It’s tough to hate white men today. Once upon a time, statements like “#killallwhitemen” went relatively unnoticed, whereas now they are liable to get you suspended from your political party or put your job as ‘diversity officer’ in jeopardy. Even social media, the onetime stronghold of fashionable bigotry, is no longer on their side.
Bahar Mustafa, a diversity officer at the Goldsmiths University Students Union, recently attracted a storm of media attention after banning “cisgendered white males” from diversity events, and posting pictures on social media where she posed in front of a “no whites allowed” poster.
She was later found to have joked about ‘killing all white men’ on social media, and instead of apologising, defended the comments as “a way of reclaiming the power from the trauma many of us experience as queers, women, [and] people of colour.” Proving that no hole can be dug too deep, Mustafa also argued that women and ethnic minorities “can’t be sexist or racist”.
As a change.org petition calling for her expulsion gained over 12,000 signatures, supporters of Mustafa took to social media, creating the #supportbaharmustafa hashtag on Twitter. Their efforts were quickly foiled once the rest of Twitter discovered the hashtag:
Going to be honest, as a feminist, I do not #supportbaharmustafa. It's not ok to discriminate against any group.
— Cole Pram No. 9900 (@colepram) May 20, 2015
#SupportBaharMustafa to give your racism the appearance of legitimacy. You are not the solution. You are the problem. Stop discriminating.
— Sithlord Sabrina (@SabrinaLianne) May 20, 2015
I #supportbaharmustafa coz I think best way of empowering minorities is through safe spaces and devaluing the concept of universal rights.
— Tom Owolade (@owolade14) May 20, 2015
— Arean (@Arean91) May 20, 2015
It's all fun and diversity until someone wants to kill all white men. #supportbaharmustafa
— ★ Canadien Alien ★ (@m2qm1g) May 20, 2015
I #supportbaharmustafa because those damn crackers invented slavery and killed the dinosaurs.
— Abyss (@LazyDudeBro) May 20, 2015
I don't #supportbaharmustafa because she's a racist and censorious. You don't represent ethnic minorities.
— Harvir Dhillon (@HarvirDhillon) May 20, 2015
#SupportBaharMustafa? Hell no. She is a disgrace to all marginalized people who want a world where people look past skin color and gender.
— Ashton Liu (@Ash_Effect) May 20, 2015
— Offence Police (@OffencePolice) May 20, 2015
#supportbaharmustafa? No, she's an awful bigot and an absolutely terrible choice for a diversity officer.
— Rexia (@TechyFolks) May 20, 2015
— Mr. Strings (@OmniUke) May 20, 2015
The growth of “hipster racism” has been fascinating to watch. Those who laugh about hashtags like “#killallwhitemen” are the same people who spent decades crafting politically correct language codes for others to obey, as well as a host of social punishments for anyone who didn’t. After all that, did they really think no-one was going to hold them to their own book of rules?