RMF demand an end to racism, decolonisation of the curriculum & slam Oriel as ‘dishonest’.
Last week it became apparent it takes £100 million of donor’s cash to secure the future of the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel. Obviously, the Rhodes Must Fall campaign was not happy with the college’s decision to keep the statue, plaque and end the 6-month listening exercise early. RMF reacted to the decision in a press conference at Regent’s Park College this morning.
In their statement, RMF called Oriel “outrageous, dishonest, and cynical”, and said the decision to not remove the statue or plaque represented a dictatorship of donors, lacked legitimacy and ignored principle, labelling the college as “sellouts”. RMF went on to blast the “neoliberalisation of higher education” and the associated cuts to university funding, which they claimed is ultimately to blame for the college’s decision to bow to pressure for donors to keep the statue. Money does talk after all…
Laying out their demands in detail, activists argued for a new OUSU VP position focussed on race, as well as Tutors for Race at both college and university level across Oxford. They also called for a decolonised curriculum, which might take a bit of work when over 70% of authors were white on the reading list for the topic “Ethnicity & Identity” studied by first-year English students.