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Just a 'Trolling'? Netizens Split Over Defacing of Statue of 14th-Century King Robert the Bruce

© AP Photo / CHRIS CLARKA Scottish Saltire flag blows in the wind near the statue of Scottish King Robert the Bruce, at Bannockburn, Scotland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012
A Scottish Saltire flag blows in the wind near the statue of Scottish King Robert the Bruce, at Bannockburn, Scotland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 - Sputnik International
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Last week, the statue of Robert the Bruce, a Scottish king who lived in the 14th century, was spray painted with the word “racist”. Despite the timing of the vandalism, many now speculate that Black Lives Matter activists had nothing to do with the graffiti.

Netizens are currently debating online whether the defacing of the Robert the Bruce statue in Borestone, Scotland could have been an act of trolling, a provocation aimed at discrediting the Black Lives Matter movement or an act of genuine ignorance.

The monument was vandalized with “racist king” lettering signed by “BLM”, while a nearby rotunda was spray painted with “Robert was a racist bring down the statue”. However, sharp-witted observers quickly noticed that the 14th century king died long before the Atlantic slave trade was established and thus had physically nothing to do with slavery and the racial prejudices highlighted by the BLM campaign.

Following this conclusion, speculation grew that the defacing of the statue could have had some ulterior motives behind it.

“Thinking a bit about the whole Robert Bruce was a racist graffiti thing. I honestly think it's not sincere/trolling, but it is interesting thinking where do you draw the lines on who is judged from the past”, one social media user shared on Twitter.

​“I’m not actually noticing anybody claiming to agree with the vandalism of Robert The Bruce statue; which makes me think it’s been done for more dishonest purposes”, another one argued.

“Robert Bruce wasn’t racist”, another user commented. “if you think this was anything to do with BLM then you’re as stupid as the people who did this to the statue”.

The crusade against monuments around the world has come as part of the Black Lives Matter campaign following the death of African American George Floyd in police custody on 25 May. Many activists rushed to protest against police brutality and racial prejudice as apparently exemplified in movies, shows and cultural artefacts, including statues of public and political figures, including that of Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

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