To the editor:

Today the Yale Daily News announced Yale’s recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship, as it usually does around this time of the year, and every year it stirs me how our society forgets the ferocity connected with the name Rhodes. Under no circumstances do I want to discredit Chris Wells’ achievement, as I share a class with him and and find him to be an excellent thinker and well deserving of the prize. Nor do I wish to claim that I would not accept the same scholarship given the opportunity. All I wish to point out is the ignorance with which our surroundings value this prestigious award. It sickens me with which naivete the media glorifies presidential candidates and alike who bear this prize that belittles the pain and suffering induced by Rhodes’ colonial mission. As a long term resident of Zimbabwe, I have stood at Rhodes’ grave and ironically witnessed the legacy of racism he left behind. It appears indignant that an award demanding a high standard of morality is connected with a man who described Africans as savages and initiated the white land grabs in Southern Africa. In my opinion, we should continue to celebrate our finest scholars and their achievements, yet at the same time be aware of the responsibility and burden this name bears with it.

Max Neuvians ’05

December 1, 2003