Speaking on Channel 4 News on Friday evening, DJ Don Letts urged Boris Johnson’s Government to acknowledge the atrocities of the British Empire and take down offensive statues across the country that make people of colour feel like they are “second class citizens”. But as he made his passionate point in favour of Black Lives Matter protesters’ call to topple Sir Winston Churchill’s statues, he shocked Channel 4 News host Jackie Long as he compared the British Empire to the Third Reich. He said: “People have to understand that this misrepresentation of history that’s presenting, gives this right-wing boneheads justification.
“I mean, Churchill, that all bulldog…
“I know this is going to really p**s people off but to a lot of people of colour on this planet, the British Empire was not that far from the Third Reich, if you’re really honest.
“They went around the world with guns, that’s how the Empire was made.
“The Government should be acknowledging this fact, putting their hands up and saying it ain’t cool putting up these statues that make you feel like second class citizens.
“But they haven’t done that so we’ve had to take things in our own and do it for ourselves.
“It’s taking too long.”
Ms Long replied: “That is certainly going to upset a lot of people.”
READ MORE: How long will Winston Churchill statue in London be boarded up?
On Friday, statues in Parliament Square including Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were boarded up to prevent them being targeted by either side.
Last week, the statue of the UK’s war-time prime minister memorial was defaced with the words “was a racist”.
Met Commander Bas Javid, brother of former chancellor Sajid, said he understood the depth of feeling of protesters, but asked people not to come to London while shutdown rules are still in force.
“If you were planning to come to London, I again would urge you to reconsider, but if you are still intent, please familiarise yourself with what the conditions are,” he said.
“Please keep yourself safe by complying with government guidance on social distancing.”
“Those statues teach us about our past, with all its faults.”
Meanwhile, Bristol-based organisation the Society of Merchant Venturers, has come out in support of the removal of Colston’s statue.
The society has been accused of blocking previous attempts to have the statue removed or the plaque amended to include details of Colston’s role in the slave trade.
It said on Friday: “To build a city where racism and inequality no longer exist, we must start by acknowledging Bristol’s dark past and removing statues, portraits and names that memorialise a man who benefited from trading in human lives.”
It apologised for interfering in attempts to reword Colston’s plaque in 2018, adding: “As we look forward, we are examining our own role within the city, how we collaborate with others and accelerate our part in ensuring that Bristol overcomes inequality and disadvantage wherever it exists.”