Cambridge University on Wednesday defended an academic who had unleashed a barrage of racist tweets — including “white lives don’t matter” — after outrage over the comments continued to grow.
Despite firing another professor over far less controversial statements, the university then promoted the academic to full professorship.
The controversy began when Priyamvada Gopal, a professor in colonial and postcolonial literature, posted a series of anti-white tweets on Tuesday, declaring “white lives don’t matter” and abolish whiteness.”
— The Reality Report (@WeAreTRR) June 24, 2020
As reported by Summit News, Cambridge rushed to defend Gopal, after an online petition calling for her to be fired began to pick up steam. The change.org petition reads, in part:
Cambridge University Lecturer Priyamvada Gopal on June 22, 2020 took to her personal Twitter and tweeted “abolish whiteness” and “I’ll say it again. White lives don’t matter.”
Her statements are racist and hateful and must not be tolerated by Cambridge University leadership. Cambridge must move to immediately discontinue their relationship with Ms. Gopal in the best interest of all students and the community at large.
Join … today to ensure that all people are protected against racism, both in and outside the educational arena. Allowing Ms. Gopal to continue lecturing at Cambridge sets a precedent that this behavior is acceptable and welcome amongst teaching faculty. Racism cannot be tolerated.
Cambridge fired back in staunch defense of Gopal and her comments, calling for the “unacceptable attacks” against the professor to stop.
The University defends the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions which others might find controversial and deplores in the strongest terms abuse and personal attacks. These attacks are totally unacceptable and must cease.
— Cambridge University (@Cambridge_Uni) June 24, 2020
A “delighted” Gopal thanked her supporters, announcing that Cambridge had, in effect, rewarded her with a promotion.
Thanks to everyone who wrote to @Twitter: the ludicrous ban has been lifted. I am therefore delighted to share with you personally, that last night Cambridge promoted me to a full Professorship. The hate mails & threats are coming in non-stop but @CambridgeCops are following up
— Priyamvada Gopal (@PriyamvadaGopal) June 25, 2020
As is often the case, Gopal attempted to “clarify” what she meant by “white lives don’t matter” and “abolish whiteness.”
I would also like to make clear I stand by my tweets, now deleted by Twitter, not me. They were very clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people.
— Priyamvada Gopal (@PriyamvadaGopal) June 25, 2020
Gopal later further “clarified” what she meant.
When I talk about abolishing whiteness, I talk about political practices and ideologies. Systems of oppression, whether white or brown, should be abolished. It’s about abolishing a race hierarchy where whites are at the top.
So “abolishing a race hierarchy where whites are at the top” warrants Gopal declaring”white lives don’t matter” multiple times, and ultimately doubling down on the statement, but after the heat came, she said that’s not what she meant?
This begs the question: which lives do matter in Gopal’s utopian vision of “political practices and ideology”? Do all lives matter, or just some lives? Do only non-white lives matter?
Got it? Me neither. Anyway, let’s get back to Cambridge.
Cambridge ardently — indignantly — declares itself a champion of the right of its “academics” to “express their own lawful opinions which others might find controversial.”
Does the distinguished stalwart of the hallowed halls of academia just as fervently defend the rights of those with lawful conservative opinions? Does it “deplore attacks” against them, as well?
Not so much, as noted by author Douglas Murray, and others.
Nope. Nobody believes that. We remember the cases of Noah Carl (@NoahCarl90) and Jordan Peterson (@jordanbpeterson). Your institution dropped them in 2 secs once the mob came for them. But it’s interesting you’re standing up for someone who actually is a race-baiter this time. https://t.co/xcygEiOLuW
— Douglas Murray (@DouglasKMurray) June 24, 2020
In March, 2019, Cambridge rescinded an offer to University of Toronto Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson, as reported by The Guardian.
Cambridge University has rescinded its offer of a visiting fellowship to Jordan Peterson, the self-styled “professor against political correctness”, after a backlash from faculty and students.
Peterson, a psychology professor from Toronto who has courted controversy for his views on transgender rights, gender and race, announced on Monday via his YouTube channel that he was joining Cambridge for two months.
The University of Cambridge said Peterson requested to be a visiting fellow and was initially granted the opportunity, but after further review it decided to take back the offer.
“[Cambridge] is an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot,” a spokesperson for the university said.
In September 2016 he expressed concern on YouTube about the development of a federal amendment to add gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act. […]
Peterson claimed the law was an infringement of free speech and said that he would refuse to use any pronoun other than he or she. His views sparked protests across Toronto University’s campus.
Then in May, 2019, Cambridge fired researcher Noah Carl over his “controversial” views.
A Cambridge University college has dismissed a researcher after uncovering evidence of his collaboration with far-right extremists, with the head of the college apologising “unreservedly” to students for the appointment.
St Edmund’s College announced it had terminated the post held by Noah Carl, who was at the centre of protests earlier this year after being named as the college’s Toby Jackman Newton Trust junior research fellow.
Carl’s appointment prompted complaints from students and staff that his writings on race and intelligence helped “legitimise racist stereotypes”, with more than 1,000 people signing an open letter attacking Carl’s publications.
A special investigation panel appointed by the college upheld the complaints and said Carl “had put a body of work into the public domain that did not comply with established criteria for research ethics and integrity.”
The double standard on full display within the no-longer-hallowed halls of academia is representative of the double standard — on steroids —in America in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
From CNN and MNSBC all but cheering on rioters as they burned, looted, and torched police cars, setting aside concerns about social distancing, of course, to condemning Donald Trump’s rally, to pitched battles on social media, the hypocrisy could not be more blatant.
Then again, the hypocrisy of the Left knows no bounds.