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Reaction to the Cecil Rhodes statue at Oriel...

Discussion in 'Education news' started by sabrinakat, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Moving this over from Personal to Education News seemed appropriate, given the level of debate in the last few days:



    What I do find interesting is that the student who is spear-heading the campaign is a Rhodes scholar and whether - if he felt such disgust over Rhodes and his legacy, should he have even taken the money in the first place?


    I tend to agree with Mary Beard:

    Some academics responded to the campaign by arguing that fighting over the statue is irrelevant. Mary Beard, the classicist, said in a piece for the Times Literary Supplement: “The battle isn’t won by taking the statue away and pretending those people didn’t exist. It’s won by empowering those students to look up at Rhodes and friends with a cheery and self confident sense of unbatterability.”


    Leave it up and learn about the past - removing the statue means that history is ignored.
    IceCreamVanMan likes this.
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    He apparently also wants to ban the French flag.
  3. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Do you have a link?
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

  5. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    For what it is worth I don't see why the statue shouldn't be taken down. We lie to ourselves a lot about our history and effect upon the rest of the world. We should certainly not continue to celebrate it.

    As for taking Rhodes' money as a Rhodes scholar, - well why not. It wasn't his in the first place. I see no hypocrisy.
  6. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    The statue is part of (a shameful aspect of) history which should not be forgotten (perhaps a good reason for retaining it?) but I'm not sure how we would remove all legacies of slavery; dismantle Liverpool -a city whose fortunes were based on slavery?

    Perhaps a more fitting tribute to those who suffered in the past and a more effective use of energy and campaigning, would be to fight against modern day slavery and exploitation. That means knowing the working conditions of those making the clothes you buy, the living and gang labour conditions of migrant workers picking vegetables you eat, etc.

    We can get into a tortuous nonsense when trying to remedy the past. I seem to recall a movement to compensate Black Americans for their ancestors' suffering during the slave trade. This would presumably have meant not just compensation paid by European nations but also from the descendants of those tribes in Africa who cooperated and sold slaves to them. Hence some of the poorest nations in the world would pay compensation to those living in the richest nation in the world.

    I don't see how we can compensate for or rectify history but we should certainly not forget it or fail to learn from it.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
    IceCreamVanMan likes this.
  7. vinnie24

    vinnie24 Lead commenter

    I've heard this before. On further study I found that the Africans did indeed cooperate and sell slaves to the Europeans. This was however at the point of a gun. They had a couple of choices. Find us slaves or become slaves yourselves.

    Decisions, decisions.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Some African tribes may have been forced to find slaves, many were keen to do so as it weakened their enemies etc. - and some slaves were prisoners of tribal wars anyway.

    Incidentally slavery was an integral part of many civilisations, long before the Atlantic Slave Trade started.
  9. vinnie24

    vinnie24 Lead commenter

    The difference being that when a slave was taken by a rival tribe he did not lose his humanity and could even rise in prominence within his new tribe. He was not seperated from his family and he was not sent out of Africa. He most certainly was not whipped to within an inch of his life or hung for trivial offences.

    It is ridiculous to blame Africans in any way ,for the Atlantic slave trade but I suppose it probably helps some Europeans to feel better about the role their forefathers played in the African Holocaust. A holocaust in which 100 million poor souls lived and died as slaves.

    Hitler was an amateur in comparison.
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Of course many Africans seized by other tribes, esp. as prisoners of tribal warfare, were separated from their families. Whilst no serious historian would blame the Africans alone for the Atlantic slave trade, to ignore the role that some played is equally one sided.

    Oh, and by bringing up Hitler you do know that you've automatically lost the argument, don't you?
  11. vinnie24

    vinnie24 Lead commenter

    When I mentioned seperated from his family I should have stated that was while he was a slave. In America a child could be sold away from its family (see Uncle Toms Cabin). This is the seperation I am talking about.

    As for losing the argument. I am not arguing. Merely stating fact...

    Not only did the Europeans commit genocide in Africa, they also did this in the Carribean to the Indians the African were sent to replace.

    There is no argument about this.
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I think you'll find there is a fair bit of argument, actually. Simply stating something doesn't really cut it, tbh.
  13. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

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