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University Student Union Officer Denied being Racist but may get Fired from Job

A Goldsmiths University student union officer said people cannot call her racist because she belongs to the ethnic minority.

27 years old Bahar Mustafa, who took an MA in gender and media studies at Goldsmiths, released a 7-minute long video last May 12 denying allegations that she is a racist.

The union officer was put under intense scrutiny last April from the media for posting on her Facebook account that men and white people are not allowed to attend a university diversity event.

Mustafa read her statement in front of other university students and decried the media’s coverage of the incident, branding it as a “witch hunt and shameful character assassination.” She further said that as an ethnic minority woman, she “cannot be racist or sexist towards white men, because racism and sexism describe structures of privilege based on race and gender. Therefore, women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist, since we do not stand to benefit from such a system.”

Her denial, however, did not receive popular support from netizens, the majority of whom heavily criticised the 27-year-old’s statement. 

Now, Mustafa has been put into hot water yet again for her tweeting a “kill all white men” hashtag.

A change.org petition has been launched by Goldsmiths’ students calling for her removal as student union welfare and diversity officer. Under the student union’s bylaws, a vote of no confidence can be had if at least 3% of the union’s members will be signatories to the petition. She may then be ousted if at least 2/3 of the votes calls for her removal.

Mustafa, however, denied any wrongful intention behind her recent controversial statements. She said in a May 19 article in the London Evening Standards that the hashtag and other statements in her personal Twitter account were “in-jokes and ways that many people in the queer feminist community express ourselves.”

She further added: “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.”


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