Don't go there SIANAARRGH!

It takes a lot of confidence to be this ridiculous.

Defending WoC Rights to Safe Spaces: In Soldarity with Bahar Mustapha

The world never ceases to make me sick and leave me speechless. Returning to the Bahar Mustapha media shitstorm, who would have actually in their wildest dreams thought this would end up in court. It seems white male tears are extremely powerful, just like every other thing white and male in this country.

Chimene Suleyman recently wrote:

“The commotion around Bahar Mustafa’s request that white men stay away from a Goldsmith’s union meeting (that she had arranged), boiled down to two discrepancies in the understanding of it: Can white people experience racism? Can men be subject to sexism? In short, when you have the most power in society, can you be subdued by those who don’t? And the most readily available answer is here: if they could, Bahar Mustafa would not currently be faced with a court order for a widely used hashtag.

Back in May when Maya Goodfellow wrote about the petition against the then diversity officer for Goldsmiths University few could have expected that six months later Bahar Mustafa would be facing a court summons from the Met Police. Mustafa’s original plea for a space that only people of colour and women could use was a powerful and welcomed request from many who often find themselves talked over by white men. It’s a real problem and easy to spot once you remove emotion from the criticism. Goldsmiths itself is situated in a predominately working class, black neighbourhood and yet its large body of white students falls far short in reflecting that. As such, diversity officers, like Mustafa, are put in place to find ways to improve the surroundings, not for the default white male student but for literally everyone else.

“It’s not an outrageous request: to have one place to speak freely on experiences of discrimination without having to educate or be challenged on it. Think of it as no different to faith schools, or women’s only clinics. Important points on the maltreatment of marginalised groups were being made, but instead the space was hijacked by those who needed it the least and it was Mustafa who was made a spectacle of. The subsequent racist and sexist abuse she experienced was itself an example of the kind of violence minority communities encounter when they seek to define their own spaces without white or male authority. Toys were thrown out of the pram and in all of the chaos it was easier to make one woman of colour a scapegoat than interrogate the structures she was challenging.”

Bahar Mustapha is being summoned to court for a tongue-in-cheek hashtag and yet (white) men all over social media get away with sending women rape and death threats daily – the type of threats they actually have the power to carry out thanks to the unjust way society is set up. It beggars belief but then again, her being made an example of doesn’t surprise me. This is the largest scale and most public form of racist sexist bullying I have seen in a while.

I and all at No Fly on the WALL stand in solidarity with Bahar. This doesn’t end here.

bahar mustapha 2

To read the rest of Chimene’s article, visit Media Diversified here.

Story in the Indie here

Story at The Guardian here.

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This entry was posted on October 7, 2015 by in Media, Social Commentary and tagged , , , , , .
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