A student union diversity officer at Goldsmiths University in London who requested that men and white people not come to an equality event says that she “cannot be racist” since she is a minority woman.
Bahar Mustafa, a 27-year-old Goldsmiths University’s student's union welfare and diversity officer, recently released a statement on Facebook asking that white people and males not to attend an event regarding “diversifying the curriculum.”
“Invite loads of BME Women and non-binary people!!” She wrote on the social media site. “Also, if you’ve been invited and you’re a white man and/or white PLEASE DON’T COME just cos [sic] I invited a bunch of people and hope you will be responsible enough to respect this is a BME Women and non-binary event only.”
She added, “Don’t worry lads we will give you and allies things to do.”
While she has received backlash from fellow students -- with critcisms of her message ranging from “laughable” to “patronizing” -- Goldsmiths University wrote to the student's union saying, “We are proud of our diverse community and do not tolerate any form of oppression, including racism, sexism or any other form of bigotry.”
Mustafa contends that the criticisms to her Facebook post are “only one in a series of attacks upon minority women on campus.”
She released a video recently (shown below), wherein she spoke in front of a group of students and describes the controversy as “an outrageous distortion of fact."
“Furthermore, there have been charges made against me that I am racist and sexist to white men,” she says in the video. “I want to explain why this is false. I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men, because racism and sexism describes structures of privilege based on race and gender.”
She continues, “And therefore women of color and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist because we do not stand to benefit from such a system.”
She later adds, “ … reverse racism and reverse sexism are not real.”
The student union recently stated how they will be reviewing their communication tactics in order to “avoid any future misunderstandings,” after the reaction to Mustafa’s comments.
“We will not be silenced; we are militant,” Mustafa said. “The world is not ready for minorities to challenge the status quo, but resistance to our resistance is futile.”
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Photo Credit: The Standard