Durham SU president says she wants to ‘let roadmen deal with’ Tories in Durham
The controversy following the post has already garnered calls for her resignation
The incoming President of the SU, Seun Twins, called for Tories to be “dealt with” by “roadmen” in a post made on her private Instagram account last night.
The post said: “I don’t condone violence in the slightest, but sometimes when you are in the presence of such grotesque entitlement, do you ever just want to say ‘We need to take these tories so South London and let roadmen deal with them’ but you realise that you have to be palatable and charismatic black girl since you are going to be their president for the next year and you must smile and wave.”
She has since defended the leaked Instagram story, saying: “The comment said when I am in the presence of grotesque entitlement I want them to go to South London and see what adversity looks like. But then because of racism and sexism I have to silence myself and not be a stereotype. I believe the majority of people who read that post, interpreted it in that way. The post wasn’t about Conservatives, it was in relation to a specific incident of bullying and harassment that occurred.”
The post was made on her private Instagram according to a comment posted by Seun.
A screenshot of the post was posted on Overheard at Durham late last night with comments immediately flooding in calling for her resignation:
“You pretty much needed to resign anyway seeing as we didn’t elect you and now you say this?? I’m not a Tory but inciting violence against people of a different political persuasion to you is revolution. Quite simply you need to resign.”
The President elect even replied to some comments denying that that the post implies an incitement to violence and expressing outrage that her privacy had been violated. She then commented: “The comment said when I am in the presence of grotesque entitlement I want them to go to South London and see what adversity looks like. But then because of racism and sexism I have to silence myself and not be a stereotype. I believe the majority of people who read that post, interpreted it in that way. The post wasn’t about Conservatives, it was in relation to a specific incident of bullying and harassment that occurred.”
“Unfortunately I don’t think you can say ‘regardless of what a roadman is’ because that is very important. If people are saying that the post incites violence then it is important to know that assumption plays on offensive stereotypes so definitions are very important. A roadman is just a man or young person that sits or hangs by the road. Simple.
“Again if you were offended by the post I can only apologise. But it’s important that there is clarification because whoever posted this on overheard wanted the hysteria to overshadow everything.”
She went on to further deny that the post incites violence:
“Where is the violence? Oh the bit where it says ‘I don’t condone violence in the slightest’? This is a very interesting interpretation of a post that was NOT meant for public unpicking and analysis. A post made in a private Instagram that was deleted soon after. Or can we talk about my privacy was violated as I am just a student and not currently the president of the SU?”
In response to another comment pointing out that there have been “increasing numbers of politically motivated incidents against conservative students,” Seun responded: “Do you know what a roadman is? Do you know what they do? Where in the post does it say there should be violence of any kind? What part of the post was meant to be posted to a public platform? Where are the calls for my privacy not to be violated? What sentiment was expressed other than the disappointment of a working class black woman who lives in a council flat, from a single parents household and is the daughter of an NHS worker? Please answer these question because this is all a bit wild.”
This comes after 58 per cent of the student body voted to Re-Open Nominations (RON) as their first preference which was consequently deleted due to the a member of the RON campaign breaking canvasing rules.
In her manifesto, Seun promised to: “Promote a no-tolerance position on sexual violence, hate crimes and abusive behaviour towards both staff and students.”
A Durham student from South London told The Durham Tab: “The comments made by Seun Twins shows her inability to act empathetically and professionally towards the students of Durham. Not only have they made sweeping statements about the political stance of the students of Durham University, but they have also attacked the locations of where these students have been living. Stereotypes of South London are both harmful and rather false. As a student who studies in Durham coming from South London, these comments certainly do not help the imposter syndrome that can occur at Durham University.”
Seun appeared to address the controversy in a post on Facebook an hour ago, saying: “Hiya, just to remind you that capitalism is exploiting us and racists are trying to kill people of colour and the environment is being destroyed and the list of global evils that continue to destroy humanity are still happening… and we are in a global pandemic.
“Just a reminder because it seems some of us have forgotten and are letting the boredom of quarantine swallow you back into ignorance. Stay vigilant.”
Seun has been contacted for comment.