Sure it had an effect

There was no single moment when I began to sense the long shadow that Cecil John Rhodes has cast over my life, or over the university where I am a professor, or over the ways of seeing the world shared by so many of us still living in the ruins of the British empire. But, looking back, it is clear that long before I arrived at Oxford as a student, long before I helped found the university’s Rhodes Must Fall movement, long before I even left Zimbabwe as a teenager, this man and everything he embodied had shaped the worlds through which I moved.

You speak English, Zimbabwe was at least a relatively rich country for the area, Zimbabwe did at least have the rule of law, an education system and all that.

What else was it you wanted to talk about concerning Rhodes and colonialism?

42 thoughts on “Sure it had an effect”

  1. “I’m an unstable hysterical narcissist and it is all the fault of a man who died in 1902.”

    IIRC, Zimbabwe pre-Rhodes was all about subsistence cattle farming and tribal slaughter and it has been heading back that way since 1979. I apologise unreservedly for the 100 years of civilisation in between.

  2. “what’s the difference between a nigger and a bucket of shit?”

    Doesn’t ring true, a white Rhodesian would have said kaffir.

  3. Forgetting also that most of the current Southern African tribes, including those in Zim, are colonialists and imperialsists themselves – originally coming from the Sahel/Sub Sahara region before conquering and murdering their way south.

  4. @ DocBud

    Yeah, white children are taught racism from an early age. No chance the joke would have been about “smelling of fox piss” if they had been a ginger. Or a speccy twat if wearing glasses.

  5. Time perhaps for this whinging twat to fuck off back to shitland and start making it in the shape he prefers.

    Except that his fellow gentlemen of colour have been doing that for 20 years and as a result nobody wants to live there because it’s completely shit.

    Fucking ludicrous cunt.

  6. I had a pal who was an Indian from Southern Rhodesia. He went to school with white boys, played cricket with white boys, went to their homes for tea with white boys. South Africa it wasn’t.

  7. Zimbabwe was at least a relatively rich country for the area, Zimbabwe did at least have the rule of law, an education system and all that.

    Point of Order Mr Worstall.. Rhodesia was a relatively rich country etc… Zimbabwe has been in decline since the name change.

  8. How about “catching a train from Cairo to Cape Town” ?

    OK the German bits got in the way, but that was Rhodes’ ultimate goal.

  9. Actually it was Mugabe and everything he embodied who shaped the worlds through which he moved.

    If he doesn’t like this, it’s up to him to go back to Zimbabwe and make sure it’s placed back in the hands of white people.

  10. “Doesn’t ring true, a white Rhodesian would have said kaffir.”

    My cousin married one & his term of preference was “black fella” Kaffir’s SA Afrikaans & not much love lost between white Rhodesians & Boers. Legacy of a war over that way

  11. Come to think of it, my paternal grandmother managed to remain Edwardian until she died in the ’70s & she had a coat she’d refer to as “nigger brown”. But the word in the British Empire just didn’t carry the freight it does in American English. More affectionate than derogatory

  12. It’s like a couple of items I have knocking about. One’s the nigger boy doll given to my father when he was little. Probably came from Gamages. Covered in felt with orange bibbed overall trousers & a matching floppy hat. And the negro’s head inkwell desk ornament. I like keeping them around because they upset the woke. These would have been far from cheap when originally bought. And they wouldn’t have been bought as a mark of white superiority. More of respect.

  13. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    Actually it was Mugabe and everything he embodied who shaped the worlds through which he moved.

    +1

    And Mugabe took Rhodes’ colonialism and turned it into totalitarianism. But since acknowledgement of that fact won’t take Simukai Chigudu to the place he wants to be – that of VICTIM – it is ignored.

    I’ve worked with Africans – mostly Somalis – for 20 years now, and when they start chirping about things in ‘Merica they don’t like, I gently remind them that they’re in ‘Merica because when you put four Africans in a room you end up with three political parties and a civil war.

