FIRSTLY, I am an ethnic minority though not of black descent. I am appalled statues of historical figures are being removed. To do so, when these were placed decades if not centuries ago seems ridiculous.

Cecil Rhodes’ statue at Oxford was made due to vast sums he donated; to remove all iconography deemed related to slavery would see half of the world’s buildings removed or significantly altered.

Even today, forms of slavery exist: low wages paid to legal/illegal immigrants in sweat shops, children in India making clothes for UK shops, etc. yet people (including protesters) buy clothes from shops using low waged labour.

History is what we learn from; many countries refused to accept Jewish refugees in the 1930s knowing a poor fate awaited if they were forced to return to Nazi Germany but it still happened.

In the 1950s/60s, black and other minorities are often discriminated against with many landlords refusing to rent properties in the UK.

Racism is an utter disgrace; removing statues will not result, however, in discrimination disappearing.

To demand or remove statues of people who lived many years ago, who gave money to learning or other such institutions is no way to teach generations about the legacy of slavery and discrimination.

These statues should in my view remain as a warning against profiteering from the exploitation of others.

Maria Williams