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Carl von Linné stands statue in several Swedish cities, including Stockholm in Humlegården; Lovette Jallow. Photo: Wikipedia / Derbeth / Private

African activist in Sweden wants to remove Carl von Linné statues

Lovette Jallow, an anti-racist Gambian activist working in Sweden, wrote on social media that Carl von Linné was "the father of race biology" and that the statues of him "are shaking right now".

Published: June 11, 2020, 11:17 am

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    Stockholm

    This threat follows after the vandalization of statues by Black Lives Matter protesters around the Western world. “Many of you don’t know that the ideas of racism come from a Swedish biologist named Carl von Linné,” she declared on Twitter.

    “We have statues of Carl all over Sweden, but still no one understands what harm he has done to this world,” she said, also writing that Carl von Linné called Europeans sharp and Africans phlegmatic:

    “Scandinavia-born Carolus Linnea’s work Systema Naturae (1735) was the first to create a classification of breed based on skin color, and different breeds were said to be different living species. Homo Europeus is ‘complex, has a positive temperament, nice behavior and sharp judgment, and lives by enforced laws’. In contrast, Homo Afer was described as ‘black skin, phlegmatic temper, sly, lethargic, whose actions are controlled by whim’. So can anyone explain why we still have statues of the race biologist whose work racism comes from?” the Gambian demanded.

    “How can we pay tribute to people who are simultaneously responsible for institutionalized racism? I mean, he is everywhere: Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, Uppsala etc. mm. I especially hate the statue in Humlegården that stares at me while eating lunch. I bet he’s thinking: Look at that Homo Afer.”

    Jallow and her followers dream of vandalizing the statue. “One beautiful day, when the one you know … disappears,” one user commented. The post was liked by Lovette Jallow.

    Jallow also retweeted a post with the text “Protesters say the statue was toppled and fell into the water”. She also disseminated a post where an angry African writes: “Hell he has a university named after him. I am shocked at how much racism one can ignore in order to feel some national pride.” To another person who is upset that Carl von Linné has a statue at Stockholm University, she said: “Well … the night is dark … no one will see us so we … take it down”.

    Lovette Jallow is award-winning author for her anti-racist work. Last year she received the Raoul Wallenberg Prize for her work against “racism” and was awarded SEK 100 000. The award was instituted by the government in 2013 through Minister of Integration Erik Ullenhag.

    The Raoul Wallenberg Academy thanked the government on its website: “The award to Raoul Wallenberg’s memory has been made possible by government support.”

    Raoul Wallenberg Academy is situated on exclusive premises on Grev Turegatan 44 in Stockholm. A stone’s throw away is Sweden’s most expensive street, Strandvägen. On Strandvägen, the distinction was awarded to Jallow.

    The botanist Carl von Linné is widely regarded as one of the greatest scientists in world history and the father of modern ecology. He also founded the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1739, which now decides on the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry.

    Sweden has four Nobel laureates in physics and just as many in chemistry. In total, Sweden has 32 Nobel laureates, a world record. Jallow’s homeland of Gambia sadly has produced no Nobel Laureates yet.

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