Why not Dress Rhodes in the Slave Collar of Racism?

Collared Rhodes Oxford
Permitted Development Perhaps?
image for illustration only -@ Chris A Weitz – photomontage by Lilita Grinberga

colonialism, racism, slavery – updates below

Anthony Gormley has suggested turning Cecil Rhodes statue to face the wall in shame. My suggestion is meant to be a bit more explicit. A slave collar points to the history of racism as a rationalisation of slavery.

It should also be slighlty easier to process as a planning issue? Permitted development perhaps?

Finally, future tourist guides may ask: Whose honour and whose dignity is at stake here? Even the most simple answers might help to expose the moral and intellectual vacuity exhibited by the not so learned voices of unreconstructed Aryan entitlement?

Just follow the money…

articles etc (1-2023)

cherwell.org 16-1-2023 Oxford and Empire: An “uncomfortable” history – Our University is stained by its imperial legacy, so why is ‘decolonisation’ seen as a dirty word? by Meg Lintern and Matus Lazar

ft.com 14-1-2023 Questions of privilege – Is the term ‘white privilege’ doing more harm than good? Three insightful books look at anti-Semitism, migration and class amid the battle to end racism – by Stephen Bush

Kenan Malik, Dave Rich, Andrew S Rosenberg - anti semitism, class, immigration, inequality, racism -  Stephen Bush FT -1-2023

theguardian.com 26-9-2022 ‘Everything in Oxford was built with dodgy money’ – iconoclastic professor and fourth plinth artist Samson Kambalu – by Claire Armitstead

…”…The problem with Oxford’s much contested statue of Cecil Rhodes, he tells me, as we negotiate a winding staircase up to the senior common room, stopping off en route to pick up a glass of wine, is not that he was a particularly villainous British imperialist. “He was a nobody,” says Kambalu, “who hit upon a diamond mine in southern Africa and didn’t know what to do with this money. The only problem was lack of taste, vulgarity. Everything in Oxford was built with dodgy money. If the sculpture was good, no one would have noticed it. But because it’s not, Rhodes has become the bogeyman.”…”…

thetimes.co.uk   1/8/2021  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – My enslaved ancestors need recognition, not guilt – thanks for a great article on slavery in family histories

time.com/ 7-2020 Facing America’s History of Racism Requires Facing the Origins of ‘Race’ as a Concept – BY ANDREW CURRAN

The logic behind the history of race initially seems deceivingly clear: to justify the forced deportation of 400,000 Black Africans to North America (and another eleven million to other parts of the Americas between 1525 and 1866), Europeans and their American heirs found it necessary to debase and revile their captives. Yet today’s racism is more than a malignant byproduct of the 19th-century American plantation system; it also grew out of an elaborate and supposedly “scientific” European conception of the human species that began during the Enlightenment.

By the early decades of the 18th century, the Continent’s savants and natural philosophers no longer automatically looked to the Bible to explain the story of the human species. Intent on finding physical explanations for natural phenomena, naturalists employed more “empirical” methods to solve one of the biggest “anthropological” questions of the day: why did people from Africa, millions of whom were already toiling in European plantations, look different from white Europeans?

By the 1740s, one could find a dozen or more purportedly scientific explanations. Some claimed that blackness came from vapors emanating from the skin; others claimed that black skin was passed on from generation to generation via the power of the maternal imagination or from darkened sperm; still others asserted that the heat or the air of the Torrid Zone darkened the humors and stained the skin.

washingtonpost.com A brief history of the enduring phony science that perpetuates white supremacy By Michael E. Ruane

‘The haunted houses’: Legacy of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion lingers, but reminders are disappearingearing

Freedom and slavery, the ‘central paradox of American history’

Anthony and Mary Johnson were pioneers on the Eastern Shore whose surprising story tells much about race in Virginia history

vox.com 8-2019 5 things people still get wrong about slavery – We asked historians to debunk slavery’s greatest myths. By Karen Turner and Jessica Machado

Slavery’s legacy is white supremacy. The ideology, which rationalized bondage for 250 years, has justified the discriminatory treatment of African Americans for the 150 years since the war ended. The belief that black people are less than white people has made segregated schools acceptable, mass incarceration possible, and police violence permissible.

