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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"Rhodes must fall"

A friend forwarded the following letter yesterday. It was evidently written as a response to black students attending Oxford as Rhodes Scholars wanting to remove the statue of Oxford benefactor Cecil Rhodes. It's quite blunt. 

I hadn't heard of this movement until I saw the letter, and initially assumed it was an offshoot of the current crusade in the US to tear down Confederate statues. But it turns out the campaign to disavow Rhodes has been afoot for over a year. 

Dear Scrotty Students,
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 moeures.*  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?”

Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, Cardinal Newman, Julie Cocks. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respect and revere her accordingly.

And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure we’ll concede you the short lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch.

You’ll probably say that’s “racist”. But it’s what we here at Oxford prefer to call “true.”  Perhaps the rules are different at other universities. In fact, we know things are different at other universities. We’ve watched with horror at what has been happening across the pond from the University of Missouri to the University of Virginia and even to revered institutions like Harvard and Yale: the “safe spaces”; the #‎blacklivesmatter; the creeping cultural relativism; the stifling political correctness; what Allan Bloom rightly called “the closing of the American mind”.  At Oxford however, we will always prefer facts and free, open debate to petty grievance-mongering, identity politics and empty sloganeering. The day we cease to do so is the day we lose the right to call ourselves the world’s greatest university.

Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to squander your time at Oxford on silly, vexatious, single-issue political campaigns. (Though it does make us wonder how stringent the vetting procedure is these days for Rhodes scholarships and even more so, for Mandela Rhodes scholarships) We are well used to seeing undergraduates – or, in your case – postgraduates, making idiots of themselves. Just don’t expect us to indulge your idiocy, let alone genuflect before it. You may be black – “BME” as the grisly modern terminology has it – but we are colour blind.

We have been educating gifted undergraduates from our former colonies, our Empire, our Commonwealth and beyond for many generations. We do not discriminate over sex, race, colour or creed. We do, however, discriminate according to intellect.

That means, inter alia, that when our undergrads or postgrads come up with fatuous ideas, we don’t pat them on the back, give them a red rosette and say: “Ooh, you’re black and you come from South Africa. What a clever chap you are!”  No. We prefer to see the quality of those ideas tested in the crucible of public debate. That’s another key part of the Oxford intellectual tradition you see: you can argue any damn thing you like but you need to be able to justify it with facts and logic – otherwise your idea is worthless.

This ludicrous notion you have that a bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed from Oriel College, because it’s symbolic of “institutional racism” and “white slavery”. Well even if it is – which we dispute – so bloody what? Any undergraduate so feeble-minded that they can’t pass a bronze statue without having their “safe space” violated really does not deserve to be here. And besides, if we were to remove Rhodes’s statue on the premise that his life wasn’t blemish-free, where would we stop? As one of our alumni Dan Hannan has pointed out, Oriel’s other benefactors include two kings so awful – Edward II and Charles I – that their subjects had them killed. The college opposite – Christ Church – was built by a murderous, thieving bully who bumped off two of his wives. Thomas Jefferson kept slaves: does that invalidate the US Constitution?Winston Churchill had unenlightened views about Muslims and India: was he then the wrong man to lead Britain in the war?”

Actually, we’ll go further than that. Your Rhodes Must Fall campaign is not merely fatuous but ugly, vandalistic and dangerous. We agree with Oxford historian RW Johnson that what you are trying to do here is no different from what ISIS and Al-Qaeda have been doing to artefacts in places like Mali and Syria.  You are murdering history.   

And who are you, anyway, to be lecturing Oxford University on how it should order its affairs? Your #‎rhodesmustfall campaign, we understand, originates in South Africa and was initiated by a black activist who told one of his lecturers “whites have to be killed”. One of you – Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh – is the privileged son of a rich politician and a member of a party whose slogan is “Kill the Boer; Kill the Farmer”; another of you, Ntokozo Qwabe, who is only in Oxford as a beneficiary of a Rhodes scholarship, has boasted about the need for “socially conscious black students” to “dominate white universities, and do so ruthlessly and decisively!

Great. That’s just what Oxford University needs. Some cultural enrichment from the land of Winnie Mandela, burning tyre necklaces, an AIDS epidemic almost entirely the result of government indifference and ignorance, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates, institutionalised corruption, tribal politics, anti-white racism and a collapsing economy. Please name which of the above items you think will enhance the lives of the 22,000 students studying here 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.

Oriel College, Oxford
*Autres temps, autres moeurs – Other times, other customs: in other eras people behaved differently.

It's certainly in keeping with the tenor of the times that the author of this letter had to write it anonymously, whereas those on the Left, as quoted above, can advocate dominating white universities "ruthlessly," or even killing Boers, and do so without fear of losing their positions.  

It seems to me that any student who wanted to demonstrate his own high moral standards would do so more convincingly by turning down the offer of a Rhodes Scholarship, and even an acceptance to Oxford in the first place. After all, isn't accepting tainted money an act of immorality in itself?


Not Dave said...


Mark Caplan said...

The only line I can disagree with was "Winston Churchill had unenlightened views about Muslims..." His views were politically incorrect but completely accurate and highly prescient. If only we (meaning George W. Bush) had heeded them. Too bad the bust of Churchill that Bush kept in the White House couldn't speak.

