Tue | Jul 7, 2020

Letter of the Day | Take Rhodes scholarship as a form of reparation

Published:Tuesday | June 23, 2020 | 12:27 AM
A statue of Cecil Rhodes, the controversial Victorian imperialist who supported apartheid-style measures in southern Africa, stands mounted on the facade of Oriel College in Oxford, England.
A statue of Cecil Rhodes, the controversial Victorian imperialist who supported apartheid-style measures in southern Africa, stands mounted on the facade of Oriel College in Oxford, England.

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Our history is replete with the wanton acts of slavery. Without doubt, we detest and abhor these acts but must acknowledge that we cannot change the past.

Some of our leaders over the recent past have been advocating reparation although it is not quite clear as to who would be compensated or in what form it would take place.

As a reaction to “Black Lives Matter”, it has been noted that a number of prominent personalities of the slave era are being discredited and their names dishonoured. Among them is Cecil Rhodes. It is being mooted as to whether the Rhodes Scholarship named in his honour should be discontinued.

I am suggesting that although Cecil Rhodes was a slaver, money left from his estate, which laid the foundation for the scholarships that are offered to descendants of former slaves, should be considered a form of reparation.

We cannot change history, therefore let us enjoy what little benefit we can. There are a number of our prominent citizens who have already gone through the system and have served our country with distinction, and many more may well continue to do so.

RONALD R. FAGAN

ronniefagan@gmail.com