The Department of Politics and International Relations has made a statement regarding the Cecil Rhodes statue.
Cecil Rhodes, whose statue still stands above Oxford's High Street, led extremely violent colonial conquests in southern Africa. He championed racial segregation. He made his fortune through exploitative gold and diamond mining operations in South Africa, and the looting of cattle in Matabeleland which resulted in famine that killed thousands of Africans in the 1890s. His racist and patriarchal views are clearly at odds with the values of the University today.
The Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) has decided to express its disappointment and perplexity at the decision of Oriel College not to seek to remove the statue. This decision seems to us to place challenging but manageable considerations of cost and complexity ahead of the values of inclusion, equality and diversity. Oriel’s decision stands in opposition to DPIR’s own commitment–alongside many other parts of the collegiate University–to continuous critical engagement with, and rectification of, past and present barriers to these values.