A Cambridge academic has announced her decision to not tutor students from King’s College to protest the racist behaviour of its porters.
Dr Priyamvada Gopal, a fellow specialising in postcolonial literature, said the porter refused to call her “Dr” and insisted on calling her “madam” despite being asked to stop.
Gopal took to Twitter to talk about “consistently racist profiling and aggression” over the years by the porters.
“‘Please address me as Dr Gopal.’ ‘I don’t care who you are.’
This is @Kings_College Head Porter who then launched into a tirade about how people treat him. I am sorry but my brown body isn’t taking the hit for that. He’d never talk like this to actual white men who behave badly,” Gopal tweeted, adding that she apologises to “any future students affected and to @CambridgeBME but it is more than time to address this long festering sore. Until and unless it is, I will not do any more work for Kings.”
Gopal told The Times that the term “madam” was used mockingly and that the porter berated her for trying to enter the college. “The key issue is the rude, belligerent and aggressive manner of the staff member I dealt with, which included shouting and finger-wagging at me. I was not exerting any form of superiority but simply asking that the standard reference to academics be deployed,” she told the publication.
King’s College, in the meantime, said it has investigated the matter and found “no wrongdoing on the part of the staff.”
But it has emerged that the college concluded its investigation before talking to Gopal.
In recent times Oxford and Cambridge universities have been under tremendous pressure to weed out racism. These universities have come under the scanner for their failure to offer places to black students.
Figures released last year revealed that 13 Oxford University colleges failed to make a single offer to black A-level applicants over a six-year period.