Just over five years ago, a student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Chumani Maxwele, threw a bucket of shit at the bronze face of Cecil John Rhodes. He had transported it from a nearby township, Khayelitsha, all the way to campus, a journey itself representative of spatial planning under apartheid and deep inequality in a city that is a visceral reminder of the racist legacy of the British colonialist.

One could soften this account of the birth of the #RhodesMustFall movement by referring to the shit as “excrement”, but doing so would rob the students of the profound…

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