Professor claims the Queen is 'number one symbol of white supremacy'

Now black studies professor who sparked outrage by saying Britain is ‘built on racism’ claims the Queen is the ‘world’s number one symbol of white supremacy’ amid portrait row

  • Professor Kehinde Andrews, a campaigner regularly wheeled out for TV debates
  • He said the Queen was the ‘number one symbol of white supremacy’ in the world
  • Oxford students voted to remove picture of monarch from their common room
  • Professor Andrews said he did not understand why this would be such a big deal 

A taxpayer-funded academic has labelled the Queen ‘the number one symbol of white supremacy in the entire world’.

Professor Kehinde Andrews, a campaigner who is regularly wheeled out on TV debates to air his divisive views, today said he did not know ‘why it’s such a big deal’ Oxford University students voted to take down a picture of the Queen from their common room.

The professor of black studies at Birmingham City University – where senior lecturers receive an average base salary of £46,000 – has previously branded ‘whiteness’ a ‘psychosis’, called for the overthrow of ‘genocidal’ capitalism and repeatedly compared Sir Winston Churchill to Adolf Hitler. 

During a debate into whether the Queen had been cancelled today, Professor Andrews told Good Morning Britain: ‘If we’re honest the Queen doesn’t just represent modern colonialism, the Queen is probably the number one symbol of white supremacy in the entire world. 

Professor Kehinde Andrews (pictured), a campaigner who is regularly wheeled out on TV debates to air his divisive views, today said he did not know ‘why it’s such a big deal’ Oxford University students voted to take down a picture of the Queen from their common room

‘A born to rule elite of this really white family. The head of the commonwealth which is actually the empire.’

The professor’s comments came as members of the Middle Common Room (MCR) at Magdalen College passed a measure to take down an ‘unwelcoming’ portrait of the monarch from the graduates’ common room because ‘she represents recent colonial history’.

It was voted through by a substantial majority, with one student commenting that ‘patriotism and colonialism are not really separable’.

GMB showed a portrait of the Queen in her youth, wearing the blue sash that symbolises her role as a member of the Royal Victorian Order as well as a variety of jewels. 

GMB showed a portrait of the Queen in her youth, wearing the blue sash that symbolises her role as a member of the Royal Victorian Order as well as a variety of jewels 

In his comments during the live television debate, Professor Andrews added: ‘Even in that picture she’s wearing jewels stolen from different parts of the black and brown world.

‘If we’re 100 per cent honest that’s what the Queen represents and if the students decide they don’t want the Queen in the common room I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal.’

The university students’ decision to remove the portrait proved controversial as MPs lined up to blast the move as ‘ignorant’ and ‘absurd’.  

The motion was brought forward by MCR President Matthew Katzman, a lecturer in computer science who studied at Stanford University and is from Maryland in the USA

The British Empire was branded ‘far worse than the Nazis’ during a controversial debate about Sir Winston Churchill’s (pictured) legacy in February

Who is Professor Kehinde Andrews and what has he said before? 

Professor Andrews  earned a phD in Sociology and Cultural Studies from the University of Birmingham in 2011 and is now a professor of Black Studies in the school of social sciences at Birmingham City University.

He also has Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a MA in Social Research and was a member of the team that launched the first Black Studies degree in Europe.

The professor is the director of the Centre for Critical Social Research; founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity; and co-chair of the Black Studies Association.

Alongside his academic work, he is currently working on a project examining the role of Black radicalism in contemporary organising against racial oppression.

Professor Andrews is also a regular writer of opinion pieces for the Guardian, Independent and Ebony magazine.

He has also written for publications on both sides of the Atlantic including the Guardian, Washington Post and New Statesman.

In 2013 Professor Andrews wrote his first book Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement and went on to write Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century in 2018 .

Writing in the latter about 2018’s Black History Month, he said: ‘If schools want to genuinely engage with black history then they can embed it into their teaching.’

And speaking about the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in May, he said it was meaningless for Britain’s black community in addressing racism in job prospects, the criminal justice system and health disparities. He added: ‘When we sit back and actually analyse what’s happened and what’s changed, we’ll realise it means nothing at all.’

The professor has caused fury on Good Morning Britain in the past.

In October 2018, he claimed that Sir Winston Churchill was a ‘clear racist’ in a heated debate in which Piers Morgan asked him: ‘Why do you live in a country that you loathe?’ 

He clashed with Good Morning Britain presenter Mr Morgan as he claimed that Britain was ‘built on racism’ and that ‘everyone involved in it probably has a really racist past’. 

The academic also compared Britain’s war-time Prime Minister to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler for his treatment of Indians when the country endured a famine in 1943. He said British imperialism had ‘ruined’ many other parts of the world, including the Caribbean and Africa.

