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Black Cambridge student being investigated by police after calling out racism on Twitter during Dalston riots

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Police have said they are ‘investigating’ a Cambridge student after he tweeted that white people are ‘racist’ in the wake of riots in Dalston.

Jason Okundaye, head of the Black and Minority Ethnic campaign of the University’s student union, wrote: “ALL white people are racist. White middle class, white working class, white men, white women, white gays, white children they can ALL geddit.”.

The tweet followed violent protests in east London over the death of Rashan Charles after a police struggle, and was part of a string of comments Okundaye had made on the subject. Another tweet read: “Watching these middle-class white people despair over black people protesting in their colonised Dalston is absolutely delicious.”

The remarks were met with a wave of anger on Twitter, with several users labelling the Pembroke College student a ‘racist’, and some stating that he should ‘go back to where he came from’. Katie Hopkins dedicated six  tweets to the matter, after previously declaring that protesters in Dalton were ‘rioters and looters after some free sneakers.’ Okundaye has since set his Twitter account to private.

Speaking to The Tab, Okundaye said: “My tweet about all white people being racist was pulled out of context and separate to my tweets in support of the Dalston protests. My tweets on white racism had been said before, in response to people acting as if racism is exclusive to working class people.

“I stated that regardless of sexuality, class, gender or age, all white people are racist i.e. not just one type of white person. And the reference to ‘geddit’ refers to my previous tweets on how all demographics of whiteness can and should be called out for their racism and how it specifically manifests in their groups e.g. white middle class refusing to hire Black people killed, or white gay men stating ‘no blacks, no Asians’ on dating apps such as Grindr. The tweet was conflated with my separate tweets which supported the Dalston protests and my support of activism which seeks justice against police brutality.”

A spokesperson for the University of Cambridge said that Pembroke College would be “looking into this matter”. Cambridgeshire police also confirmed that they were ‘investigating’ the incident.

Riots were sparked in Dalston after video footage on social media appeared to show at least one police officer restraining Rashan Charles on the floor of a shop last Saturday. The 20-year-old later died in hospital.

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, is investigating the circumstances of Charles’ death.

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