A left-wing academic who was fired after her organisation posted racial slurs against a black conservative is suing her university on the grounds that “black radicalism” and Critical Race Theory (CRT) should be protected beliefs under the UK Equality Act.
Aysha Khanom, who was sacked from her advisory role with Leeds Beckett University (LBU) after the Twitter account for her organisation described conservative political commentator Calvin Robinson as a “house negro” and a “coconut”, is launching a landmark case claiming that her firing was discriminatory.
On February 14th, Race Trust — the organisation run by Khanom — responded to an appearance from Mr Robinson on BBC One’s The Big Questions in which he talked about the left’s use of racial slurs against him, by asking: “Does it not shame you that most people see you as a house negro?”
Khanom has claimed that she did not personally post the message. She was dismissed from her role at the university on the grounds that the tweet was racist.
Khanom told The Guardian that the slurs used against Mr Robinson were “meant to be offensive, because they’re antiracist terms. You’re highlighting a problem … It’s almost upholding white supremacy. It’s so contradictory it’s unreal – racists have taken these terms and defined them for us. There is no way they are racist.
“They are meant to make someone feel uncomfortable, but just because something’s offensive doesn’t mean you can’t say it,” she argued.
Khanom went on to claim that her firing and the public shaming from the university had impacted her mental health and her professional career as an “anti-racist”.
“Leeds Beckett condemned me to be a racist,” she said, adding: “I still get trolled on Twitter all the time and they [the trolls] post Leeds Beckett’s tweet. It’s always going to be there, that’s my main worry, especially as the work that I do is anti-racist.”
House Negro, Coconut, Bounty Bar, Choc Ice are all anti racist terms.
Sorry but racists and white people don't get to tell us how we can defend ourselves and how we should think.
These concepts are born out of struggle. You don't get to dictate how we react to oppression. https://t.co/W5UR7DA0PA
— Aysha Khanom (@ak8619R) August 17, 2021
Speaking to Breitbart London, Calvin Robinson said that Khanom “should apologise and move on.”
“Instead, she’s doubling down and claiming her racist bile was [justified]. If that’s the stance she wants to take, I wish her luck in her “anti-racist” career.
“I’m sure the irony is lost on her, that she’s fighting a legal case to class racial abuse as a protected characteristic.”
Mr Robinson has previously told Breitbart London that he believes terms such as Uncle Tom and house negro are used by leftist activists, such as Black Lives Matter, to silence black conservatives.
“Every time I’ve spoken out against BLM using CRT, they attack me with racially derogatory terms,” Robinson said.
“Apparently, black people must all think the same way. If we go off-script, we’re race-traitors, ‘Bounties’, and ‘coons’. It seems BLM don’t support racial equality after all, because if they did, surely they’d encourage diversity and expect black people to hold many different views across the political spectrum,” he added.
Exclusive: ‘If We Go Off-Script We’re Race-Traitors’ – Black Educator Mobbed After Criticising BLM, Critical Race Theory https://t.co/YnOiTxwK8x
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 16, 2020
Emily Cole of Cole Khan solicitors, which is representing Khanom in her legal case said: “Immediately publishing her termination on Twitter and publicly condemning her as racist was a gross abuse of power and sets a dangerous precedent. Ms Khanom’s case is of significant importance for everyone who stands for academic freedom, freedom of speech and equality.”
The case will likely draw on the fact that the employment appeals tribunal found in June that the gender-critical views of Maya Forester — who was fired after she criticised transgender ideology — were protected beliefs under the Equality Act. The tribunal found that only views such as Nazism and totalitarianism were not protected under law.
Ms Khanom has also been defended by Black Studies professor at Birmingham University, Kehinde Andrews, who argued on Tuesday: “House Negro is not a racial slur, it is political critique. Shame on Leeds Beckett for caving to the right-wing mob.”
Professor Andrews has been a prominent anti-British critic, drawing criticism for claiming that the British Empire was worse than Nazi Germany and that “whiteness is a psychosis“.
The Left Calls Black Conservatives ‘House Negroes’ For Daring to ‘Think Differently’, Says Kemi Badenoch MP https://t.co/kKFMAwF1ow
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 21, 2021
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