This week, Cambridge University students called for the cancellation of an Africa-themed dinner, deemed “racist” on the basis that the menu “reduces an entire continent into 3 courses”, and that students at the event would be eating in a room whose walls are adorned with “portraits of white people”.
But it comes in a wider climate of a serious and growing trend at British universities: a loathing for white students, and demands to erase the very history, culture and civilisation from which these easily offended students presently benefit.
The website on which the screed against the “racist” Africa-themed dinner appeared, which features blog posts and poems from ethnic minority women at Cambridge University, clearly highlights this hatred.
Almost every entry is fuelled by anger and resentment, claiming Britain is a “white supremacist society”, is ruining their lives and making them increasingly ill. “White supremacy” is revealed to be everything from seeing white people on television to English towns being majority white, people asking “where are you from” and even the English language being spoken.
In one entry a student of Han Chinese ethnicity, who acknowledges she comes from a comfortable middle class background in Hong Kong and moved to the UK at the age of nine, blasts Britain as a “white, racist, violent, imperialist colonial project that shaped us all irrevocably”.
She believes it is criminal that “no child in Britain is taught about the Opium Wars” and “the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), the only U.S. law ever to prevent immigration and naturalisation on the basis of race” and says her life is made a hell by stereotypes of East Asians being intelligent, shy and attractive.
Another piece on the site blasts the “arrogance of Western rationalism”, while a poem describes disgust at watching a “too-entitled” white person with “fat white fingers” eating Pakistani food. The poem contains lines like:
“I want to spit my ancestor’s food into her face” and “I want to tell the waiter to smash the plate down over her head. Tell him in Our language. Cover her in Our food.”
The new National Union of Students (NUS) boss Malia Bouattia previously served as the students’ union’s “Black Students” officer. She made headlines for refusing to condemn Islamic State, and for anti-Semitic remarks where she called the University of Birmingham “something of a Zionist outpost”. But in this role she also advocated the “decolonise our education” movement which seeks to “remove whiteness” from universities.
In a report for the far left Runnymede Trust, a think tank advocating for a “fair, multi-ethnic Britain”, Ms. Bouattia wrote that having a student body in which ethnic minority students are proportionally overrepresented is not good enough. Asserting that ethnic minority students are “unable to relate” to “Eurocentric” courses, she demands education be “decolonised”.
In the last couple of years, students have reported lecturers apologising — unprompted — whenever students are to study texts by and ideas of white, male thinkers, and giving assurances that the curriculum is in the midst of being “made less Eurocentric”. In the promotional material for her election, Ms. Bouattia claimed that “Eurocentric” curricula are “white-washed psychological violence of the classroom”.
The “Black Students” campaign exists for all non-white students to fight against European colonialism, imperialism and “oppression”. This fails to acknowledge, however, that many of the ethnic groups covered in this political grouping have a history of oppression themselves, often far more “colourful” than Europeans.
Ms Bouattia proclaims that, “what has united Black communities in the UK more than anything else is our history of resistance against all forms of oppression”.
Yet she herself is from Algeria, a hub of the Arab slave trade which not only pre-dated European slavery by 1,000 years but also castrated males and kidnapped over a million Europeans as slaves. If anything is “white-washed” it is Arab history, as such students join together with black students against European oppression.
Similarly, Bahar Mustafa, the former Students Union Welfare and Diversity Officer for Goldsmith University, who barred white men from an event to “challenge the white-centric culture of occupations” and “diversify our curriculum”, is Turkish.
The Ottomans have their own highly notable history of slavery, colonialism and oppression which Turks are still proud of today. Over 1,300 years they attacked, colonised and enslaved Europeans yet Ms. Mustafa’s entire political raison d’etre is railing against historic “European oppression”.
Two months ago the “Around the World” theme of a party at Cambridge was changed after students complained that white people wearing costumes from other cultures would mentally harm students from ethnic minorities.
At Oxford and Cambridge there have been similar protests, and bannings, of parties with period themes. A 1920s-themed party at Oxford University was accused of promoting “nostalgia for an era steeped in racism”. An Indian law student spoke out against the “problematic” nature of the event, remarking that “1926 at Magdalen [College, Oxford] was a time when people of colour and women were entirely absent from college spaces”.