riel College has done the right thing not to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from its buildings at Oxford university. The “Rhodes Must Fall” campaigners have responded furiously to the decision to keep the imperialist in place, describing it as “outrageous, dishonest and cynical”. But thankfully — and despite an initial wobble over the matter — the college authorities have held firm. They have sent out an important message to academia and beyond over how we should view the past.
Anger over the presence of Rhodes’ statue is understandable. He was a colonialist who began the policy of enforced racial segregation in South Africa. His presence on the college wall is bound to cause unease, not least because of the continuing lack of racial equality in British universities.