University College London apologizes for tweeting about a white campus

University College London issued this official tweet on Monday, reflecting the recent snow in the UK:

Uh oh. The first line is a killer these days, even though it’s meant to reflect the first line of the old Irving Berlin classic (he was a Jew, by the way; what was he doing writing Christmas songs?). And, sure enough, there were complaints. As The Independent reports:

Student Smera Kumar tweeted: “Come on UCL… dreaming of a white campus… seriously?!”

Aman Thakar added: “This UCL Alumni is not dreaming of a white campus, thanks.”

And so. . . .

The apology:

But of course there was derision over the apology:

Stefan Roy tweeted:‏ “Seriously why are you pandering to such nonsense?

“They’re clearly trying to find offence when there’s non there. The tweet even had snow hashtags. And you apologising just makes it worse.

Joel Jackson said: “Thanks for clearing that up, UCL.

“I had assumed you meant some sort of genocidal project to exterminate non-whites on campus so I find the clarification most reassuring.”

Well, I have to say that the first sentence of their tweet was rather unwise, and had I seen it I would have suggested another wording. That said, issuing an apology seems a bit over the top. I don’t feel strongly about that, but it does reflect the Pecksniffery and Instant Offense held by many students, both American and English.  So let’s ask you to weigh in:

91 Comments

  1. Craw
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    They should just have tweeted this:

    FFS

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Agreed!

      cr

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    … the first line of the old Irving Berlin classic (he was a Jew, by the way; what was he doing writing Christmas songs?).

    Ol’ Irv wrote “Easter Parade,” too, which just kinda seems like rubbin’ it in.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Christmas songs by Jewish songwriters include:

      Mel Torme’s Christmas Song
      “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks

      “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” also written by Johnny Marks

      “Silver Bells” written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

      “Let It Snow” written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn (lyrics never mention Christmas- authors were born Julias Stein and Sammy Cohen)

      “Winter Wonderland” written by Felix Bernard and Richard B.Smith

      “I’ll be Home For Christmas” Composed by Walter Kent

      There are many more. See this article in “Jewish World Review”
      http://jewishworldreview.com/1214/jewz_xmas.php3

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        And a certain Nobel laureate, formerly known as Zimmerman, tried his hand at a Christmas tune that worked his hereditary religion into the mix.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        Is there no limit to the cultural appropriation of these people?

        cr

    • Lurker111
      Posted December 15, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Well, Irving knew that Chanukah* carols wouldn’t go over well, marketing-wise. About the only Chanukah carol that I know of is
      “Hanukkah in Santa Monica,” by Tom Lehrer:

      Irving knew where the bucks lay.

      *supposedly the current official spelling, which has probably been changed again by now. 🙂

  3. Ken Phelps
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    “This UCL Alumni…”

    Maybe work a little on your own English before criticizing someone else’s use of the language?

    • Frank
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Or Latin. Unlike Professor PCC(E), I don’t see the wording of the first sentence as unwise. Given the popularity of the song, the nice sonic similarity between “Christmas” and “campus”, and the explicit reference to snow in the tweet, I, like the responders, consider it instead unwise to apologize. Snow is white as a measurable physical property. In contrast, the “white” “race” is a sloppy, ill-defined synonym for recent European ancestry (there is NO way to delineate the geographic boundaries or the maximum allowable melanization of the “white” race). Or, perhaps the offended “snowflakes” are also lamenting the absence of snow that comes in many colors?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Snow does come in colours, typically yellow, but it’s usually best to avoid it. 😉

        cr

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Yow! ploubere linked to it at #23

          cr

        • Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          I have the Met Office app on my phone for weather forecasts in the UK. The app issues yellow alert notifications for extreme conditions.

          So, every year I used to get one or two yellow snow warnings. After an update last year, I now get yellow warnings of snow. Somebody obviously got tired of the tw**ts.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            😎

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Indeed it’s Latin (alumni) but I, as a Classics grad, struggle with the idea(read roll my eyes) of using the singular genders specific version when I see it written as alumnus or alumna (if you don’t know Latin, the endings reflect the case and gender). English doesn’t work that way and we’ve adopted the word, which actually refers to abandoned children, so we aren’t exactly using it as the Romans did, into English. It’s sort of like that whole octopuses vs octopodes discussion (and it’s not octopi!!!!).

    • Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      English? Alumnus is Latin. Still not an excuse for getting it wrong, of course.

  4. Paul S
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Smera Kumar and Aman Thakar should apologize for being offended and not recognizing the reference.

    • Jonathan Dore
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      They should certainly feel foolish for not getting the reference — if they didn’t. But one could quite easily believe they did and decided to complain anyway — because, you know, it was too good an opportunity not to.

      • Simon
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        It really isn’t about anything other than control. Orwell had their number. They want to break any resistance, conscious or subconscious. They don’t only want you to respect their rights, or what their vastly inflated sense of entitlement leads them to call rights, they want you to internalise their ideology and see yourself as the evil oppressor.

  5. eric
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I’d call this as an inadvertent double entendre, since (to me) both meanings come through loud and clear with the first reading.

    I do think it was pretty dense, and if I were them I wouldn’t do it again. If you want to reference old Christmas songs or tropes, by all means do so…but put a bit more thought into it.

    • Simon
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 3:45 am | Permalink

      They need to do it as often as humanly possible. They should dedicate a PC to generating tweets referencing white christmases 24 hours a day. There is quite obviously nothing racist about the term and anyone claiming otherwise should be ignored if they persist. It is ultimately not about respect, it is about surrendering control to ideologues.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    If they said – I’m dreaming of a white Xmas that would be bad as well. So brown people don’t have Xmas? Dig Crosby up, we need an apology. Rework the song — I’m dreaming of a snowy December. Although that is anti rain.

  7. Alpha Neil
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Good thing there wasn’t black ice on campus

    • Frank
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      I love it! “Black ice didn’t land on the road; the road landed on black ice!”

  8. mordacious1
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I think they should have tweeted, “We apologize that many individuals mistakenly assumed that we were referring to snow”.

    #bringbackwarpedhumor

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      I like your style

    • Posted December 16, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Given the current administration and the new policies on the environment, what makes them assume that the snow will be white?

  9. Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Reading is hard.

  10. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Well, I voted ‘Yes’ just to see what virtue signalling felt like.
    I felt absolutely nothing.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      That’s because “Yes” is NOT a virtue in this forum. 😉

      cr

  11. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I believe it’s a mistake to apologise when no offence was intended (and yes I realise this goes against the regressive mantra that it is how something is received rather what was intended that is ‘important’). There will *always* be someone that actively manufactures offence, and, to be brutal, this robs real ‘bad behaviour’ of it’s ability to attract condemnation.

    Or perhaps everybody should just send tweets and emails in simultaneous pairs – one for the item of communication and one an automatic apology for anyone upset by the first. Thus removing the need for all apologies and deflating the aggrieved?

    • Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I disagree. An apology is appropriate.

      “We apologise for the wording of yesterday’s tweet. The allusion to the song “White Christmas” was too subtle for one of our current students and one alumnus. As one of the UK’s leading universities we attempt to install the highest levels of critical thinking ability into all of our students and we acknowledge our failure to do so in these two cases.”

      • Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        install -> instil

        I was too fixated on getting “alumnus” right.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          Oh I don’t know. In some cases ‘install’ (in the sense of attempting to fit an extraneous application into a system) might be the appropriate term. As computer aficionados know, not every installation is successful.

          🙂

          cr

      • Simon
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 4:00 am | Permalink

        That would incense humanities students, and not for the reasons you might think. Critical thinking is only allowed after sufficient indoctrination in the correct viewpoint has occurred. Listen to the thought reform session Lindsay Shepherd was subjected to at Laurier and you might note that the insistence that her students were too young to hear views counter to the prevailing narrative without framing were an admission that students needed to be ideologically innoculated.

    • eric
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Jeremy and disagree with you. I think in fact that apologizing when you inadvertently give offense makes a lot more sense than apologizing after intentionally giving offense, since the latter apology will be insincere most of the time.

