Let the Bones of Cecil Rhodes Rot Somewhere Else

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Europeans and Euro-Americans are proud of their heroes, even if – especially if – they are mass murderers and mega-thieves. Some are incensed at African demands that the bones of the infamous imperialist Cecil Rhodes be dug up from his Zimbabwean grave and shipped back to England. But “no people have an obligation to respect the graves of their murderers.”


Let the Bones of Cecil Rhodes Rot Somewhere Else

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The victims of British imperialism have every right to expunge the influence – including the rotting bodies – of their former oppressors and tormentors.”

The mayor of Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, says the remains of the infamous British imperialist Cecil Rhodes should be dug up and sent back to Great Britain. Sounds like a good idea to me. Britain has exported many things to the world, most notably, mass murder, the annihilation and suppression of whole nations and peoples, and Cecil Rhodes was one of the great practitioners of imperial slaughter. Certainly, the victims of British imperialism have every right to expunge the influence – including the rotting bodies – of their former oppressors and tormentors. The arch-racist Cecil Rhodes, whose most fervent belief was that Africans should not be sovereign in their own lands, has no right to pollute those same lands with his foul presence. No people have an obligation to respect the graves of their murderers.

The Daily Mail newspaper, of London, carried the story of Bulawayo’s mayor’s complaint. Based on readers’ comments about the piece, it is clear that a white-ruled country is the proper resting place for Cecil Rhodes. An Irish reader lamented his own people’s sufferings at the hands of the British, and wrote that, “by today’s standards” Rhodes would certainly be incarcerated for his crimes “after trial in the Hague.” Then the Irishman railed against what British bankers have recently done to his own country. But in the end, he concluded that British crimes were not quite as bad as those of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

What bizarre reasoning! The Irishman believes that centuries of British murder and pillage around the globe, including in his own country, is not as bad as what he imagines one Black man in a relatively small country has done in the course of only 30 years in power. In the final analysis, the Irishman prefers the idea of white power, no matter how bestial and murderous, to Black power in a Black country.

The existence of one Black man who has the impudence to give the finger to Europe is considered a threat to civilization.”

Other newspaper readers from England, Australia and South Africa were even more dismissive of the effrontery of a Black mayor in the sovereign nation of Zimbabwe calling for the exhumation and deportation of the bones of an imperialist killer and mega-thief. For all of these writers, five centuries of constant European aggression against all of the non-white people's of the planet amounts to...well, not very much in the larger scheme of things. But the existence of one Black man who has the impudence to give the finger to Europe is considered a threat to civilization. Such thinking is only logical when one believes that white power and human civilization are the same thing.

The United States, which behaves as a great white power regardless of who is the nominal president, is even more narrow-minded than Europe in its dealings with the non-white world. U.S. rulers, including Barack Obama, believe that Washington has the inalienable right to smash and eradicate anyone or anything that might be an impediment to American global hegemony, which they believe is synonymous with human civilization – just as Cecil Rhodes equated British power with civilization, itself. Which is why the British and the American imperialists are, in reality, the world's worst barbarians.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].



