Statues are a way of reminding people of their history. Values are transformational. Historically society was racist, sexist, and homophobic. What statues do is educate us on society’s transition through time, and the values of it during that time. By removing the statues, we are not settling the issues of the oppression of ethnic minorities, we are seeking to eradicate traces of history which are flawed and unpleasant to come to terms with, including those when the oppression was facilitated. We are eradicating an educational part of history rather than aiming to be better informed about it.
The statues were placed to venerate an individual in history who achieved an aim that society at the time considered to be good. Demonising historical figures such as Cecil Rhodes to justify their removal does not assist in eradicating the oppression which ethnic minorities face in contemporary society. The statues should not be removed. They should remain as an educational emblem to remind people that we still have a way to go to eradicate the oppression of minorities.