Wednesday, 23 December, 2015

Rhodes wasn't a racist - academic leads fightback over Oxford statue

Even Robert Mugabe left Cecil Rhodes alone Rhodes Scholar Accused of Hypocrisy Over Battle to Remove Colonialist's Statue
Dana Christensen | 22 December, 2015, 22:42

A group of students at Oxford University in the United Kingdom are campaigning for the removal of Cecil John Rhodes' statue and plaque. The college announced it is seeking local authorities' approval to remove the plaque, explaining that "this plaque was erected in 1906 by a private individual".

An online backlash ensued against the movement's leader Ntokozo Qwabe who is on a prestigious scholarship for overseas post-graduates funded by Rhodes.

Qwabe, however, argues that he's not a beneficiary of the fund, but rather that he's "taking back tiny fractions" of what he[Rhodes] looted in Africa.

"Disgraceful hypocrisy from a beneficiary of [a] Rhodes' scholarship".

Another wrote: "Give back your scholarship and remove the chip off your shoulder". It would appear that you weren't too principled when offered a Rhodes scholarship. It was never his money. "I wasn't lucky enough to go to university and I take your narrow minded attitude as a slap in the face to the freedoms we fought world wards to keep".

Qwabe didn't let up though and wrote this in response: "Rhodes did not have a scholarship".

"I'm no beneficiary of Rhodes". But the star student told Channel 4 he was merely benefiting from "the resources of my people which Rhodes thought it was a good idea to pillage".

Rhodes was the founder of Rhodesia, which later divided into two and became Zambia and Zimbabwe.

He was a driving force in the expansion of the British Empire in southern Africa, and used his wealth from diamond mining and other ventures to help create new territories through obtaining mineral concessions in the region.