@Afroseer et al:
Most White Westerners still see Africa and Africans as their private property. If you don't believe it, check out the endless shrills of outrage in the Western press over China and other, non-White nations trespassing on "their" traditional turf. The response of the Irishman does not surprise me. Like most of his kind, he believes that it was okay for Rhodesians, Boers, British, Belguins, French, Germans, Portuguese, etc. to lie, cheat, kill and steal when it comes to dealing with Africans because Whites benefited from it. I doubt that he feels the same way about a German "right" to steal from Jews or a Chinese "right" to steal from Tibetans. I also doubt that he believes in a German "right" to keep what they stole from the Jews, no matter how much time has passed. That double standard applies only to Africans. Unfortunately. the Americas and Africa has long been full of White etnics from many nations who allegedly fled oppression in Europe to become better oppressors in their new homelands. One will rarely meet a White person anywhere of any political or religious persuasion who takes a principled and unwavering stand against injustice when the perpetrators of the injustice are White or the injustice is seen as serving White interests. I always find it interesting to compare and to contrast how White people react to oppression against themselves and how they expect others, especially Blacks, to respond to White perpetrators and the atrocities they have committed(and continue to committ) against Blacks all over the world. No White person has ever demanded that the Jews forgive either Hitler or Geoebls, the Nazi party, or any of the legions of SS and Whermacht who enslaved, robbed, and murdered their families in mass. There are no statures in modern Belguim dedicated to the Germans who invaded the country twice and murdered their citizens. There are no monuments in Holland for the Spanish who spent 80 years trying to pacify the country using the most savage means possible. There are no monuments to King George in the United States. If Hitlers victims had been Black Africans or Asians, instead of mostly white Europeans, the very same White people who serve as eager apologists for Cecil Rhodes, King Leopold, Verwood, Botha, Ian Smith, etc. would be insisting that Blacks "get over it," "move on", and most importantly, let Whites keep their ill-gotten gains in peace as has been done in modern South Africa, and until recently, in modern Zimbabwe. For whatever reason, Asians from India, to China, to Vietnam expelled their White oppressors during the decolonization process while most Black Africans did not. All of these Asian nations are way ahead of most African states in terms of economic development and political power on the world stage. More than 50 years on, they are paying dearly for clinging to a belief that maintaining powerful hostile minorities whose loyalty lies elsewhere will somehow benefit them. After 500 years of contact, the negative White agenda in Africa remains largely unchanged.

About Last Week's Article on Zimbabwe's Land Reform;

The Article did not have a section for comments so I'll write my comments here.

It has been widely reported in the western MSNM press for the past 10yrs that Mugabe's land reform prog in Zimbabwe, which has been transferring some of the ill-gotten land of descendants of the former aparthied white settler regime- to Zimbabwe's Blacks, was a total disaster & lead to famine & the economic collapse in Zimbabwe. Further those reports claimed all the land seized by Mugabe went to his cronies & was mainly unused. Now after 10 yrs a report comes out- of the UK no-less -showing that most of those accusations were FALSE. Magabe's land reform prog in Zimbabwe has NOT been a total disaster, most of the land is being worked [First of all many of us western urban dwellers of this modern hi-tech society may not realize it - but most of the so-called white 'farmers' aren't really farmers, they just 'own' farm-land. Most of what they grow are cash-crops to be traded in over-seas markets- not food crops for feeding the people of Zimbabwe {If most of those so-called white 'farmers' had been feeding Zimbabwe's people at a fair price, do you really think Mugabe would indiscriminately seize their land???}, they simply hired out the day to day duties of farming to foremen & work crews almost always Black- & maybe they'd ride by on a tractor or SUV once in a while to check on things. So if they can run successful farms this way - why couldn't Black officials of Mugabe's Gov't or wealthy well connected Blacks do the same???], at least 67% [or more] of the land seized from whites went to regular [poor] Blacks - while less than 10% of the land went to Hi-officials of Mugabe's gov't & military or wealthy well connected Black businessmen. Production of some crops dropped but over-all production has been satisfactory. But its doubtful that western MSNM News sources or even many so-called left-leaning 'alternative' news outlets are going to report on this report that debunks all the HYPE of the past 10 yrs about Zimbabwe's land reform disaster. So what happen to Zimbabwe's Econ over the past 10 yrs??? Up till then Zimbabwe was seen as having one of the most successful Econs in Africa & the west was OK w Mugabe, till he announced he would quicken the roll-out of land reform. Then the powers that be crashed his Econ the same way they crashed the US / world Econ in 2008. WHY??? Because Mugabe's land reform prog has implications that go far past Zimbabwe [or even Africa for that matter]. If successful it would be an immediately example for neighboring S-Africa, & then all of Africa [Wealthy non-Africans & western Corps are grabbing land all over Africa] & then ultimately all of the so-called 3rd World. Thus covert racism, imperialism. & corporatism demanded that Zimbabwe's land reform prog be made to look like a disaster.

