Kent student union has received heavy criticism for using the images of British Asians to promote black history month.
In promotion of the celebration of Black History, Kent University used images of singer, Zayn Malik and London mayor, Sadiq Khan – both are British Pakistanis. An image of Zayn Malik – edited in colours of red, yellow and green – was the focal image used on a poster to raise awareness of black history and excellence.
The student union were forced to remove the images from their twitter page on 25 October after users grew offended, upset and angered by the campaign. Many users – some members of the university – were ‘disappointed’ that the university overlooked black icons to instead invite ‘white culture’ to the celebration.
The student union have since apologised, admitting that they ‘got it wrong’, stating that their intention was to include a ‘range of ethnic cultures’ in the campaign. However, critics were further offended, arguing that neither of these figures were black or had any African or Caribbean heritage.
In a celebration exclusive to Black history and icons such a move was unwarranted. Members of the public that we’ve asked do not believe that Asians “want to be lumped into the same category as black people”.
Inclusion of Asians and the positioning of them as faces of the campaign have been viewed to be embarrassing for the university.