by Megan Thomas
A Unitu thread titled “Richard Spencer Visit?” has shone a light on racism within Swansea University. The thread began with an anonymous student asking that “given all the racism directed at white people in recent years, it would be interesting to get Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute to Swansea University for a visit”, asking for advice on how to achieve this.
Richard Spencer is an American white supremacist and President of white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute. Recently Spencer has threatened legal action against Kent State University. When a student attempted to rent out space for Spencer, the University refused to allow him to speak on campus on May 4th, the 42th anniversary of of four students being killed by the National Guard at a demonstration against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia.
Spencer has been barred from entering 26 European countries in the Schengen area and is known for being, very publically, punched in the face in a viral video from 2017.
After this first initial comment, a second anonymous commenter proceeded to deliver a rant, most of which I do not want publishing. The student highlighted perceived racism, claiming that “white people are the number one victims of racism in the modern world”.
Specifically highlighting the lack of a specific SU officer for white people (despite 4/5 of the Full Time Officers being white and many of the previous Presidents were white, Chisomo Phiri is the first black female President of Swansea Students Union). Saying that down votes reflected “anti-white racism” at Swansea University, as opposed to people who disagree with these beliefs.
The anonymous student then goes on to claim that it is now white people suffering from colonisation “do you believe that colonisation was bad for those countries? If you think that, then why do you think that white people should have to endure it?”. Before claiming that the Government is hiding statistics about crime against white people being committed by people of colour “crime and rape statistics, those that authorities are even willing to reveal”.
The student then goes on to justify colonisation saying that “those countries that were colonised by whites benefited tremendously”, clearly despite the structural damage many once-colonized countries still feel the negative impacts of.
On a positive note, students at Swansea University have gone against the commenter. Subject rep for third year Politics Chloe Hutchinson tweeting that “there should be no place for racism on our campus.” After many students reported it, Unitu removed the thread in question stating the reason for this being:
“After numerous reports, we have decided to remove this thread due to the number of personal attacks between users and concern it will escalate further. Please remember that this platform is to be used in a professional and constructive manner that supports students in creating positive changes to their educational experience.”
Waterfront News has reached out the the College of Arts and Humanities for further comment but as of the date of publication has not received a response.
All of us at Waterfront wholeheartedly agree with Hutchinson’s sentiment. We applaud Unitu for quickly removing the thread, but more must be done to fight racism at Swansea University.