About the so-called hi-jacked election- Tsvangari, by his own party's accounting, got less than 50% of the vote. Zimbabwe's law says if no-one cracks the 50% margin in an election there must be a run-off. So this was also mis-represented in the western MSNM media.

The more things change..... debt peonage and landed class

Typical MONOCULTURE extraction.  Thanks for the information, I bet we won't get that perspective on the "Today Show" or "Meet the Press," or hear it from our beloved "ambassadors" who are working so hard for truth and democracy no thanks to Wilkileaks.

Come to think of it, once of the all time UNWRITTEN stories of the 20th and 21 st centuries has to be land consolidation across the world, the replacement of subsistence farming with monoculture.  Anyone wonder how that related story, the MASS URBANIZATION of the planet has also been ignored?  Amazing isn't it.

Monoculture is also rooted in an "extraction economy" this is easily observed in studying Latin American, and gave rise to the construct referred to as the "Dependency Theory." Monoculture also produces infrastructual systems--roads, bridges, trains, sewer, water--that are constructed to benefit the few, to faciliate the EXPORT process, and not benefit the many or build local economies. Part of the reason for Latin Americans long term stunt in growth was the failure of infrastructures to INTEGRATE the provinces, and neighboring countries, their economies and trade relationships until recently.  To put in perspective, the Panama Canal wasn't built to raise Panamanian living standards it was built to export the products of monoculture.  Monoculture was thus rooted in the "Caudillos" and Right Wing Authoritarian leadership throughtout Latin America, for decades. 


Urban sprawl involving the poor occurs because authorities pay little attention to slums, land, services and transport. Authorities lack the ability to predict urban growth and, as a result, fail to provide land for the urbanizing poor. In addition, the urban poor are denied land rights which is one of the main factors driving people to the periphery of towns, associated with urban sprawl in developing countries.

What's more, these communities are not getting the resources they need because their interests are not represented. The UN says urbanization and development reforms tend to favor the rich and powerful.

Generally, planning and policies appear to favour the empowered, mainly the local and regional economic elite. In the developing world, this pattern is more often than not linked to historical and cultural hegemony, which adds to the intergenerational aspects of urban exclusion that lead to spatial partitioning and gentrification.


While we run around singing  their praises, factory farming giants and big agri monoculture substitution that benefits only rich land owners and corporations is part of an unbroken trend dating back over a 1000 years or more.  As goes the consolidation of wealth, so goes land consolidation.  The Landed Aristocracy is alive in well: whether in Iowa, Guatemala, or S. Africa, or Uttar Pradash, or the Steppes of Asia Minor.  "Shssssh... don't tell anyone though, we don't want to let the cat about of the bag as to the REAL CAUSES OF poverty and slums across the world, it's a well kept secret."  "Long Live Pater Familias!!!"  Looks like the Oligarchs have taken a cue from Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction and now are about "to go medieval on our asses." 

Indigenous cultures have survived and even relatively thrived at times because of polyculture.  The Amerindians among others were masters at it. So were our sharecropping grandparents. When you think about it for a minute or two folks, urbanization, monoculture, and corporate farming has created the conditions that give rise to another (arguably??) sinister theme:  that the world is overpopulated.  I 'm no way suggesting resources are without limit, but I AM suggesting that "overpopulation" is a sinister and cynical meme for the Oligarchs and Elites to "cull the population" and consolidate even more land and wealth.  (I won't even attempt to discuss the health effects of chemical contamination of the soil and food chain and ecosystem with the usage of chemical fertilizers)






