It is also time to tear down monuments to Cecil Rhodes

Over the past few weeks, ever since Neo-Nazi and Neo-Rebel “Alt-Right” thugs rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia and left three dead in the wake, long-dead racist Confederate leaders who were memorialized with statues at statehouses and courthouses across the country are now finding their images removed from places of public honor to private property and/or museums–a movement that is long overdue.

This past week, officials in Ghana announced their intent to remove a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from public display at the University of Ghana due to the supposed icon’s racist views. Surprised? The former “peace” leader early in his legal career went on record with virulently racist views about blacks.  As noted in the book “The South African Gandhi: Stretcher-Bearer of Empire,” South African professors Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed note Gandhi as describing black Africans as “savage’, ‘raw’ and ‘living a life of indolence and nakedness,’ as he campaigned relentlessly to prove to the British rulers that the Indian community in South Africa was superior to native black Africans.”

How deplorable, supposed man of peace…


But even more deplorable than Gandhi’s words were the works of British Imperial industrialist Cecil Rhodes, one who rode his racism to exorbitant lucre at the expense of the true owners of the properties he exploited.  Indeed, the way I figure is that with the truth about racism past and racism present becoming more and more fecund these days, I think that it is crucial to add Rhodes to the Racism Hall of Shame.


Many people know of Cecil Rhodes as the founder of the DeBeers Diamond company, which he established in southern Africa in the late 19th Century with a loan from the wealthy Rothschild bankers in Europe. Others know Rhodes’s name as being attached to a prestigious academic scholarship that allows students to matriculate at his alma mater, Oxford, in England.

But rarely do you find Rhodes’s deplorable views on race discussed in the public square, which is curious when considering that his incursion into lands inhabited by blacks long before the first European colonists arrived led to his ability to exploit material wealth that made him rich as Croesus. Rhodes did not temper in the least his racist thoughts toward the very people whose land and labor he exploited, the latter of which included forcing black men and boys who worked to extract diamonds from the mines to work completely naked while also being subjected to full cavity searches to ensure that no diamonds were taken without the overseer’s consent and one with whom Rhodes, a reportedly closeted homosexual pedophile, may have taken pleasure in observing on a daily basis.

Suspected pedophilia aside, Rhodes’s last will and testament fully establishes his racist world view and included his words: “I contend that we (whites) are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings–what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives.”

Rhodes died in 1902, but his views on race, the same views that led to the popular Eugenics movement that eventually was a philosophical underpinning of Adolf Hitler’s desire to eliminate all non-Aryans, as well as Americans like Margaret Sanger and Henry Ford and even Joe Kennedy who fancied the concept of a white master race that dominated “inferior” beings, remains a dark stain on Rhodes’s legacy and upon the brilliant diamonds that his DeBeers company still extracts–and sells–with great success worldwide.