How to write an article against something, and prove -word by word- that you a r e that something. Or, an unintentional exercise on Derrida’s idea that absence (lack) can be more presence than presence. The British students in the story follow the steps of their American colleagues in what Jerry Seinfeld touched on earlier this summer regarding political correctness and bigotry (in American academic settings), and what Slavoj Zizek said about political correctness resembling totalitarianism. However, the author of this article applies the same principles in a context which is incompatible; thus, becoming what he is so critical against.
[If you thought only the whackjobs of ISIS were hellbent on obliterating statues that offend them, think again. Thousands of miles from the Islamic State, in what you would imagine to be the different moral galaxy of the Western academy, there are young hotheads who likewise want to remove from public view the monuments that have the temerity to upset them.
Last week it was revealed that a bunch of students at Oxford want a statue of Cecil Rhodes removed. Rhodes was a British imperialist, founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), architect of Apartheid, and all-around unpleasant guy. And according to Oxford students calling themselves the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement, his statue at Oriel College—his alma mater—is not only offensive but an act of violence. “There’s a violence to having to walk past the statue every day,” one student told Sky News. The statue is “really problematic.”
Problematic is to the intolerant PC brigade what “haram” is to Islamists—it’s used to brand things that are wicked, and which should ideally be No Platformed or Safe Spaced out of existence. The activists’ casual conflation of speech with violence—or rather, of walking by a statue with feeling assaulted—speaks to the terrifying Orwellianism that has much of the Western student body in its grip.]