Blood Legacy: Reckoning with a Family’s Story of Slavery by Alex Renton

The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery Hardcover –  by Michael Taylor

‘A critical piece of history and a devastating exposé’ Shashi Tharoor, author of Inglorious Empire

For two hundred years, the abolition of slavery in Britain has been a cause for self-congratulation – but no longer.

In 1807, Parliament outlawed the slave trade in the British Empire, but for the next quarter of a century, despite heroic and bloody rebellions, more than 700,000 people in the British colonies remained enslaved. And when a renewed abolitionist campaign was mounted, making slave ownership the defining political and moral issue of the day, emancipation was fiercely resisted by the powerful ‘West India Interest’. Supported by nearly every leading figure of the British establishment – including Canning, Peel and Gladstone, The Times and Spectator – the Interest ensured that slavery survived until 1833 and that when abolition came at last, compensation worth billions in today’s money was given not to the enslaved but to the slaveholders, entrenching the power of their families to shape modern Britain to this day.

Drawing on major new research, this long-overdue and ground-breaking history provides a gripping narrative account of the tumultuous and often violent battle that divided and scarred the nation during these years of upheaval. The Interest reveals the lengths to which British leaders went to defend the indefensible in the name of profit, showing that the ultimate triumph of abolition came at a bitter cost and was one of the darkest and most dramatic episodes in British history.


‘Scintillating … gripping … compulsively readable’ Guardian

‘Fascinating … riveting and first-rate’ The Times
‘A thoroughly researched and potent historical account’ David Lammy MP

aeon.co/ Vast early America There is no American history without the histories of Indigenous and enslaved peoples. And this past has consequences today by Karin Wulf read here

amherst.edu “White Cannibalism in the Slave Trade: The Curious Case of the Schooner ‘Arrogante’ in 1837” 

Read “D Graeber’s “Debt – the first 5000 years” on how alleged symptom of African barbarity, ie “black cannibalism”, was in reality result of “hell on earth” inferno created by slave trade head hunting etc

oxfordmail.co.uk/ Cecil Rhodes statue should wear ‘slave collar’, local artist says By Sophie Perry

see also

One thought on “Why not Dress Rhodes in the Slave Collar of Racism?

  1. How I learnt about slavery 07/2021 – comment sent by JVMP-

    At the age of 12, my very first employment with U.S. State Department was at Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower’s Farm at Gettysburg (this sensitive information has yet to be de-classified, if ever). As a keen local resident (I was born in Gettysburg on the site of America’s bloodiest battlefield), I was hired to mow the extensive lawns of the Farm during 5 successive summers. Mamie often made lemonade for me!

    It was during this informative time of my life when I learned the definition of slavery. As I recall, when Abraham Lincoln came to Gettysburg for his famous speech, he said that it was OK for former slaves to continue to work on the land of their former masters provided that “no more than 50% of the fruit of their labour was kept by the landowner.” In other words, you are still a slave if your boss keeps more than 50% of the profit from your labour.

    So, there was an ECONOMICS OF SLAVERY (see the Beard-Hacker Thesis). At the end of the Civil War, Abe Lincoln had to make peace, compensate the Southern former slave owners (calculated by a formula to be $400 per slave) and somehow get the economy going again. The U.S. Government paid for the freedom of former slaves. Since ALL of the cotton mills were located in the North and all of the cotton fields were located in the South, most former slaves then had the paid option of either picking cotton or manufacturing cotton products- a “win-win solution” for all concerned. NOTE: This is an arrangement very similar to modern tenant-landlord contracts where, interestingly, most labourers are actually engaged in a legal modern slave economy whereby the landowner keeps MORE THAN 50% of the profit of a tenant’s labour.



    JVMP 07/2021

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