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Petitioning Oriel College

Oriel College, Oxford University: Do not remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes.

We, the undersigned, call on Oriel College not to give in to the demands of a minority of views to eradicate artifacts of history for the sake of subjective, personal offence. Whilst we recognise the significance of Cecil Rhodes as an imperialist and colonialist, you cannot delete individuals from history, however nefarious you might consider them to be, particularly by today's standards. To walk past a century-old statue and consider it a personal 'violence', to argue that the statue represents the university's values of domination and oppression, lacks any sensibility and is tantamount to both imbecility and hypocrisy. If we allow such expressive views to wield destruction on our history, we set a dangerous precedent. Perhaps we should remove Nelson's Column for fear of offending the French, or every statue of every monarch who's absolutism might offend our democratic values. It should be noted that the estate of Rhodes, through a scholarship programme, currently supports students from commonwealth countries, including those from South Africa. Perhaps they'd like to give that tarnished, offensive money back? The statue was erected because Cecil Rhodes was a huge benefactor to the university. We are able to enjoy its world-leading education partly because of his contributions. The statue is in honour of that - it is NOT an endorsement of his views, and if you cannot understand that, then you probably shouldn't be at university.
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