the true queen of Bristol” Sophie Anderson, who like Sum Ting has used her platform in recent days to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Bristol toppling sparks debate over slave trader statues.

The toppling of Bristol’s Edward Colston statue, first erected in 1895, has prompted a nationwide debate over monuments to slave traders.

At the time of writing more than 65,000 had signed a petition calling on the government to remove every slaver statue in the UK, stating that they “represent the painful history of slavery by uplifting the disgusting British slave traders that stole people from all over Africa”.

A separate petition calling for the Colston statue to be replaced with one by Black Bristolian civil rights campaigner Paul Stephenson has attracted almost 30,000 signatures.

In the south-west city there have been renewed calls to remove Colston’s name from all roads, schools and landmarks. Colston, who died in 1721, used wealth acquired in large part from the slave trade to fun schools, hospitals, almhouses and other good causes in Bristol, prompting numerous commemorations across the city.

Attempts to add a plaque to the now-sunken bronze explaining how Colston was involved in the enslavement of more than 80,000 Africans were scuppered in 2019 because of pressure from a group running charities bearing the slaver’s name.

After the statue was toppled Colston Hall, the city’s flagship music venue, confirmed it will change its name by autumn 2020, having previously (in 2017) committed to doing so by spring 2020.

More: anti-racism, black lives matter, Cock Destoyers, Sophie Anderson, Sum Ting Wong

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