      The problem is that the offended also have some introspection to do before asking for an apology. As long as humans live with other humans, there are going to be miscommunications. Misunderstandings. We can’t read each others’ minds, and a comment that makes sense to us often doesn’t make the same sense to others (if it always did, grading papers would be a lot easier). Being able and willing to sweat the small differences (i.e., offenses) is just as important as being able and willing to apologize; we need people to do both.

      • Posted December 15, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        When you say you agree with me, is that in the knowledge that the draft apology I wrote for UCL was actually an insult of the two people that tweeted complaints thinly disguised as an apology.

        There is a case for apologising when your communications are misunderstood (perhaps I should be doing that to you) because, as somebody once said your goal is not to make it possible to understand you but to make it impossible to misunderstand you.

        This case might fall into the category of possible to understand but also possible to misunderstand, but a moment’s thought from each of the two students would have told them what the UCL tweet was about. You don’t even have to know the song: “white Christmas” in the UK is an almost universally known term meaning Christmas with snow.

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted December 17, 2017 at 3:05 am | Permalink

      As a general principle I agree that anyone finding a particular wording offensive should consider whether they are reading it differently to how the writer intended it: if no offence was intended don’t take any. This clearly applies to the white campus tweet.

      I can see that this principle may not work in every instance and I can conceive of some cases where a careless choice of words could cause genuine, unintended offence in which case an apology is appropriate. The UCL tweet is definitely not such an instance.

  12. Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that the outrage about such tweets and similar statements acts much more as a Rorschach test for the person becoming outraged than anything else.

  13. rickflick
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    This might be a perfect time for me to apologize for being pink. I did not opt for the role of a pink Homo sapiens, but now I realize it was a mistake.

  14. jay
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I can see how this happened. They had to avoid the word ‘Christmas’ and were so concerned with that they made a different blunder.

    Too much offense taking these days.

  15. dabertini
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Today we are studying white light. Oops!! I meant to say visible light!! Double oops!! I meant to say that portion of the EMS that we can see. We might as well just remove white from all vocabularies.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      …and of course ‘white’ is not a colour because it does not consist of a single wavelength.

      • Gamall
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        No. That’s pure, misguided pedantry, making neither historical nor practical sense. As is saying that black is not a colour.

      • Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Only if you think colours are what Newton thought (or at least propagated). This is almost certainly wrong- any colour can be produced by any wavelength of light if the background is changed.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 15, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

          “any colour can be produced by any wavelength of light if the background is changed.”

          How? Are you referring to our subjective perception of ‘colour’ there?

          Because, I think, a physicist dealing with the electromagnetic spectrum would certainly assign e.g. ‘red’ to a particular range of wavelengths – that is how he would define ‘red’. And similarly all the other spectral colours.

          It is a matter of terminology, I think.

          cr

          • Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

            Yes, that’s the legacy of Newton.

            So long as one is absolutely clear that one means what the pure wavelength looks like against a black background to a physiologically normal human being and a host of other things kept constant, there’s no problem with calling X nm “green” and Y “red” and so on. Otherwise colours are “a lot more complicated”.
            IMO, since the Newtonian usage is so entrenched it is difficult to imagine what would change it, but that’s why the philosophy of colour exists.

            If you’re interested, the classic text is _Color For Philosophers_, which should really be “color for everyone interested in color”. (The follow-up collection, _Color Ontology and Color Science_, is fascinating but still a bit bleeding-edge.)

            • Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

              “black” might not even be right – I should have said “unilluminated” because the other ways of doing black (like on a CRT TV) are not likely going to work out the same way.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted December 18, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

                Well of course ‘black’ in the context of a TV screen is not truly black but merely a dark grey. As we all know, it only appears black by contrast.

                Also interesting are the different ways that different cultures divide up the colour spectrum. To a European, black is almost an absolute – ‘light black’ would be an oxymoron. But my (Polynesian) wife calls anything sufficiently dark ‘black’ – colours that I would unhesitatingly call ‘dark brown’, ‘dark grey’ or ‘deep blue’ are, to her, ‘black’.

                cr

    • BJ
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      “See”? It exists whether or not ocularly atypical people can “see” it. Maybe you should think next time before you say something so ableist. All you’re doing is excluding the experiences of the ocularly atypical and invalidating their identities.

