In the midst of cry outs to eradicate the legacy of racism and colonialism from institutions, activists have revived the campaign to remove Cecil Rhodes` statue.
Activists believe that the statue on the front of Oriel College, Oxford is quite controversial as Cecil Rhodes was a white imperialist. Rhodes had served as an early originator of South African apartheid and also maintained the supremacy of the anglo saxon master race.
The statue of Rhodes outside Oriel College has remained a subject of dispute ever since 2015 when a campaign demanded the figure fall from its position disregarding Oxford`s High Street.
The university refused to get rid of the statue and suggested that adding “a clear historical context to explain why it is there”.
Nevertheless, protests originating in the US after the killing of George Floyd by a ruthless policeman have revived the calls to rid the statue of Cecil Rhodes in the midst of the fight against racism.
Hundreds of activists signed a complaint which stated: “We are reigniting the calls for the statue to be removed, as soon as possible. As long as the statue stands the University is only alienating those of whom Rhodes’ beliefs have persecuted and oppressed to this very day”.
A number of student groups and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford campaign group, expressed that the university has “failed to address its institutional racism” and the impact on students and the society.
Layla Moran, a Liberal Democrat spokeswoman, who is also MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “The statues of white supremacists and slave merchants should not still be standing in our cities. That’s why the statue of Cecil Rhodes must come down.
“I’m not endorsing vigilante action, but I would urge Oriel College in the strongest terms to think about what message this statue sends in 2020, and to remove it.”
The government has been denouncing acts of violence and vandalism during protests- in particular the removal of the Colston statue. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary said: “It’s not for mobs to tear down statues and cause criminal damage in our street”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he would not “support or indulge those who break the law”.