We don't want to erase Cecil Rhodes from history. We want everyone to know his crimes

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tags: Oxford, Cecil Rhodes, Rhodes Must Fall



Cecil Rhodes was a man responsible for untold, unending devastation and violence. An architect of South African apartheid, he explicitly believed in the existence of an Anglo-Saxon master race – an ideology that drove him to not only steal approximately one million miles of South African land, but to facilitate the deaths of hundreds of thousands of black South Africans.

His establishment of a paramilitary private army, the British South Africa Company’s Police (BSACP) resulted in the systematic murder of approximately 60,000 people; his amendment of the Masters and Servants Act (1890) reintroduced conditions of torture for black labourers; his infamous racist “land grabs” set up a system in which the unlawful and illegitimate acquisition of land through armed force was routine. 

Rhodes despised democracy. In 1887 he told the House of Assembly in Cape Town: “The native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa.” His 1892 Franchise and Ballot Act effectively eliminated African voting rights. He repeatedly reminded his colleagues of the “extreme caution” they must exercise when it comes to “granting the franchise to coloured people.”




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