At one time only Soviet dictators demanded the constant rewriting of history to suit their political ends. History was constantly ‘brought up to date’, photographs airbrushed to remove offending images and statues removed from places of prominence. Unfortunately these practices have all resurfaced as today’s progressives demand history be reshaped to protect their feelings.
It’s not just in the USA that students demand the renaming of buildings and the removal of statues, we have it in the UK also. Some Oxford students are demanding that ‘Rhodes Must Fall’, any acknowledgement of Cecil Rhodes must be removed from the university.
Cecil Rhodes who began with few advantages left Britain seeking to make a living in the diamond mines of southern Africa. He succeeded, big time, and instead of buying vast estates, he established the Rhodes Scholarship at Oriel College, Oxford, in order for others, as poor as he was when he went down to the mines, to get a helping hand in life.
Rhodes left Oriel College, Oxford University more than £50 million in today’s money to establish scholarships with the stipulation: “No student should be qualified or disqualified for election to a scholarship on account of his race or religious opinion.”
Amongst those helped by Rhodes is one Ntokozo Qwabe, a Rhodes Scholar, and now a leading protester demanding the removal of any acknowledgement of Rhodes from university premises. In fairness he doesn’t want a complete ban, he wants the scholarship fund to continue. The money is all right, just not the donor.
The ‘Rhodes Must Go’ students have partially succeeded as the supine college authorities have already removed a plaque acknowledging Rhodes and have agreed to enter into consultations with the protesters about removing a statue of Rhodes.
As today’s video demonstrates tantrums arising from appropriation of historical grievance are commonplace and don’t bode well for the future.