EC RE: Elites' OVERPOPULATION Agenda & Land-Grabs_Factory Farms

EC your point about the connection between so many power  Elites obsession w population control [IE: Eugenics] especially for the poor, Black & Brown peoples, land & resource grabs, factory-farms & forced urbanization - is note-worthy - but few seem to be able to connect the dots. Also few [especially on the so-called left & particularly most Women's Libbers] make the connection [or at least don't talk openly about it] between Family Planning [especially ABORTION & artificial birth-control] being pushed in Black & Brown communities in the US, Africa & the entire so-called 3rd World & this population control / Eugenics agenda of the Power Elites [frankly I'm less-concerned w what white women libbers chose to do concerning abortion & birth-control FOR THEMSELVES]. FYI: Family Planning International was originally called Planned Parenthood whose god-mother [so to speak] was Margaret Sanger - an avowed EugenicistHer first Planned Parenthood clinics were opened in Harlem & Brooklyn - funded by the Rockefellers - the very symbol of Power Elites & avowed Eugenicists who also funded the pre-WWII Eugenics Institute in NAZI Germany!!! Guess who lived / lives in Harlem & Brooklyn - certainly not the Rockefellers crowd! If they really thought so-called 'Family-Planning' was such a 'good idea' why didn't they fund & put Ms Sanger's Clinics in their neighborhood(s)!!?? 80% of all Family Planning / Abortion clinics in the US are in/near Black & Brown neighborhoods - yet Blacks & Browns are only 25% of the population but account for 55% - 60% of abortions [35% -40% for Blacks]! If there is any doubt that WE ARE THE TARGET - Remember Ms Sanger [who is officially listed as one the most important 'progressives'  in the past 150yrs - but some refer to her as- 'Hitler in a Dress'] opened these clinics as part of her 'Negro Project' & apparently once referred to it privately as possibly a covert attempt 'To Exterminate The Negro'!!! Women's Libbers want to make it all about the issue of  'a woman's right to choose'. As I stated above I'm not so concerned about white women's so-called 'right to choose' [an innocuous euphemism for deliberately & forcibly terminating a fetus' life]. But what I am concerned about is the old 'Trojan Horse' Ploy- bearing in mind the old saying 'Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts'. 

Let me convey a True Story. A Family Planning International Rep from the UK [population 55 - 60 million w a land area about = to California - capital London: population 8.5 - 9 million] comes to Liberia W-Africa [population: 2.5million- less than Chicago's a bit more than Houston's - total land area about = the State of Indiana - capital Monrovia: population 450,000] goes 125mi into the interior & about 10mi off the main road to tell a rural village of less 200 Liberians that THEY ARE HAVING TOO MANY BABIES. Now that's a lot of DAMN NERVE & you got to ask your-self what is the REAL-DEAL! Are they really worried that the Earth is going to run out of space by the next century when the entire population of the planet can fit into the state of Texas w a population density no greater than that of New York City! Or is it that they want to depopulate vast regions in African & 3rd World countries to facilitate further grabbing [Stealing] & exploiting of our people's land & resources!

For Further info on this Google - Henry Kissinger [former Nixon / Ford NSA Advisor & Sec of State -&- close confidant of David Rockefeller] & NSM 200 [Note: Apparently Women's Lib Icon Gloria Steinem once dated Kissinger & may have had connections to the CIA]. Also Note-Worthy is that- Roe v Wade became law under the Nixon, Ford, Kissinger regime [w Bush Sr as UN Ambassador & Nelson Rockefeller as VP]. And Nixon & Kissinger talked China into their 1 child policy which included forced abortions! SO- Now China has a numerical imbalance of young males to females approaching 1.5 to 1.! It is unprecedented in human history that the most populous nation in history has so many young men out-numbering young women! Further- China has the World's largest manned army, is the World's 3rd Nuclear Power & soon to be the World's Largest Econ! Now that's something to be concerned about because all those young Chinese men who will be with-out suitable Chinese women for mates aren't going to turn into monks or gumps... Most of them are going to want to find them at least 1 woman from some-where / some-how. The question is from Where & How!!??