Mild rant: The thing I find incredible about the "oh Rhodes was a man of his time" chat is how historically illiterate it is.

Rhodes was INCREDIBLY controversial in his own time, not just among his victims, but even amongst the whitest, wealthiest, most pro-imperialist people.
92 Oxford dons (NINETY TWO) opposed his honorary doctorate in the 1890s.

He was censured by name by parliament in 1897 for gods sake.

He was banned from the Royal enclosure at Ascot (on the so called “certainly not” list)

How many other people has that happened to?
How on earth people with access to google can say, "Ah, a man of his time" is absolutely beyond me.

I could write another thread, a longer one, about the weirdness of Rhodes in general. Like, about his relatively unrepentant homosexuality, completely taboo in the 1890s.
About how the man who fucked over Lobengula and his people on the charter was also the person who campaigned successfully for the black vote in the Cape Colony later (and was hated for ‘betraying’ his fellow racist imperialists on this).
That the BSACo was possible because he was basically the only imperialist willing to work with Jews.

He's so much stranger than Lord Curzon (who *was* a man of his time, & literally did want to kill all black people to turn Africa into a terrifying version of the Home Counties)
You can make an argument that Rhodes’s clear moral flexibility and the fact he is so unmoored from the social mores of his time makes him *more*, not less culpable for his actions, compared to Curzon, who was absolutely a prisoner of his upbringing.
None of this should detract from the general point that both were fantastically baroque racists who shouldn't have statues of them up in modern Britain (see also - all the places named for Curzon, who is AT LEAST as vile as Rhodes)
But Rhodes is such a particularly odd figure for the “a man of his time” argument, given how out of his time he seemed to be throughout his life.

To me, it clearly demonstrates people using this argument know *nothing* about Rhodes or British history.

Which is pretty ironic.
(This thread has been brought to you by my history teacher, Mr McArthy, who started his discussion of Rhodes with the phrase “You know who was a big shit - Cecil bloody Rhodes”, and a conversation last night with an academic friend where we shared Rhodes weirdness anecdotes
In the same lesson, McCarthy compared Curzon & Rhodes, leaving me 25 years later with the memory of the rhyme:

“Lord George Nathaniel Curzon;
Thinks himself a very superior Perzon;
As his hair is shiny, his cheeks are pink;
And he dines at Blenheim palace once a week”)
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