Over 150 Oxford lecturers ‘refusing to teach’ over Rhodes statue
Campaigners called the decision not to remove the statue ‘institutional racism’
Over 150 Oxford professors and lecturers are reportedly boycotting Oriel College, over its decision not to take down the controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes.
Academics have threatened to refuse to teach tutorials to undergrads at Oriel as well as boycotting seminars and events held by Oriel College, The Telegraph reports.
Student common rooms and the governing body had previously voted to remove the statue. Yet the college governing body has now decided not to, leading to accusations of “institutional racism” from campaigners.
Following the decision to keep the statue, a number of Oxford geography academics issued a statement saying it was a “source of shame” the uni continued to “honour” Rhodes with a statue.
The Telegraph reports one Oxford geography professor, Danny Dorling, said: “The extent of the upset is probably larger than what they predicted and it is possible that they may not realise the strength of feeling about this. This is a way of making it obvious in case it’s not clear.
“Having your university associated with a statue of a racist is deeply upsetting and puts a smear on the whole university.”
Cecil Rhodes is seen as a key colonialist figure who played a significant role in British imperialism in South Africa during the 19th century.
Academics say the statute “glorifies colonialism”. Whilst the Rhodes Must Fall campaign to take down the statue has been a long-running issue at the college, calls intensified after last summer’s BLM protests.
An independent inquiry was set up in June last year following the protests, after the college “expressed their wish” to take down the statute.
Featured image via SWNS