Your ignorance isn’t ‘banter’ – it’s racism

Events like these deter students from coming to Exeter

It’s Sunday night. Horty and Hugo have just arrived back at Birks from their sesh at the Impy. They’re revelling in their laddish state of stupor. But the night’s not over yet.

“Hugo mate, lets vandalise the fuck out of our £220 a week halls.”

“YEAH MATE LET’S WRITE ‘RIGHTS FOR WHITES’ ON SOMEONE’S DOOR.”

“What’s the most outrageous thing we can draw loool?”

“How about a swastika lololol?”

This week, a swastika was found carved into a door in Birks halls, along with ‘rights for whites’ scrawled onto another.

Image: Susannah Keogh, Exeposé

National papers infer white supremacist movements are taking place amongst students at Exeter, Neo-Nazism taking a new form in this quaint little town. What these people have done is awful and cannot be excused, but it can be explained. And it can be explained in the same way that the ‘don’t talk to me if you’re not white’ tshirt incident was.

Yes, there is a chance that these idiots are in fact, racist or anti-Semitic. But it’s more likely they’re part of the over-privileged and sheltered minority that thinks pranking someone by drawing a swastika on their door is funny.

These people are not exclusive to Exeter. They’re the same people as those who don’t care how fucking awful it is to burn cash in front of a homeless person, and they’re everywhere. Knowing nothing but the narrow-minded world of privilege that’s been bestowed upon them, they view the world through a lens of superiority and entitlement. They surround themselves with similar people with the same twisted humour, feeding off the attention of others with cheap laughs. Unless caught out when they inevitably step too far, they will carry on with their comfort bubble of a life with ease.

It’s hard to ‘ensure’ these incidents never happen again. As long as the sports societies and student political associations keep guzzling booze, and until people start calling them out on their bullshit whenever they spew it, then there’s only reason to believe it may carry on happening in some form. There’s no doubt there are structural problems in the University, Exeter is disproportionately white and middle-class. This issue is reinforced by events like these, which may deter many students from coming.

These very few idiots give the university as a whole the reputation of being racist.

Exeter has been splashed across the national news due to what’s been described as an ‘ill-judged, deeply offensive joke’, where they were reportedly parodying a TV comedy sketch. The perpetrators possibly think it’s funny how huge an impact they’ve made.

Obviously, the University should punish them. Yet by aggrandising the whole situation, we give them exactly what they want and simultaneously shoot the whole student body and Exeter’s reputation in the foot. Why do people continue to feed into this narrative? We’re already brandished with a white middle class label, viewed as being overwhelming dominated by ex-public school ilk. It’s making us media fodder.

There’s no doubt that ignorance runs rife at Exeter, but these people’s stupid drunken dares and ‘banter’ are rendering us a no-go zone for Jewish students. This is dragging the whole university through the mud, based on the acts of a couple idiots.

If the perpetrators knew the true meaning of these symbols and slogans, or had experienced the persecution for which they were made, they would understand this is not ‘banter’.

Featured image courtesy of Susannah Keogh, Exeposé.

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