According to a professor backed by the National Trust, gardening is rooted in “racial injustice.”
Corinne Fowler, professor of post-colonial literature at the University of Leicester, wrote a book called Green Unpleasant Land in which she said that the British “countryside is a terrain of inequalities.”
The professor also said that “it should not surprise us that it should be seen as a place of particular hostility to those who are seen as not to belong, principally black and Asian Britons.”
Fowler argues that British estates were partly financed from colonialism and slavery, so “knowledge about gardens and plants, in particular botany, has had deep colonial resonances.”
She said, “The scientific categorisation of plants has at times engaged in the same hierarchies of ‘race’ that justified empire and slave and slavery.” She continued, “inevitably, then, gardens are matters of class and privilege.”
Fowler also said that “Rural Britain” is “rarely peaceful.”
“The elderliness of the maids is incongruous with the many itinerant female East Europeans who, before Brexit, picked the fruit and vegetables that grace our tables,” she wrote in her book.
In her book, Fowler also admitted that she is guilty of benefitting from the British Empire. Her own family had connections to slavery on sugar plantations in the Caribbean.
“I make no claim to neutrality… Our relatives either profited from empire, or were impoverished by it,” she wrote.
In response to Fowler’s arguments, former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney wrote in a tweet, “Will this crap ever end? Or is this now our destiny: to forever bang our heads on tables at the sheer stupidity of humanity?”
London Assembly Member Peter Whittle also tweeted, “Like our other cultural institutions, the National Trust is now infested with the Britain-haters.”