As protests grow, Belgium faces its racist colonial past
TERVUREN, Belgium (AP) — When the Black Lives Matter protests reached Belgium, they targeted the bloodstained legacy of King Leopold II. He’s the monarch who held the Congo as his personal property and may have been responsible for the deaths of millions of Congolese more than a century ago. Yet across Belgium, his name is still found on streets and tunnels, and cities are dotted with his statues and busts. Now a reckoning seems to be at hand. Leopold II is increasingly seen as a stain on the nation where he reigned from 1865 to 1909. Demonstrators want to remove his name and image. Protesters have already defaced a number of his statues and Belgian authorities have removed others.