I, Too, Am Exeter

Jaz Sansoye on why we need ‘I, Too, Am Exeter’ and the issue of racism.


Exeter isn’t known for being the most welcoming of places when you’re a person of colour.

Consequently, students have taken a stand and started an ‘I, Too, Am Exeter’ campaign, which involves a picture with something offensive that the students have encountered during their time here.

What’s shocking is that people actually make these remarks in 2014.

What’s even worse is that Exeter, which claims to be inclusive, is full of racists.

‘I, Too, Am Exeter’ is fantastic. It’s about time we finally addressed the elephant in the room.

Personally, I am sick and tired of the racist remarks I receive and it’s about time we took a stand. The fact that we need a campaign just shows how racist students are.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the bigoted students will ever change.

A friend of mine, who is shy by nature, decided to speak out and write her own experience down. Whilst the photo was being taken, some fucking bellend thought it would be hilarious to photobomb her.

Clearly, the photo being taken was a serious one – she had a whiteboard in her hand. The joke is on you, my friend: it just shows how racist you are. His friends are just as bad as they commented on his ‘excellent’ photobombing skills.

We have the right to talk about our experiences as people of colour. You slam us when we don’t integrate, but when we do, you do not want to hear about what we have to go through on a daily basis.

We are expected to relate to your white problems, but you can’t handle it when we talk about ours. If you can air your grievances, so can we.

Exeter boasts about its diversity but the white majority here cannot handle diversity.

‘I, Too, Am Exeter’ is the way forward. It allows us a space to share our experiences of blatant racism from other students. It gives us a voice. It shows other people of colour that they are not alone. It shows bravery, solidarity and a fighter’s attitude.

We are taking a stand we won’t back down. We have voices, despite the white majority trying to gag us, and now we’re shouting from the rooftops.

The only way to show Exeter how racist it is is to share our stories and make it blindingly obvious how bigoted the white majority is.

You may not think you’re being racist, but micro-aggressions can be as offensive as calling someone an openly racist term.

The contributors to ‘I, Too, Am Exeter’ highlight that the former can be just as hurtful. For the record, ‘exotic’ is not a compliment, I can’t make a curry to save my life and I don’t pray to cows, I fucking eat them.

So thank you, ‘I, Too, Am Exeter’ for raising awareness of just how prevalent racism is and for inspiring people to start talking about it.

Maybe – just maybe – we can begin to change the backwards mentality of the student population.