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  1. #1
    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
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    May 2015

    Oxford University called 'racist' after Lord Patten's Cecil Rhodes statue comments

    Student accuses Oxford University of being 'institutionally racist' after Lord Patten tells protesters to go to university somewhere else if they're offended by a Cecil Rhodes statue on campus

    Angry row over the apartheid era imperialist has escalated further today

    The Rhodes Must Fall campaign wants a statue removed from public view

    But Lord Patten insists history should be debated and not hidden

    Student campaign said the debate should lead to action being taken

    Oxford University is 'institutionally racist' and Chancellor Lord Patten made 'scandalous' remarks when he attacked a campaign to remove a Cecil Rhodes student from the campus, one of the activists in the dispute said today.

    Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, one of the founding members of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, said the presence of the stature on Oriel College indicated 'something deeply wrong with the way Oxford presents itself'.

    The campaign wants the statue of Rhodes, one of the architects of the apartheid system in South Africa, removed from public view and instead placed in a museum in its proper context.

    Lord Patten yesterday rejected this view, insisting students who cannot reconcile Oxford's historic links with Rhodes should 'think about getting their education elsewhere'.

    The ex-Tory MP pointed to the thousands of scholarships funded at Oxford by Rhodes bequest to the university and highlighted the relationship between Rhodes and Nelson Mandela.

    And he said creating 'bland' safe spaces at university would be 'treason', suggesting they would be similar to institutions in China.

    But Mr Mpofu-Walsh said this was not good enough, insisting debating history without taking action was not good enough.

    He told the BBC Today programme: 'Quite frankly, we think it is scandalous Lord Patten thinks people who disagree with him should consider studying in another university and at the same time purporting to support a generosity of spirit and open mindedness.

    'We are doing exactly what Lord Patten is suggesting a university is for. The factor seems to be we are disagreeing with Lord Patten.

    'The notion Cecil Rhodes should be glorified in a 21st Century setting in 2016 is no longer tolerable and we think his legacy should be challenged.

    The anaesthetisation of history that's continued at Oxford up to this point should be debated and that is exactly what we are doing.'

    He added: 'No one is talking about knocking anything down. What we are calling for is the removal of the statue, something Oxford has done at many points in its history.

    'We don't think debate is simply a gentlemanly discussion over tea and scones. Debate involves speaking seriously and taking action - not just talking in abstraction.'

    Mr Mpofu-Walsh said Oxford University should take the opportunity to 'reappraise' how it presents itself to the world.

    He continued: 'If you continue to glorify certain figures and exonerate the values they stood for then you make a mockery of the kind of debate we want to have.

    'We think Oxford is institutionally racist and by that we mean it's had throughout its history significant biases against black people. We know the first black student was only accepted in 1938.

    'There is something deeply wrong with the way Oxford presents itself, with the way it has biases against people and we are raising that.

    'For the first time we are forcing the university to confront that problem and probably doing a better job of it than any generation before us.'

    Lord Patten told the Today programme yesterday: 'To deny freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry at university would be a treason to the sort of values universities should represent.

    'I don't think this issue should focus just on Cecil Rhodes, whose endowment has produced 8,000 scholarships over the years including scholarships for some of the greatest campaigners against apartheid and for civil liberties.

    'Incidentally, the Rhodes Scholarships were endorsed by Nelson Mandela - he regarded Rhodes and himself as having a common cause. Nobody is talking about Mandela-Rhodes must go and I think the focus on Rhodes is unfortunate.

    'But it is an example of what is happening in American campuses, in British campuses, where one of the points of a university which is not to tolerate intolerance, to engage in free inquiry and debate is being denied.

    'People have to face up to facts in history they don't like and talk about them and debate them'.

    Lord Patten questioned where such a proposal would end, since the entire college building which is home to the statue was built using Rhodes money.

    He mocked ideological safe spaces and said it would have been 'complete madness' for him, as a Conservative student to be protected from the Marxist professor he was taught history by.

    Lord Patten concluded: 'I do believe we should discuss these issues, I believe we should discuss in particular how to promote greater diversity. All that is up for discussion.

    'We are giving (the campaign) the respect of living to their views even when we don't agree with them.

    'If people at a university aren't prepared to demonstrate the sort of generosity of spirit which Nelson Mandela showed towards Rhodes and towards history... then maybe they should think about being educated elsewhere.

