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I came across this on the blog Skating Under the Ice (which for some reason is also called a rose by another name ) by Willis Eschenbach. It is a response by Ariel College at Oxford University to a request by African students to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes because of his racism. Some of the better excerpts:
Cecil Rhodes’s generous bequest has contributed greatly to the comfort and well being of many generations of Oxford students – a good many of them, dare we say it, better, brighter and more deserving than you.
This does not necessarily mean we approve of everything Rhodes did in his lifetime – but then we don’t have to. Cecil Rhodes died over a century ago. Autres temps, autres moeurs.* If you don’t understand what this means – and it would not remotely surprise us if that were the case – then we really think you should ask yourself the question: “Why am I at Oxford?”
And then please explain what it is that makes your attention grabbing campaign to remove a listed statue from an Oxford college more urgent, more deserving than the desire of probably at least 20,000 of those 22,000 students to enjoy their time here unencumbered by the irritation of spoilt, ungrateful little tossers on scholarships they clearly don’t merit using racial politics and cheap guilt-tripping to ruin the life and fabric of our beloved university.
Understand us and understand this clearly: you have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you.
If only some of our own colleges and universities had the same backbone.
* “Autres temps, autres moeurs” – Other times, other customs: in other eras people behaved differently.