Beckett cuts ties with advisor who called a conservative commentator a ‘house negro’

‘The university strongly condemns the use of racist language’

Leeds Beckett University has severed ties with an associate and advisor whose organisation called a conservative commentator a “house negro.”

Aysha Khanom is the founder and Director of Race Trust, a non profit organisation aiming to “facilitate and aid schools and organisations in increasing racial literacy of staff and students.”

Khanom was, until yesterday, an associate and advisor of Leeds Beckett University, with her own LBU email address and a whole page dedicated to her on the Leeds Beckett website.

Leeds Beckett was quick to distance itself from Khanom when Race Trust tweeted: “@calvinrobinson does it not shame you that most people see you as a house negro?”

The term house negro dates back to the times of slavery, meaning a slave who worked in the house of the slave-owner as opposed to out in the fields.

Today, the term can be used in a derogatory way to describe a person of colour who rejects their cultural identity in order please white people.

Calvin Robinson, who was subject to the racial slur, is a controversial, conservative commentator who believes “the word diversity has become synonymous with anti-white” and thinks that the messages of Black Lives Matter shouldn’t be taught in schools.

The Race Trust sent out the offensive tweet following an appearance made by Robinson on BBC’s The Big Questions.

Calvin Robinson told The Leeds Tab: “It’s always sad to be attacked based on the colour of my skin, but the fact that these attacks are becoming more common and seem to always be from fellow ethnic minorities is trouble.

“If a white person said that to me, there’d be consequences. Why is it one rule for some and another for everyone else?”

Khanom’s profile on the Leeds Beckett website (now deleted)

The controversial tweet made by Khanom’s organisation has since been deleted, The Race Trust’s Twitter page has been taken down and Khanom has locked her personal account.

The Race Trust is adamant that Aysha Khanom did not send the tweet herself. “We have investigated the tweet and subsequently the employee who sent out the tweet is no longer part of our organisation.

“We accept this was an ill-informed tweet and have taken the appropriate steps to deal with it hence the delay in our response.

“The tweet was deleted when it came to our attention and therefore has been removed and the account has been temporarily removed.” The Race Trust told The Leeds Tab.

A spokesperson for Leeds Beckett University said: “Aysha Khanom is not an employee of Leeds Beckett University and we have terminated all association with immediate effect.

“The university strongly condemns the use of racist language. We stand united against racism and in our support for anyone who experiences racism.”

Aysha Khanom has been contacted for comment.