  16. Scott
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    There is a Jewish Christmas song documentary
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/dreaming-of-a-jewish-christmas-doc-1.4439830
    I haven’t seen it but I heard his promotion interview.

  17. Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Seems there is another type of snowflake falling on campus with a congealing property. It doesn’t melt it forms a semi hard thick goo!
    To be fair though i think there is quite a few who now live in the west who were not, bought up on Bing and his BLEEP Xmas song, so it goes right over their heads.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Maybe snow is itself triggering now.

  18. DrBrydon
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I am reminded of an exchange in the movie The Philadelphia Story [spoilers] on the morning of the wedding when Tracy is confronted by her fiancé George about her moonlight dalliance with Mike, which turns out to have been nothing. George regarding his reaction says, “Well, it didn’t take much imagination.” To which Tracy replies, “Not much, perhaps, but just of a certain kind.”

    Only people who are looking for trouble first and foremost would find anything objectionable in what is clear a reference to White Christmas. Good thing these people missed the era where appliances were known as “white goods” (because they were always white), and holidays were marked by “white sales” (sales on appliances).

    • eric
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      I’m fairly liberal, recognized the reference, am not looking for trouble, but still find it to be easily suggestive of racism.

      Look, you understand double entendres, right? You understand that a person can appreciate a phrase having two apposite interpretations at the same time, right? This one IMO does.

      Do I think people should have raised a stink about it? No. Do I think a student of color telling the University “hey look, that was not well considered” is looking for trouble? No, I think they’d have a valid point.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

        What valid point? That some innocent phrases can have double meanings? We knew that.

        Are we all supposed to carefully pre-screen everything we say because somebody, somewhere, might take it the wrong way?

        cr

      • Simon
        Posted December 16, 2017 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        They would not have a valid point. Why should the university consider a small number of people who are ignorant of cultural references? You seem to be saying that it is preferable for the majority to have their speech controlled by a minority when it takes one minute to explain a cultural reference to the minority.

        The reason you find the reference easily suggestive of racism is because certain people have been working very hard to make innocent references “problematic”. Anyone who has any self respect understands that when they are being slowly manipulated into giving up their rights to satisfy ideologues, the sane response is to push back and not cede more ground.

  19. Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    The first line was obviously a reference to that Christmas song. The second set of commenters were right. Some people will always find offence where none exists. Unless the school has a history of racism, I would never assume there was some racist double entendre involved.

  20. jay
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to show this to my wife. One of her jobs at the university is to do the artwork for seasonal cards and announcements. She has to worry about ‘missteps’ like this.

    Her earlier version of the season greeting web graphic involved falling snowflakes, but she changed it to twinkling stars. I’m not sure what the motivation for that was ;}

  21. Posted December 14, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I wish all brown people who take offence at things like this would just go away. Then again, I wish all black, white, yellow, $COLOR_SPECTRUM people would do the same thing. I am universally prejudiced against idiots.

    • jay
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Idiot shaming!!!

  22. Toni Jordon
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    At BEST this called for elucidation. I’m a woman of color an particularly attuned to racist expressions but this is just silly.

  23. ploubere
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Then this is really offensive:

    • Posted December 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      A classic. I love Frank Zappa!

    • BJ
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      It’s clear he was really singing about avoiding Chinese food for racist reasons.

      • BJ
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Of course, the “huskies go” and don’t come back, as he believed that all Chinese food used dog meat.

  24. Chris
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    “Snowflakes” triggered by the idea of snowflakes; half the time I’m ashamed to be a liberal these days.

    • Simon
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      Everything is a dogwhistle. Not having said something is no defence if a tenuous link to anyone who has said it can be found. The dogwhistle concept is perfectly suited to finding such links.

  25. Jonathan Dore
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    How long, I wonder, before snow itself is considered to be contributing to white supremacy? Or has that already happened?

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      It could be published in a PoMo research journal. Perhaps it already has been published.

      • Richard
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Why not have a go at another Sokal-style hoax? It could be fun.