National Review writes about a rare, forthright truth-speaker in academia, UofP law professor Amy Wax:

"I don’t shrink from the word, 'superior'" with regard to Anglo-Protestant cultural norms, she told the paper. "Everyone wants to come to the countries that exemplify these values." "Everyone wants to go to countries ruled by white Europeans." Western governments have undoubtedly committed crimes, she said, but it would be a mistake to reject what is good in those countries because of their historical flaws.

Just a guess, but Amy Wax (Waxman?), who praises Anglo-Protestant culture, is probably Jewish, so she is not trumpeting her own culture and traditions.

"Scandal Erupts Over Promotion of Bourgeois Behavior"
Read more at:

John Craig said...

Mark --
Good point about Churchill.

Just read the article about Amy Wax. I'm sure you're right about her being Jewish, she looks it. And she is, of course, completely right. sometimes it seems that the one thing that enrages the Left more than anything else is honesty. No one is breaking down the door to get into the Sudan, or Egypt, or Tunisia, or Ethiopia, or even any East Asian countries (all of which basically don't accept immigrants anyway). Everybody wants in to the West.

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote the letter was spot-on. These ignorant, unappreciative students coming from other countries, specifically Africa, have a lot of gall telling a centuries old academic institution how it should operate/function. Since the students come from an underachieving race of people, by applying their standards, we end up dumbing down our academic institutions. Therefore, none of us should try and appease them. Their demands will never end.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
You're right, the more we give the Left, the more they want. It just seems to be their nature.

Mark Caplan said...

A news story a few days ago involved U.S. border officials who discovered a 3-mile-long tunnel running from Tijuana to San Diego, along with 23 Chinese migrants! So, yes, East Asians too are eager to enjoy life in a white, Anglo-Protestant society. The Chinese migrants pay a few thousand dollars upfront to human traffickers, and the rest -- $50,000 to $70,000 -- as indentured servants working illegally in the U.S.

"How Chinese Nationals Sneak into the U.S."

John Craig said...

Mark --
The Chinese have been practicing birthright tourism for ages. It's pathetic that we allow that, I think we're the only country on earth that has laws allowing for that.

You never hear of Japanese, Koreans, or Singaporeans who do this, just mainland Chinese. And their allegiance remains Chinese. I've heard that the Chinese government just assumes it can count on any ethnic Chinese in the US to do industrial spying for them.

Unknown said...

Inferiority complex - Misdirection - take down a statue of their benefactor. So stupid and transparent.

Drop out of Oxford college, admit to yourself and your proud relatives you don't belong.

Mark Caplan said...

Breitbart wrote: "The Oriel College authorities have chosen to cave in [...] and have sought permission from Oxford City Council to have a listed plaque commemorating Rhodes removed."

Western civilization is melting away.

Steven said...

this was the leader.

Damn. I hope he read that letter.

John Craig said...

Michael Hoffman --
I think you're right, a lot of this must be simply frustration -- and embarrassment -- that evolution led them down a different path. One which didn't include the ability to get out of the Stone Age on their own.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Yikes, I hadn't heard that. And yes, right in front of our very eyes. Waiting for sanity to return is going to be a little like waiting for Godot.

John Craig said...

Steven --
His logic, his attitude, and his intellect are all those of a small child. if he hates whites so much he shouldn't have accepted a scholarship endowed by a white imperialist to a white college in England. Instead he should have gone to one of those great universities in Africa founded by blacks before whites ever arrived there.

Anonymous said...


Very informative article. The letter to the malcontent POCs from the heart of darkness continent is one of the greatest put downs ever. Unfortunately, trying to apply logic to 85 IQ "students (what are they majoring in, Sociology? Women's Studies? Critical Thinking in the Townships?)" is a waste of time. Even if they read the essay, the nuances and logical flaws regarding the student's beliefs is beyond their comprehension.

Their reply will be that the piece is "racist" and the fair complected wusses in the administration will move with great haste to remove Rhode's statue.

I have read blogs speculating that Northern European Men have become timid because too many of their bravest and fiercest were killed off in the 2 World Wars. Their recent conduct does give some credence to this, but what about the Russians? No other nation had so many men killed but the Ivans are as ornery as ever.

Please write an article on Northern European ethnomasochism. Your insights are 99% spot on.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Yes, I'm sure the black Rhodes scholars would just dismiss the piece as racist and forget about it; they certainly wouldn't be able to argue with any of the facts it presents, all of which are undeniable. (And these aren't blacks with 85 IQ's, either, they're Rhodes scholars, which puts some of them more in Obama's range, which I'd guess was closer to 120.)

I've heard the theories about how the cream of British youth was decimated in WWI, etc, and there may be some truth to it, but I don't think it explains the West's current ethnomasochism. This seems to be more a result of programming; if you tell people over and over again that they should feel guilty about their "racism," eventually they'll start to believe it. And this is largely due to the media, whose agenda seems to be to put whites on the defensive. Plus there seems to be a certain pretentiousness involved, too, a sort of moral preening that other races aren't subject to: look, I'm better than you because I put my own race down more. (None of the other races seem to subscribe to this sort of silliness.) And yes, at the same time, Northern Europeans do seem to have more of an innate outer-directed altruism than other races have.

The proof that the World Wars theory isn't the explanation is that back in the 1950's, whites in the US as well as Russia would have laughed at the sort of concepts that are being promoted now. Back then it was all about the Superpowers, the arms race, the space race, and so on. The dominant ethos wasn't even close to, oh, let's flagellate ourselves for the sins of our forefathers, and let's pretend that all races have similar IQ's.

Thank you, but I'm not sure I have a whole lot else to say on the subject of northern European ethnomasochism.