  14. bis,

    Kaffir was a term used as much by British colonials as it was by Afrikaners. Another common term was munt. I’ve only come across black fella (and white fella) since moving to Australia.

  15. Oh dear, “black” is verboten now isn’t it? People of Colour was last kosher description I was aware of.

  16. “People of Colour fellla” is a bit of a mouthful.

    I was once told off for using the term “Abo” apparently “but that’s what they were called in Skippy.” Is not a defence.

  17. Simukai is a Shona name. He seems to have forgotten the bit of history when theMatabele(offshoot of the Zulus who rampaged seasonally up and down southern Africa precolonially) settled in Zim and enslaved the Shona. After Rhodes somewhat underhand negotiations with Mzilikazi, their lot improved as they were able to keep their harvests and their womenfolk went unmolested.

  18. I’m perfectly aware of how empire has changed his life. As is he. He just doesn’t want to admit – not even to himself – that without it he would be basically still be in the stone age.

    Back in my flowery youth, in my first job, there were a number of Aussies, one of whom was from the outback somewhere. The name for Abbos in his neck of the woods was “dunk”. Why, I asked innocently. Well, came the reply, that’s the noise they make when you hit them with your fucking truck!

    Ahh, that raw colonial wit!

  19. And Mugabe saw to it that the Shona held the upper hand, after massacring a few thousand Matabeles.

    Shona privilege ?

  20. This is pretty impressive though, we can only dream of still being able to trigger pussies 100 years after we’re dead.

  21. Actually, Mark, to be fair, the Bantu were Iron Age, it was those that they displaced and largely wiped out, the Khoisan, who were Stone Age.

  22. apparently “but that’s what they were called in Skippy.” Is not a defence.

    So… don’t let me Abos go loose, Lou?

  23. Bloke in North Dorset

    Doesn’t ring true, a white Rhodesian would have said kaffir.

    Or, as I found when I went to teach there in ’80, floppies because of they way they went down when shot.

  24. Steve !

    So Abo-discrimination AND quoting unperson Rolf Harris in the same post.

    Please follow the blue lights to the place of execution.

  25. @Rob
    “ This man’s German equivalent in June 1945: “That Bismarck, eh? What a cunt!””

    Brilliant.

  26. From the article
    There aren’t a lot of black people in the UK about 3.3%.
    ..
    Yes and they are all in TV adverts and on the cover of magazines

  27. “There aren’t a lot of black people in the UK about 3.3%.”

    Am I really expected to believe this? That’s fewer blacks than machetes.

  28. The problem with Africa isn’t that it was part of the Empire-but that it no longer is

    It sounds like the sort of thing that Alan Clark (pbuh) would have come up with.

  29. “Yes and they are all in TV adverts and on the cover of magazines”

    Usually with hu-white women. I’m sure this is a demoralisation strategy

  30. I actually know this chap. In person he was always very decent. That said, he studied for his doctorate at Oxford, so four years under the Terrible Shadow of Rhodes. Then moved off to work as a post-doctoral fellow somewhere else before voluntarily returning to work in Oxford again under the Terrible Shadow of Rhodes. Which rather leads me to suspect that maybe the Terrible Shadow is not such a problem after all…
    But seriously, this young man studied at one of the most inclusive and diverse postgraduate departments in one of the most woke universities in the UK, and has benefited from an education and opportunities of which many can only dream. He has no right to claim that the presence of a statue somehow ‘victimises’ him.

  31. There aren’t a lot of black people in the UK about 3.3%.
    ..
    Yes and they are all in TV adverts and on the cover of magazines

    I’ve just been to a conference for Maths teachers. If you took the names of the students in all the questions as a reference you would assume New Zealand was:
    1) 70% female
    2) 50% Polynesian named
    3) 25% Indian, Chinese etc named.

    Since heaps of Maori, Indians, Chinese etc have European names, you could assume that the remaining small percentage of people were also not Europeans.

    Because I’m a prick, I make sure that everybody in my questions has the Whitest possible names. Arabella, Charlotte, Tristram, Rupert etc.

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