Allegations of systemic racism at Cambridge Watch

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Fullofsurprises
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There's a row going on at Cambridge University (and in the media) about racism directed at both staff and students from minority backgrounds.

Cambridge lecturer Priyamvada Gopal is at the centre of the debate. After some years of frustration and hurt at the way she is treated by Cambridge staff, especially by college porters and especially at Kings, she has gone public with her complaints. These appear to be well founded judging from the observations of a journalist who was invited to follow her around as she tried to walk into colleges where she was due to teach or meet people.
https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...-profiling-row

Many students from asian and black backgrounds at Cambridge are also coming forwards to speak about racist attitudes at the university. English students at King's have published an open letter supporting her.
https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/15888

This will no doubt develop further as a story, but it underlines that it isn't just the admissions policy, or the public statements a university makes that enable it to be non-racist - one of the most crucial things is the everyday treatment of minorities on campus.
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Fullofsurprises
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Dr Gopal's twitter account.
https://twitter.com/PriyamvadaGopal?...2Fnews%2F15888

She's getting a lot of support now from other academics at the university.

Some public figures, like Rod Liddle, the extremely right wing former editor of the BBC's flagship R4 current affairs show Today, have been openly insulting her, invoking racist and colonialist tropes to do so.
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Fullofsurprises
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Rod Liddle's snide and unpleasant remarks in The Sun today.


CAMBRIDGE PROFESSOR'S FEELINGS ARE HURT



A STUPID woman at Cambridge University has gone on strike. Dr Priyamvada Gopal is refusing to teach her English students.

Why? Because the college porters don’t address her as “Doctor”.

She claims this is “racist”. What a jumped-up, chippy madam.

Porters never address staff as “Doctor” – they use Sir or Madam.

Or in the case of Gopal “Little Miss Victimhood”. Or they should.

She’s not a proper *doctor, of course. She got her PhD in post-colonial literature. So all she’s done is read some really crap books.

Cambridge should kick her out.
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Doones
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Rod Liddle's snide and unpleasant remarks in The Sun today.
Rod Liddle is a complete ****. Let's not repeat his views

Edit: also some idiot porters at a college doesn't mean it's "systemic".
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Rod Liddle is a complete ****. Let's not repeat his views
It's kind of intriguing to see how far down into the pits he will dig. Astonishing that this creepy manipulator-of-the-base was given such a high job at the Beeb.
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
It's kind of intriguing to see how far down into the pits he will dig. Astonishing that this creepy manipulator-of-the-base was given such a high job at the Beeb.
And he was a pretty senior member of the Labour Party back in the day.
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lionheart27
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What the hell does "systemic racism" even mean? That the educational system is inherently racist? The "educational system" isn't some monolithic, impersonal structure. It's made up of people. The "systemic" in this context, refers to "too many white people".

Go to china, you'll have "systemic racism" that favours Chinese. Go to Nigeria, same thing.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by lionheart27)
What the hell does "systemic racism" even mean? That the educational system is inherently racist? The "educational system" isn't some monolithic, impersonal structure. It's made up of people. The "systemic" in this context, refers to "too many white people".

Go to china, you'll have "systemic racism" that favours Chinese. Go to Nigeria, same thing.

Once again, it's white people's universities that have to change to accommodate every ethnicity, creed and religion - because their own are ****. How about they fix their own countries so they won't have to deal with whitey's "racism"? Oh yeah that would be too difficult.
The systemic racism phrase doesn't refer to too many white people, that's a ridiculously simplistic interpretation. It clearly refers to the behaviour and conduct of white majority members of the university towards those from minorities.
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multieman
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(Original post by lionheart27)
What the hell does "systemic racism" even mean? That the educational system is inherently racist? The "educational system" isn't some monolithic, impersonal structure. It's made up of people. The "systemic" in this context, refers to "too many white people".

Go to china, you'll have "systemic racism" that favours Chinese. Go to Nigeria, same thing.

Once again, it's white people's universities that have to change to accommodate every ethnicity, creed and religion - because their own are ****. How about they fix their own countries so they won't have to deal with whitey's "racism"? Oh yeah that would be too difficult.
If we didn't colonise a lot of these countries and use their people as slaves then maybe they would've had a chance to thrive and build great educational institutions. This is partly the reason why we are open to immigration.

It's systemic because it's inherent in the core syllabus of the system, e.g, literary texts studied are overwhelmingly from white people rather than diverse backgrounds. You seem butt-hurt because you got rejected from Cambridge/a top university over an ethnic minority. Also, no one said the educational system is monolithic. As you said, it's run by people, and many of those people have clearly portrayed unconscious racial bias as evident by the article and my own experiences.
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Kevin70
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Racism is on the rise due to brexit, lack of public services, job competition and overpopulation which means fighting for resources. Unity and tolerance are the only way forward as ethnic minorities are not going anywhere and so we need to learn to get along with them willy nilly.
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Parliament
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
She’s not a proper *doctor, of course. She got her PhD in post-colonial literature. So all she’s done is read some really crap books.
hahahahaha what is this guy on about

Also, anyone remember this fairly reprehensible occurrence at The Other Place...?

As always, The Porter's Log hit the nail on the head here.
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lionheart27
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(Original post by multieman)
If we didn't colonise a lot of these countries and use their people as slaves then maybe they would've had a chance to thrive and build great educational institutions. This is partly the reason why we are open to immigration.
We? Who's we? I and no-one I know colonised anyone. Terrible argument. Why look back into the past, and blame people who have nothing to do with colonisation? Also, your tone implies that we deserve to get colonised, as if we bought a burden upon ourselves. If you are against colonisation in the first place, why are you ok with minorities colonising us? Is it because we owe them? Because no-one alive today owes them anything. Seems to me this a thinly veiled dig against whitey.

