Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bahar Mustafa: Goldsmiths diversity officer at centre of 'racism' row could lose job after tweeting with hashtag 'kill all white men'

The Goldsmiths diversity officer embroiled in a racism row could lose her job after allegedly tweeting with the hashtag "kill all white men".

Bahar Mustafa, the university union's welfare and diversity officer, caught the media's attention after telling white people and men not to come to an event about diversifying the curriculum.

She then defended her position on camera, saying ethnic minority women cannot be racist as they "do not stand to gain" from inequality.

Now students have started a petition to have her removed from her job, while a public petition calling for the same thing has racked up 1,500 votes.

"The current welfare and diversity officer has used hate speech based on race and gender," the union petition, which closes on May 26, reads.

"For example, the consistent use of hashtags such as #killallwhitemen and #misandry, and publicly calling someone 'white trash' under the official GSU Welfare and Diversity Officer Twitter account."

The twitter account has since been shut down.  

Ms Mustafa said the use of the term "white trash" - an offensive American term referring to poor white people following the Great Depression - on an official account had been "not professional".

But she added the uses of hashtags such as "kill all white men" on her personal account were "in-jokes and ways that many people in the queer feminist community express ourselves".

"It's a way of reclaiming the power from the trauma many of us experience as queers, women, people of colour, who are on the receiving end of racism, misogyny and homophobia daily," she added.

If three per cent of students' union members sign the petition, a vote of no confidence will be held in Ms Mustafa. If two thirds of voters say she should be removed during that ballot, she will lose her job.

She is also accused of oppressing the voices of disabled people during a recent occupation - something she, "as a disabled woman", denies.

Ms Mustafa adds that she has received racist and sexist abuse and death threats since the "media storm".


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