So the decision has been taken and the statue of Rhodes will fall. It’s unclear what its ultimate fate will be, but for now, the campaigners behind the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement are claiming a victory.
But has anything really been achieved other than removing a stone monument to a man who died over 100 years ago, and whose ideas about race and nationalism have been thoroughly discredited since?
They should be directing their anger at the people who have power now, but instead “Rhodes Must Fall” has proved a useful distraction.
The much-despised legacy of Rhodes is something convenient for the powers-that-be to hide behind, and whilst we’re all battling each other, no one is really paying any attention to them.
What is so heroic about toppling an inanimate object anyway? It can’t fight back or resist its vandalism.
There is something deeply revealing about that: It’s much easier to fight long-dead white guys than it is to challenge real power.
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free copy of Athena eBook Psyche in the City:
Featured Image: The toppled rider from The Horse Memorial (1905) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa