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Student forces Cambridge to drop white authors

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Orkrider2, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter


    Ooops, except that isn't what happened at all. But hey, why focus on facts when there's an opportunity to paint a BME student as aggressively forcing out white culture and demanding that white authors are replaced by black writers.

    The only purpose of the Telegraph's racebaiting title seems to be to present what sounds like little more than a written summary of a conversation that was held in an academic setting as part of an optional class, as a evidence of how increasing divisions between white and black are being driven by the desire of BME people to dominate and subjugate 'white culture' (whatever the hell that is).

    Personally I think they owe this girl a little more than a small 'oops, our bad' section.
    needabreak, emerald52, vannie and 2 others like this.
  2. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter


    I had to google that, it stands for "black or minority ethnic" apparently.

    There are other words that mean the same but have been deemed pejorative, I'm not sure why this catch-all is thought acceptable.
  3. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    It's the Telegraph
    This is the closest to an apology they get :(
    sabrinakat likes this.
  4. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    To be honest, it's not something I've thought about in depth so thank you for bringing it to my attention. I don't feel I'm in a position to really have a say in whether it's acceptable terminology or not as it doesn't refer to me, but I found the opinions in this article interesting.

  5. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    Should be BAME. Don't exclude Asians.
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Me neither really, it's just because I didn't know what it stood for that I had to look it up. It strikes me as meaning "You lot who aren't like me but are superficially similar". I can't imagine anyone who comes under this group as self-identifying with others on the basis that they are all non-white.

    Anyway I don't ant to deviate from your topic.
  7. Orkrider2

    Orkrider2 Star commenter

    Ah, don't worry about that.
    I guess it's a bit like the term 'white' too. All terminology that distinguishes people on the colour of their skin alone is never going to be able to account for the wide variety of cultural, social, religious etc. diversity that can be found within groups of people who have the same skin tone. I guess my sentiments run pretty much alongside the same tracks as those in the article I linked to, in that it seems a useful term to use when talking specifically about racial discrimination, but outside of that it's a label that is borderline offensive in it's generalisation of a huge chunk of the population. Once again context is everything I suspect.
    Mangleworzle likes this.
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I thought BAME was Black And Minority Ethnic?
  9. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic More polite than non-white.
  10. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    Good idea to have more than white male authors on the reading list. Think of the brilliant literature that could now be included.
    Moony likes this.
  11. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Why would anyone categorise authors by their colour or ethnicity?

    It is what they write about that should categorise them. IMO.
    cellerdore likes this.
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Wonder if my wife and daughter fall under BAME.
  13. elledriver

    elledriver Lead commenter

    I don't think there was any talk of gender.
  14. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Nothing wrong at all to wrongly portray someone as prejudiced and unpleasant on the front page, along with a giant photograph, and then bury the fact that the story is in fact tosh and piffle on page 25 in a tiny Corrections section. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Perfectly fair for the shrieking harpy (who actually wasn't shrieking or harpying) to have that article appear as the first thing under her name online. It's too much to hope that the Telegraph feels ashamed...

    There is plenty of debate to be had around who should be included on English Literature reading lists and all for very good reasons; I tried hard to come up with a top ten non-white British authors that I've studied in my time and realised I couldn't even come up with five. Plenty of white non-Brits, plenty of women, plenty of BAME writers who're not English...but very, very, very few British BAME writers included in my 'have studied' list. In a marginalised position in society, it's hardly surprising that there are fewer BAME writers from pre-20th century times. But surely there should be a place for Lemn Sissay, Benjamin Zephaniah, John Agard, Zadie Smith in a modern unit?

    I'm off to check my book shelves.
  15. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    It is to bring post-colonial ideas to broaden the reading. So it is about a world view rather than ethnicity. However that subject is written about by BAME authors mainly.
  16. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Why does colour and/or ethnicity of the author matter in the first place? As an academic I would consider the books content first and last.
    cellerdore likes this.
  17. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Are white people excluded or not able to write on such matters?
  18. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    That would be true if we all believed in intrinsic 'worth' of texts as an absolute. But we don't. Every reader, every academic will see different things of merit in different texts; I for example read The English Patient and considered it complete bilge whereas my bestie thinks it's the best thing ever written. My English tutor at Uni delivered an entire lecture on 'misunderstood' texts (e.g. The Merchant of Venice not as an anti-Semitic text but a pro-Jewish masterpiece; The Heart of Darkness as a subtle message about self-discovery and definitely not in any way racist) and a sizeable portion of the audience left in protest.

    Ethnicity does matter in terms of showing British students a range of experiences of being British and that includes ethnic background. I, as a woman, would be perplexed and frustrated if my experience of being female was completely ignored in school and at Uni through a total absence of female writers or writers who deal with female experiences. I imagine it's the same for BAME students whose experiences of being British and yet having a part of their identity ignored (albeit through omission) is frustrating.

    Read John Agard's 'Checking Out Me History' where he talks about his frustration and anger at having black historical figures ignored in the curriculum. The poem says it far better than I ever can.
    needabreak and emerald52 like this.
  19. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Maybe not from personal experience.
  20. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Are you serious?

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