(Original post by multieman)
It's systemic because it's inherent in the core syllabus of the system, e.g, literary texts studied are overwhelmingly from white people rather than diverse backgrounds.
Because you're in a majority-white country you ****ing simpleton.

(Original post by multieman)
You seem butt-hurt because you got rejected from Cambridge/a top university over an ethnic minority.
I didn't even apply - you're assuming I'm bitter or unintelligent because I don't believe the things you do. That's called narcissism.


(Original post by multieman)
Also, no one said the educational system is monolithic. As you said, it's run by people, and many of those people have clearly portrayed unconscious racial bias as evident by the article and my own experiences.
You must be really young, naive or stupid to think that people don't unconsciously feel more kindred with people like them. You're not talking society, you're talking biology. You can't change biology.
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AperfectBalance
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Dr Gopal's twitter account.
https://twitter.com/PriyamvadaGopal?...2Fnews%2F15888

She's getting a lot of support now from other academics at the university.

Some public figures, like Rod Liddle, the extremely right wing former editor of the BBC's flagship R4 current affairs show Today, have been openly insulting her, invoking racist and colonialist tropes to do so.
Rob liddle is right (bar the porter bit as I dont know nor do i care) none of the sentiments he said there seem to be in any way racist or "colonialist"
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Andrew97
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(Original post by multieman)
If we didn't colonise a lot of these countries and use their people as slaves then maybe they would've had a chance to thrive and build great educational institutions. This is partly the reason why we are open to immigration. It's systemic because it's inherent in the core syllabus of the system, e.g, literary texts studied are overwhelmingly from white people rather than diverse backgrounds. You seem butt-hurt because you got rejected from Cambridge/a top university over an ethnic minority. Also, no one said the educational system is monolithic. As you said, it's run by people, and many of those people have clearly portrayed unconscious racial bias as evident by the article and my own experiences.

Just what?
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Notoriety
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I thought the original allegation was she was discriminated against for being a woman rather than on account of her ethnicity.

I feel this only shows half the story. She requested that she was addressed as doctor, but what led up to that? I suspect not a casual and respectful chat, proceeded with "Oh hey, do you mind using the Dr title in future, Jeff? Would mean a lot to me; cheers." I think more likely there was a lot of petty stuff going on for many months.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Notoriety)
I thought the original allegation was she was discriminated against for being a woman rather than on account of her ethnicity.

I feel this only shows half the story. She requested that she was addressed as doctor, but what led up to that? I suspect not a casual and respectful chat, proceeded with "Oh hey, do you mind using the Dr title in future, Jeff? Would mean a lot to me; cheers." I think more likely there was a lot of petty stuff going on for many months.
The Doctor title thing is a minor aspect of the story. The main focus is that she is claiming that racial profiling and racist behaviour by college staff is widespread and this is supported by others.

"Tega Akati-Udi, black, Asian and minority ethnic officer of King’s college student union, said she and her predecessor had collected a significant number of similar testimonies about racial profiling incidents at King’s over the past two years. "
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Chief Wiggum
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Dr Gopal moaning because she gets treated like everyone else.

Maybe she needs to "check her privilege" before speaking down to the porters?
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multieman
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Just what?
Lacking reading comprehension?
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
The Doctor title thing is a minor aspect of the story. The main focus is that she is claiming that racial profiling and racist behaviour by college staff is widespread and this is supported by others.

"Tega Akati-Udi, black, Asian and minority ethnic officer of King’s college student union, said she and her predecessor had collected a significant number of similar testimonies about racial profiling incidents at King’s over the past two years. "
Well, the original complaint comes from an academic who is interested in advancing the argument that there is widespread prejudice professionally and personally (going off her twitter). The Dr title was the trigger rather than something minor. It seems the Dr was addressed as madam passive-aggressively and preferred to be called Dr; I suspect that when the Dr was talking to a porter who (she thought) disrespected her, she did not strike back with utmost politeness. From this, now she has cited the inherent racism of the institution and this is backed up by the "ethnicity officer" at King's, whose role is to identify racism and show that they are doing something about it.

Rather interestingly, the Dr posted this tweet:

Oh god, white men saying 'Kings Porters are rude to me too,' please go away and be an ass somewhere else
This point is key to the Dr's thesis, in that it supposes the porter's were peculiarly rude to her (and other POCs) and not to the same degree rude to non-POCs. It seems perverse to then deny the testimony of white males who have reported negative experiences. The argument almost is be presumed to proven just for being alleged, and to question its validity is to be playing troll.

No, I think it rather important that if you're going to make significant claims like this you go out of your way to objectively consider your treatment relative to the treatment of others. I suspect that people like the Dr think it must be proven, and others in the same setting and you yourself, are inclined to jump onto the Dr's thesis without asking any questions because it suits your agenda to suppose she is correct.

And we should not forget the Dr is upper class, you are upper class though a lady, and it might just be the case that you are not suffering from the hands of the working class white male but rather you are in fact privileged relative to them. It might be the case that supposing that they're racist or sexist, having a victim mentality and causing hostility with them because of that belief, and then trying to get one up over them by reminding them of your superior station, is not going to go down well.

Or maybe the Doc is right.
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Chief Wiggum)
Dr Gopal moaning because she gets treated like everyone else.

Maybe she needs to "check her privilege" before speaking down to the porters?
Except that she is being supported by minority students and others in her assertions.

I agree that everyone needs to consider carefully their privilege in relation to others with whom they have dealings, but it's easy to take cheap shots at people who dare to raise complaints like this and perhaps she is using her privilege as an academic to raise things that other people, such as minority students, are too afraid to - in which case, that would be a good use of privilege.
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