Candice Holdsworth

Rhodes Must Fall activists have become the very thing they hate

A cruel stunt by a group of Rhodes Must Fall activists has exposed just how detached from reality the regressive left’s ‘privilege’ narratives are. Ntokozo Qwabe, one of the most prominent figures of Oxford’s ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ movement, has been publicly gloating on social media about humiliating a white waitress in Cape Town.

Showing a stunning lack of self-awareness, Qwabe, in his recollection of the incident, does not recognise that as a student of law at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, he is probably more privileged than a waitress working a minimum-wage job. Even if she is white and he is black.

Qwabe recounted on his Facebook page how he and a group of fellow RMF activists were eating at a café in the Cape Town suburb of Observatory on Thursday, when a white waitress approached them with the bill and a slip to write down the amount of gratuity they wished to pay. In extremely callous language, Qwabe gleefully describes how he and his dinner companions decided to write on the slip, ‘WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND.’

According to Qwabe, the waitress, upon seeing this, apparently started shaking then burst into tears. To which he responded with the glib comment, ‘like why are you crying when all we’ve done is make a kind request lol’. And with impeccable spite he characterised her crying as, ‘typical white tears’.

For a political movement that constantly talks of the need to examine ‘power dynamics’ you would think that they would be sensitive to the power differentials in that particular situation. What power did the white waitress have to defend herself from their bullying? She certainly didn’t want to risk her job.

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