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Goldsmiths' Student Diversity Officer Bahar Mustafa: 'I Can't Be Racist Or Sexist Because I'm An Ethnic Minority Woman'

13/05/2015 09:17 | Updated 13 May 2015

The student diversity officer for Goldsmiths University has said she cannot be racist or sexist because she is an ethnic minority woman.

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The Facebook event, which Mustafa told white people and males not to attend

Speaking to the university's student assembly, she said: "There have been charges made against me, that I am racist and sexist to white men. I want to explain why this is false. I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist to white men, because racism and sexism describes structures of privilege based on race and gender.

"And therefore women of colour and non-binary genders cannot be racist or sexist as we do not stand to benefit from such a system."

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Goldsmiths' Students' Union backtracked over the event, which was a meeting to follow-up the occupation of a university building, following a huge public backlash.

On the event's Facebook page, Mustafa had written: "If you've been invited and you're a man and/or white PLEASE DON'T COME!.. This is a BME Women and non-binary event only.. Don't worry lads we will give you and allies things to do."

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Mustafa's message on Facebook, which was later deleted

The organisers of the meeting later backtracked, adding: "Allies now welcome" to the event's description.

In her statement, Mustafa continued: "In order for our actions to have been deemed racist or sexist, the current system would have to be one which enables only women and people of colour to benefit economically and socially on such a large scale and to the systematic exclusion of white people and men who for the past 400 years would have had to have been subjected to colonisation."

She then adds: "Reverse racism and reverse sexism are not real."

Earlier this month, University College London Union backed the exclusion of men and white people from anti-racism events, adding it was disappointed "white allies" were being allowed to attend.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as: "A belief that one’s own racial or ethnic group is superior, or that other such groups represent a threat to one’s cultural identity, racial integrity, or economic well-being; (also) a belief that the members of different racial or ethnic groups possess specific characteristics, abilities, or qualities, which can be compared and evaluated."

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