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Uni professor compared black lives matter to animals


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A professor has been accused of racism after he used Black Lives Matter to describe a herd of black cows in a now-deleted tweet from 2016. 

Eric Kaufmann, a Politics professor at Birbeck University, was described as an 'enthusiastic racist' by Birbeck University student Ezimma Chigbo in a stream of subsequent tweets. 

Ezimma, who is also the Black member's Officer at Birbeck uni was disgusted to come across the post.

In 2016, Eric retweeted a picture of a herd of black cows with the caption 'Black Lives Matter in Saskatchewan.'

Kaufmann defended his post, saying that "This was a non-racist, sardonic Canadian joke about a rural farming province with virtually no black people I retweeted a few years ago. I have since deleted the tweet as it could be seen as insensitive."

However, Chigbo argues that this is bigger than Kaufmann's tweet; alluding to internalised and institutionalised racism in Birbeck University.

She alleges that over 50% of students at the university 'identify as BME' are paying to be educated in an environment where lecturers, like Kaufmann, hold significant power.

Kaufmann was employed by Birbeck as a professor of Politics in 2011, and Chigbo argues that Kaufmann was able to write the tweet because he felt comfortable knowing that Birbeck 'do not care enough about black and brown students for there to be any serious repercussions.' 

She expressed her disgust at the fact that 'black students continue to pay his salary.'

After initially attempting to refrain from publically commenting, Chigbo has brought the tweet to the attention of both the University and its students.

In her final tweet confronting the issue, she challenges Birbeck, by saying that she looks forward to seeing how they handle this issue. 

A Birbeck spokesperson said:

“Birkbeck is committed to providing an inclusive and non-discriminatory environment and does not tolerate racism. 

"We treat all allegations of discrimination and racism extremely seriously and always look into them in accordance with our policies and procedures.

"This matter has been brought to our attention and we cannot comment further at this stage.”

Featured image courtesy of Chris Morgan

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