Why shouldn’t the curriculum be ‘Eurocentric’?


The statue of Sir Cecil Rhodes will likely fall. The reasons for his downfall have little to do with the truth about the past. The real Rhodes undoubtedly had a morally mixed record. But he was not South Africa's Hitler, as the Rhodes Must Fall campaign has claimed. Far from being racist, he showed consistent sympathy for individual black Africans throughout his life. Nor did he attempt genocide against the Ndebele during their 1896 uprising - as activists have sometimes claimed - which might be suggested by the fact that the Ndebele tended his grave for decades.

And they also need to hear that British 'colonialism' then spent over a century in deploying the Royal Navy to stop slave-ships crossing the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and in suppressing the Arab slave-trade across Africa. Maybe they'd even learn that the Empire supported action against Arab slavers in Nyasaland in the 1880s through the British South Africa Company. And guess who ran the BSAC? Cecil Rhodes.

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