SOAS says all old white teachers are racist and victimise BAME students
Are old white, male dons unable to teach young black students? Students at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) created a report to answer the question they pose. Called Degrees of Racism, the student union demands that “all academics must be prepared to acknowledge that they are capable of racism”.
Well, we all have our prejudices, even SOAS students and people on the Student Unions’ executive.
One student is quoted:
“Both of my tutors are white men. How can I have a rapport and feel comfortable talking to a 60-year-old white man? Our experiences of life are so different and you’re coming from completely different places.”
Wouldn’t it be good idea to learn how to relate to the old white boy, of which there are so many?
The report begins from making an argument that identity is of paramount importance in education. It paints all BAME students as victims.
The BME Attainment Gap project was conducted as studies show that there has been a gap between the degree attainment of white and BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) undergraduates at SOAS, with a greater proportion of white students attaining either a 2:1 or first class degree.
Might this be down to family money, class, society and more?
These gaps cannot be attributed to differences between students at entry at SOAS, thus suggesting factors within SOAS contributing to this finding.
So it must be racism, then. Is it “unconscious” racism, or unwitting racism, if you will, because racism didn’t prevent BAME students gaining a place at the college? We also don’t know why the BAMe students who made it to SOAS survived being taught by white teachers, who make up the bulk of education professionals.
A worrying number of students reported having experienced explicitly racist comments and behaviours in class, both from other students and from teachers.
That’s from the champions of reason and learning at SOAS student union, the same group that wants to boycott Israel and Israeli academics. Maybe if there were more Israeli academics in visible places at SOAS, the non-Israeli students would relate and understand the situation better? Because it’s all about identity, isn’t it.