Elections Committee accused of ‘dog whistle racism’ and playing to ‘racial stereotypes’ by candidate

Josh Jackson said this after a disciplinary meeting for an “unacceptably aggressive” campaign

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Josh Jackson, a vocal candidate standing for University Councillor, has accused the Elections Committee of playing to  “racial stereotypes of the ‘angry black man'”, “based on an underlying belief in white culture that black is dangerous”.

Earlier today, a Facebook post by the Elections Committee revealed that Jackson had been called into a disciplinary meeting for aggressive campaigning.

The post acknowledged that such a meeting was a “serious sanction”, however stopped short of a campaign ban of the likes imposed on Daisy Eyre, due to the distribution of flyers that had been vandalised, defaming her opponent Jack Druy as a ‘lying tory’.

In a share of the Varsity article regarding the incident, Jackson expressed in the comments section his indignation at his treatment by the elections committee. Jackson argued that he was in line with CUSU election rules of attacking opponents, in this case Umang Khandelwal, on the platform they ran on. Jackson mentioned that the only time Umang was interrupted during hustings was  by “the chair of hustings to tell her that she was wrong for saying my legitimate criticism of her record of uncommunication as University Councillor was defamation.”

He said the presentation of him by the EC was “very gross how they’ve played to racial stereotypes of the ‘angry black man'” and that “it’s classic dog whistle racism really”. One commentator noted that they were only using the term “aggressive” because he is “a BLACK man of colour”, a sentiment with which Josh agreed.

Other people on the thread agreed with his statement, expressing sentiment that “CUSU owe you an apology” and that he should “appeal the ruling and let them scramble to provide actual, objective evidence of what has been alleged.”

When approached for comment, Jackson told The Tab 

“In the media, during the controversy earlier and after yesterday’s hustings, papers such as Varsity, kept peddling…the continual branding of me being loud, [with]  the same with repetition of the word ‘aggressive’, in both the media and the statement by the EC. In the end what you’re left with is the impression of an angry black man—something to be condemned….There was one particular moment that stuck with me, it was during the ‘disciplinary meeting’ and it was being explained how yes they relaxed the rules to we could attack our opponents but there was an extent where that became intimidating. I was told that I had to conduct my campaign in a more ‘civilised’ fashion. Somehow implying I’m a savage, full of rage and unable to control myself, as if I need to remind myself of the values of civil society. To behave more civilised is simply to behave more like a white man.

In reality, my attacks are no more than what you’d see in any political story on the news and much less than the very worst perpetrated by individuals holding the highest offices in the world. Never was anything personal said, only on her record. It’s all based on an underlying belief in white culture that black is dangerous, yet the simple fact is we are just as angry as everyone else.

It’s something any person of colour in Cambridge will have experienced, the classic “you’re very well spoken”, “very articulated”. It’s the same for someone who is working class or someone who is a woman. You’re not allowed to raise your voice, to show passion is to make yourself a target for these criticisms….I wholeheartedly believe the points I’ve raised over this past week have been fair and justified…”

We also approached CUSU Elections Committee about the issue, who said “The Elections Committee do not wish to pass comment on Josh Jackson’s comments on his Facebook profile at this time. The EC explained its reasons to Jackson for calling him in for a meeting at the time, and these were accepted. The EC remain open and willing to discuss any issue or complaint from any candidate at any time.”

This election has turned out to be a lot more dramatic than we could have anticipated, and there are still two days left! Keep up with all the action with our liveblog