Bahar Mustafa might be a bore and a killjoy but she’s not a criminal
She probably wasn’t going to kill any white men
Bahar Mustafa, the Goldsmiths student diversity officer (at least two reasons to lol there) who was due to appear in court after allegedly tweeting the hashtag #killallwhitemen, has had charges against her dropped.
I can’t imagine Bahar would be much fun to hang out with.
Maybe we’d go to a pro-Palestine rally outside the Israeli embassy, then on to the Wild Food Café to share a nut cutlet and talk about the politics of body hair or something. Then we’d walk home in the (predictable) rain and awkwardly say goodbye.
But being a bore and a killjoy doesn’t make you a criminal. It makes you as limited and as human as anyone else. Just like Bahar, you have mates who are dickheads, you have an uncle or a cousin or a brother who’s a dickhead, you’re reading an article written by a dickhead. If you look in the mirror long enough and are honest about it, you’ll have to admit: you’re also a dickhead.
Bahar was never going to kill any white men was she? In many ways she was bringing attention to something important. During the media shitstorm which swirled around her after the tweet she said: “I, as an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men.” And I agreed with her.
The kind of white man who believes he can be racially discriminated against in this country – privileged men who won’t admit their privilege, men who don’t think they need consent classes, men who shared David Cameron thug life compilations on Facebook last May, men who are aware of the gap between their ego and its pitiful realisation – well, it’s nice to see them have their cages rattled every now and then.
They’re probably not that upset by her though. The wider landscape the Bahar incident fits into is only notable for its superficiality, its lack of genuine emotional content.
The free speech debate, the cultural appropriation debate, the consent debate – anything where you have student union reps on one side and papery-handed libertarian creeps on the other – fill me with boredom and apathy.
Boredom because these debates aren’t really debates. Nobody learns anything or gets anywhere: they’re not improving. Giving offence to people wired up and hair triggered to receive it is easy, as Brendan and Milo and Annie and Bahar all know.
People live to take offence and taking advantage of them, especially on the internet, is as easy as walking to the fridge and getting a beer.