The removal of statues that may cause offence to minorities is not an attack on the UK’s white majority. It is vital to understand British history and be educated about it. Whilst it is essential to understand history and its colonial past, it is ever more significant to understand that the structure systems set up during colonial periods have paved the way for the dynamics of exploitation today. Issues relating to garment manufacturing, land disputes, access to healthcare, and other socio-economic inequalities, all exist today. Current victims of inequality in the UK include those who were killed during the Grenfell Tower fire due to corporate greed, all from a disadvantaged socioeconomic background, and the demographics disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The removal of the statue of Edward Colston (a slave trader), defacement of Winston Churchill’s, (who is known to have caused the 1943 Bengal Famine, and contributed to the social class divisions in Britain), and thereafter the removals and petitions for removals of other statues of historical colonialists, are not an attempt eradicate British history, or attack the UK’s current white majority. The toppling of the Edward Colston statue during the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest expresses that the feeling that institutional racism exists is present, and is embodied in our global structure, which emanates from the past. The demand for removal is more symbolistic of a wanting for change in today’s institutions, to eradicate inequality on both the national and global front.