Rhodes no more at the UCT (RELS 348)

Cecil John Rhodes left a bad impression on South African citizens. Known for his uncivil way of delegating order, he is known as one of the biggest war criminals and murderous of South African History. Being at rule during the times of complete British control over South Africa, he had the power of the entire British forces, which used its imperialistic ways to control what they wanted in the country. He was most known for his concentration camps that were a cause for many of the Afrikaans women, old defenseless people and well as the children. During the camps, not one child under the age of five survived. Today, lies a statue of Rhodes at entrance of the school doors, which has been a controversial piece of architecture for quite some time. In the news article “ ‘Poo protest’ topples British imperialist in South Africa” Yahoo news, March 29, 2015 written by Lawrence Bartlett, it explains that the statue that has been sitting at the front steps of the University of Cape Town (UCT) will finally get taken down. UCT is the oldest university in South Africa and was built on the land that was donated by Cecil John Rhodes prior to his death in 1902. Earlier this month many students started up the ‘Poo protest’, which was to spark the idea of removing the statue, which to many, is a symbol of the British Imperialism in South Africa. Even though most of the students evolved in the protest were not directly affected by Rhodes “they still experience racial discrimination 21 years after the end of apartheid”. On Friday the university senate voted on the matter of the removal of the statue, which won in a landslide 181 – 1. Although the Statue will not be removed immediately to many students including Ramabina Mahapa, a student representative council president explained “It is certainly a victory for us”. The article goes on the explain how other Universities in South Africa with land marks of the time of imperialism and strong racism are now in threat as students are beginning to Protest on the removal of them as well. In my opinion the removal of the statue was a long time coming. I am extremely surprised that it hadn’t been removed since South Africa gained its independence from the British rule. The other landmarks that stand tall at their respected schools will, I believe, be brought down as well. There is only one-way to turn a page and that’s by getting rid of the things that bring back the negative past. The statues removal truly shows the “emergence of the new generations of black protest against white oppression”.

AJ

#uwreligions

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