    • XCellKen
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Aren’t glaciers made out of WHITE snow ???

    • Simon
      Posted December 16, 2017 at 5:15 am | Permalink

      Well, the Swedish government has declared milk and the OK sign to be white supremacist symbols. It doesn’t matter that these memes were snares set by trolls. The logic goes that once the progressive press fall for them, they effectively become white supremacist symbols.

  26. Posted December 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps software companies that make grammar checkers are missing an opportunity here. They should “triggers” to the categories of “mistakes” they catch. I’m sort of serious.

    • Posted December 14, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      And of course I needed a grammar checker when I wrote this … They should [add] triggers …

    • jay
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I really doubt they could keep up with the latest triggers. Or even imagine the latest triggers.

      • Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        We need something to keep people employed. All of the big social media companies are employing thousands of people doing similar tasks.

  27. BJ
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    “The first line…[is] meant to reflect the first line of the old Irving Berlin classic (he was a Jew, by the way; what was he doing writing Christmas songs?).”

    I assume he was writing Christmas songs because it made for a great gig that produced an unfathomable amount of royalties 🙂

    • jay
      Posted December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      I’d write Christmas songs if I had the talent and could make the bucks.

      • XCellKen
        Posted December 14, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        I once wrote an Xmas song parody that I used to sing to a Boxer dog that I used to baby sit. Prolly shouldn’t print the lyrics, tho. It is WAY NOT PC lol

  28. rom
    Posted December 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    The Baltic States? … that should be fun.

  29. Posted December 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Not sure how serious those comments about white campus are. More likely trolling.

  30. Posted December 15, 2017 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    This UCL alumnus would respectfully point out to the original complainants that the very reason UCL was founded back in 1826 was to address entrenched privilege. Back then, only members of the Church of England were admitted to Oxford and Cambridge. If you were any other denomination, or Jewish or ($DEITY forfend!) an atheist, you couldn’t get a university education in England until UCL opened its doors. UCL was also the first university in England to awards degrees to women.

    Someone should check Jeremy Bentham in his display cabinet. I’m pretty sure he’s spinning in there.

    • Posted December 15, 2017 at 3:41 am | Permalink

      His head is on display in the Octagon at present…

  31. Posted December 15, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    How can one fail (especially given the presence of snow on the ground at the time as a clue) to spot the fact that “dreaming of a white campus…” is based on the Christmas song and refers to the colour of the snow, not of anyone’s skin? I have zero sympathy with the complainers, and would say that instead of an apology the university should have issued an explanation, making clear by the way they worded it that it was not an apology since there is nothing to apologise for.

  32. Michieux
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The apology could be taken as tongue-in-cheek, methinks.

  33. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted December 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    the old Irving Berlin classic (he was a Jew, by the way; what was he doing writing Christmas songs?)

    Paying bills.

  34. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 16, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    It would have been nice if the university had taken the opportunity to conduct a critical thinking exercise. Ask the students what the likelihood that the university was actually referring to excluding or, worse, euthanizing, non white students actually was when the university administrators wrote that statement. Invite them to ask themselves what a real eugenics program would look like.

    Then invite them to google “white christmas” and note the hashtags.

    Of course, it would open a whole kettle of fish but it would be worth it.

  35. Clare45
    Posted December 16, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    The ideal situation would be when no-one notices who is black or brown or white and it just didn’t matter any more.

    The more certain people take offense at the use of words like black or white, the more prejudice and separation will result.

    • Dan
      Posted December 17, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      but how do we get to that ‘ideal’ point (where everyone truly doesn’t notice skin colour) if we just ignore the problem that society (in a systematic sense) does in fact judge by skin colour? You can’t take an imbalanced situation (ie the one we have now vis-a-vis race) and hope it’s going to change by acting in a ‘race-neutral’ way as if it doesn’t exist…

  36. Dan
    Posted December 16, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    For the record, no-one forced UCL to apologise; they did it because it seemed the right thing to do, no? JAC himself suggested that he thought the wording was a bit off, and if it was a bit off, then that ‘off-ness’ is at the very least in the same direction as something that would merit an apology.


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