Cambridge University has supported an academic who wrote on Twitter that “White Lives Don’t Matter” following a public backlash.
The university said it “defends the right of its academics” to express themselves after calls for it to cut ties with Dr Priyamvada Gopal, an expert in postcolonial literature.
On June 23, Prof Priyamvada Gopal, who teaches English at Churchill College, tweeted: “I’ll say it again. White lives don’t matter. As white lives.”
She then added: “Abolish whiteness.” Social media outrage to the tweets soon snowballed into an “organised campaign” against her.
Dr Gopal said that she stands by her tweets – which claimed that “white lives don’t matter” – adding that they had been deleted by Twitter rather than by herself.
She said her remarks were “very clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people.”
Prof Gopal said she has received more than 50 abusive emails and hundreds of tweets, some of which include death threats.
Prof Gopal was temporarily suspended from Twitter under its ‘hateful content policy’ after the social media platform upheld complaints made against her. The ban was later lifted.