Student union BANS white students from attending Black History Month events – sparking accusations of racial segregation
- University of Westminster student union reserved events for Black students
- Union received backlash for the ‘tragic’ move made during Black History Month
- Leader of the Free Speech Union Toby Young said it was a ‘glaring contradiction’
- Meanwhile an Edinburgh University lecturer branded it ‘racial segregation’
A student union has come under fire and been accused of racial segregation after it banned white students from Black History Month events.
Students at the University of Westminster were told by its union in an email that some of the events would be ‘reserved for black students to encourage a safe space for discussions and honest conversations’.
But social anthropology lecturer at Edinburgh University Dr Neil Thin hit back and branded the move ‘tragic’, accusing the London university of copying racial segregation ‘previously seen in South African and USA education systems’.
The University of Westminster students were not told which events which they would be banned from during a month specifically celebrating black history through talks, dance nights and film screenings, the Telegraph reports.
Dr Thin said: ‘It is bitterly ironic to see the rhetoric of ‘safe spaces’ abused to justify racial segregation.
‘Nothing is more likely to make social spaces unsafe than this kind of wilful sowing of interethnic suspicion and division.’
University of Westminster Students’ Union has been accused of racial segregation after it banned white students from Black History Month events
Students were told in an email that some of the events would be ‘reserved for black students to encourage a safe space for discussions and honest conversations’
Meanwhile, leader of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young, labelled the group ‘zealots’ who were failing to see the bigger picture.
‘At some point, you’d think it would be clear to these zealots that you’re not going to by discriminating against people on the basis of their race, but they’re so blinded by ideological groupthink they cannot see this glaring contradiction.’
Tory MP Sir John Haynes has called for an investigation to see if there was any potential discrimination.
He also voiced concerns over the ‘sinister’ nature that ‘such ideas can be propagated in a free and open society’.
Just yesterday, the student union’s most recent social media post emphasised that all students were invited to an event with Zoe Garsh, founder of Ms Independent which runs career courses for young women.
The caption said: ‘This is a Black History Month event but ALL students are welcome! Be sure not to miss out’.
Just yesterday, the student union’s most recent social media post emphasised that ‘ALL’ students were invited to an event with Zoe Garsh, founder of Ms Independent which runs career courses for young women
MailOnline has contacted the student union for comment.
Meanwhile a spokesman for the university said: ‘One of the university’s key Black Lives Matter commitments was to eliminate all gaps associated with success measures for all BME students. Black History Year Create, an intensive career-defining programme aimed at addressing disparities among black students, does exactly that.
‘Equality of opportunity does not always mean giving everyone access to the same thing; it means creating a level playing field by offering some programmes to those who are underrepresented or those who have had less access to opportunity.’