In critique of blackface

Who is this Neanderthal that dons Blackface,

Disrespecting my people and mocking my race?

The imbecile that when challenged, says “I’m not racist, I have Black friends”

Yet is ignorant of, or indifferent to what offends,

The fool that does not know the history of racial oppression, cultural appropriation or misrepresentation,

But perhaps worse of all, is that this took place at the Bournemouth University Summer Ball,

Where Black students had to suffer upset,

Because of a climate of disrespect,

Despite the protests there is no action,

So for people of colour there is no satisfaction,

Through critical race theory I have come to realise,

That racism has been normalised,

Such an affront makes a mockery of any claim to value diversity,

So don’t talk to me about your Dignity, Diversity and Respect Policy,

Until there is some action on racial equality,

As a Black academic, united I stand with students of colour in pursuit of social justice,

And people of all ethnic backgrounds willing to challenge injustice.

To the universities we say, we will not tolerate racism forever,

It’s time to get your act together,

Higher education should be a culturally democratic space,

Whatever your ethnicity or race,

That is why I have resorted to poetic words of resistance,

To address the growing institutional indifference,

Passive victims we will never be,

We are self-determined people seeking true equality.

Originally published on Black British Academics

Dr Deborah Gabriel

I'm a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University who has lectured in journalism, politics, new media and corporate marketing communications. I aim to contribute to social change through teaching, research and professional practice, and I'm especially interested in race equality.

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