The Oxford law student who called for the French flag to be banned from universities after comparing it to the Nazi swastika has remained unyielding in his views, hit out at the British media for feeding a “racist myth,” and insisted Oxford produces graduates with an “unjustly skewed view of the world.”
In a lengthy 1,000-word plus Facebook post, Ntokozo Qwabe - originally from the KawZulu-Natal province in South Africa - said: “The French flag is a symbol of violence, terror and genocide for many of those who have historically been on the receiving end of French colonial/imperial crimes.
“We need to dismantle the whitewashed narrative that genocides committed in the name of colonialism & imperialism are somehow less worthy of recognition, or that the voices of those on the receiving end of these genocides do not matter.”
Qwabe was making reference to a post he wrote just two days after 130 people lost their lives in a series of terror attacks across Paris last month when he said he refused to join a social media movement which saw thousands of Facebook users change their profile pictures to that of the tricolour flag in solidarity with France.
In the original post, Qwabe said: “You can miss me with the buffoonery of changing Facebook profile pictures to violent imperial flags & hashtaging [sic] ‘prayers for Paris’ I will silently pretend to but not kneel to carry out
“I do NOT stand with France. Not while it continues to terrorise and bomb Afrika [sic] & the Middle East for its imperial interests.”
In the new post, though, Qwabe also blasted the British media for its “onslaught against me.” He said: “They are hell bent on depicting us as ‘threatening’ - feeding the racist myth that the gathering of a critical mass of people for a cause organised by mostly people of colour (but constituted & supported by people of all races - from all parts of the world, including Britain itself) is somehow inherently ‘violent’ or can be compared to terrorist groups.”
The law student - who is a co-founder of the Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford movement which is campaigning to remove a “racist” statue of the 19th Century colonialist Cecil Rhodes - also hit out at the University of Oxford where he studies the Bachelor of Civil Laws (BCL) course.
He said the “racist & violent way” in which the university is configured “normalises & props up the existence of systemic racism, patriarchy & other oppressions that students at Oxford go through daily.”
Qwabe added the “coloniality of the university...has never been atoned for,” and said: “[It] still actively shapes the configuration of the Eurocentric curriculum which we study, furthers colonial epistemic injustices, and produces graduates with an unjustly skewed view of the world (who then go on & lead the world in ways that reproduce injustice).”
The student further added: “Student admission & staff recruitment practices still reflect skewed patters [sic] that make Oxford unrepresentative, and perpetrate exclusion.”
The Telegraph has reported how Oxford has recently begun an overhaul of its humanities and social science courses in order to make sure its more “diverse.” A spokesman told the site: “We recognise we need to do more to get students from more excluded and less traditional backgrounds into Oxford, and we work on that through outreach.”
Qwabe also recently became the centre of a “huge social media row” after it emerged he reportedly accepted a scholarship in the name of Cecil Rhodes to help him study for the prestigious BCL qualification at Oxford, which is said to be held by several top barristers.
Qwabe was accused of “hypocrisy,” but he retaliated: “We can NEVER be ‘hypocrites’ for taking back crumbs of the colonial loot of Rhodes & his colonial cronies.”
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- Ntokozo Qwabe
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- Paris attacks