    'But I hope they will embrace those issues and engage in debate.'

    An Oxford University spokeswoman said: 'The University of Oxford is not institutionally racist.

    Oxford is committed both to supporting potential and current ethnic minority students and to ensuring an appreciation of cultural diversity is fully embedded in the wider university community.

    'Recruiting the best and the brightest from all corners of the UK and the wider world means ensuring prospective students know we value and welcome those from all backgrounds.

    'We are committed to ensuring that prospective students know it is a university priority that our institutional practices and environment are sensitive to the experiences of all students.

    'As a result of a joint summit held with students on race, the university has also extended its activities aimed at encouraging and supporting ethnic minority applicants, including a summer conference for BME students in state schools jointly led by the African-Caribbean Society and the university’s Undergraduate Admissions office.

    'The university also offers targeted mentoring support for BME students in colleges and departments.'

    The spokeswoman said the university neither 'tolerates nor condones' racial harassment or abuse, adding the university had run 'race awareness workshops' for freshers.

    Oriel College has already agreed to remove a plaque of Rhodes from one of its buildings after campaigners said making ethnic minority students walk past it every day amounted to 'violence'.

    Rhodes left a vast sum of money to the university, and one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall campaign benefitted from a Rhodes scholarship himself.

    The row over the statue is the latest in a string of attempted bans by students on campuses across the country. Last year, students tried to stop feminist Germaine Greer from speaking at Cardiff University because her views might offend transgender people.

    Historian David Starkey was removed from a promotional Cambridge University video over claims his views were 'racist'.

    Students also tried to ban human rights activist Maryam Namazie from Warwick University for so-called 'Islamophobia' and Macer Gifford, who went to fight with the Kurds in Syria, from UCL.

    Other bizarre bans have included 'racist' sombreros at the University of East Anglia and a 'fascist' Nietzsche society at UCL.

    However, the so-called 'safe space' policies do not appear to have stopped extremist Islamist speakers appearing before university students across the country.

    A Daily Mail investigation revealed last week how representatives from CAGE have toured Islamic societies at universities, making a series of inflammatory claims unchallenged.

    The organisation, which called Jihadi John a 'beautiful young man', have been holding events to tell young Muslims to sabotage the Government's anti-extremism policy Prevent, claiming it is an attempt by the State to spy on them.

    In September, David Cameron said universities hosted at least 70 events featuring extremist preachers in the last year, a claim some of the institutions dispute.

    Read more: Oxford University called 'racist' after Lord Patten's Cecil Rhodes statue comments

  2. #2
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    May 2015
    More than half of Oxford University students say Cecil Rhodes statue at Oriel College should stay

    More than half of Oxford University students have said the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College should not be torn down, a survey has shown.

    The Rhodes Must Fall Oxford movement has demanded the statue of the 19th century explorer and tycoon be removed as they claim it is racist and an unwanted symbol of colonialism.

    But a survey by the university's student newspaper Cherwell has shown 54 per cent of students believe the statue should stay.

    The survey was participated in by 957 students, about five per cent of the university's total number.

    Among those students who identified as black, minority or ethnic (BME) more wanted the statue to be removed than thought it should stay- by 48 per cent to 45 per cent, with seven per cent saying they were not sure.

    But half of BME students said the removal of the statute would not affect their personal experience at Oxford.

    The study also found 55 per cent of students felt Rhodes Must Fall Oxford had a very or moderately negative impact on the reputation of the university.
    More than half of Oxford students say Cecil Rhodes statue should stay (From thisisoxfordshire)

  3. #3
    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
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    May 2015
    The Oxford rebel and the betrayal that shattered Mandela's heart: Father of rapper who led campaign to remove Cecil Rhodes statue from campus broke up Nelson's marriage to Winnie

    Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh is the son of a fabulously wealthy, politically powerful figure who infamously had an affair with Winnie Mandela

    Prompted her devastated husband Nelson to launch divorce proceedings

    Sizwe, a part-time rapper has denounced Oxford as ‘institutionally racist’

    Fuelled row raging over Cecil Rhodes statue on the facade of Oriel College
    Read more: Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh broke up Nelson Mandela's marriage to Winnie

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2012
    Why isn't he in Africa doing something worthwhile with his big mouth? Too difficult, easier to invoke unrest in a prestigious college.

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