City Council Removes Dog's 'Offensive' Headstone After It Was Deemed 'Not Appropriate'

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Photo Credit: 60celine

Photo Credit: 60celine

A headstone marking the grave of a dog that died in 1902 has been removed because of the racial slur engraved on it, which a city council deemed "not appropriate" in the current age.

The headstone was located in a pet cemetery at the side of Coombe Abbey Hotel, in Coombe Abbey Park, Warwickshire.

The headstone was the focus of controversy last year after a visitor in the park saw the engraved words and reported it.

According to Coventry Live, it was only recently removed after Coventry City Council’s determination that it was "not appropriate" for the current age. This decision comes after monuments and statues with racial connotations in the UK have been scrutinized as the Black Lives Matter movement receives support all over the world.

The name on the headstone in question is said to have been a popular pet name at the time.

Last year, the Coventry City Council declined to remove the headstone, telling Coventry Live that it was not going to remove it because it was located on listed land and that it was "a historical and pertinent reminder of how far we have come as a society in challenging and educating people about racism."

Nathan, a park user who complained about the headstone in July 2019, stated that the N-word should have never been publicly displayed.

Photo Credit: 60celine

Photo Credit: 60celine

Speaking to Coventry Live, he said: "Apparently this was a common name for a dog owned by white British people back then. I have looked it up online and a lot of people defend it being there as it was 'acceptable at the time' - they fail to see that it was acceptable only to white people and black people would have, and still are, hurt to see this word immortalized into stone in such a public place. If a Nazi German had a dog called K*** it would in no way be acceptable to have a monument with its name on today. I was shocked to see it, I don't need to be reminded of the 400 years of barbaric treatment Africans received at the hands of Europeans while I am on a country walk. I can go to a museum if I want to see that sort of stuff."

Nathan also reached out to the Coventry Police on Twitter about the headstone, stating that it was an example of “hateful racism,” and asked for advice on how to report it.

The council that runs the park stated at the time that while it didn’t condone the language, the headstone couldn’t be removed because it was on listed land.

However, the BLM movement has since influenced the rethinking of the reminders of Britain’s darker past, especially involving the slave trade.

It is not clear when the headstone at Coombe was removed, but one park visitor noted its absence earlier this month.

A spokesman for Coventry City Council said: "We can confirm the historical gravestone in memory of a loved pet was removed. Our stance on racism is clear and although the gravestone was from another time it is not appropriate today."

Sources: America Now

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