On January 2019 he faced the wrath of Britain’s veterans and their families after calling the RAF airmen who bombed Nazi Germany war criminals. He said the decision to build tributes like the Bomber Command Memorial was like ‘justifying terrorism’. 

He said: ‘We are talking about a war crime. I think it is a tragedy they died, but we don’t need a statue.’ 

Meanwhile on August 2019, Professor Andrews appeared on Good Morning Britain to argue that author Enid Blyton was not ‘worthy’ of the honour of a commemorative coin.

He said: ‘The reason why Enid isn’t worthy …it’s just widely inappropriate, she was racist her books were racist. What the committee said was yeah she’s popular but [it’s] because of that racism, it’s the 21st century. ‘ 

Mr Andrews added: ‘If you look at children’s books, they still are really conservative. We shouldn’t be deifying Enid Blyton – there’s other things to read just move on.’

 

Expressing his outrage, Gavin Williamson tweeted: ‘Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd. She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the UK. 

‘During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.’ 

Oxford’s vice-chancellor Lord Patten also weighed in, calling the decision ‘offensive and obnoxiously ignorant’.  

Communities minister Robert Jenrick told GMB he did not think it was his place to comment on the matter, but added that he thought it was ‘ridiculous’.

He said: ‘This really is student politics so we shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. I quite famously have a portrait of the Queen in my office. 

‘The Queen is held in high esteem. I don’t think we should waste time debating what happens in a student common room. It does seem ridiculous to me and ignorant but students can do what they want to do. I don’t think it’s for ministers to weigh in.’

The committee will now explore replacing the portrait with ‘art by or of other influential and inspirational people’ and subject any future depictions of the Royal Family to a vote, according to committee minutes that have not been published.

The motion was brought forward by MCR President Matthew Katzman, a 25-year-old lecturer in computer science who studied at Stanford University and is from Maryland in the USA. 

Mr Katzman, the son of top lawyer Scott Katzman, 60, claimed the move did not ‘equate to a statement on the Queen’ but said the painting was being taken down to create ‘a welcoming, neutral place for all members regardless of background, demographic, or views’. 

The decision sparked an immediate backlash, with the president of Magdalen College swiftly moving to distance the institution itself from the students involved. It comes amid growing concern at the rise of intolerance and ‘cancel culture’ at British universities. 

Meanwhile, Professor Andrews has previously revealed he believes Britain’s prosperity is ‘largely produced off the economic system that extracts wealth by exploiting Africa and the underdeveloped world’.

Nonetheless, the 38-year-old, who lives in Birmingham with his wife, Nicole, a lecturer in Health and Social Care at Newman University, accepts that as an employee of a public university his ‘primary income’ comes from the state.

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen asked in February: ‘Well if he holds those views why is he living off the public purse?’ 

In an online discussion held by Churchill College, Cambridge, in February, Professor Andrews called the British Empire ‘worse than the Nazis’ and suggested WWII ‘would have ended the same day’ with or without Churchill’s leadership. 

Speaking of Churchill, he said: ‘It’s almost like he has been beatified, he’s a saintly figure who’s beyond reproach. But Churchill wasn’t even that popular at the time, he was never elected and after the war effort where he supposedly single-handedly lead the world against the Nazis he lost the election.  

‘So this is a kind of historical re-placing of him back on his pedestal and the question you have to ask is why is that. It’s because he kind of is the perfect embodiment of white supremacy if you think about his politics, his ideas and what he did. 

‘Why that has a mythic status is because that white supremacy is still the politics of the day. We like to pretend that things have changed and the logic of the British Empire and empires generally has changed and shifted beyond race, but that’s nonsense.’  

He also belittled the former PM’s contribution to the country, saying: ‘Was it Churchill out there fighting the war? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I’m pretty sure he was at home.

‘I’m pretty sure that if Churchill wasn’t in the war it would have ended the same way.’

This is despite historians crediting Churchill’s leadership with overcoming Britain’s policy of appeasement towards Hitler and helping to persuade the USA to join the war.   

From ‘white supremacy’ in the music curriculum to Cecil Rhodes’s statue: The woke rows rumbling through Oxford’s quadrangles  

Oxford University has found itself at the forefront of the culture wars at late, with ‘woke’ demands for change gaining extra momentum as Black Lives Matter protests arrived on Britain’s shores. 

Recent rows include – 

Rhodes WON’T fall: College officials decide to keep statue after student protest 

The statue of Cecil Rhodes outside Oriel College  

The governing body of an Oxford University college last month rejected calls from an inquiry to tear down a statue of Cecil Rhodes.

Oriel College’s said they had decided not to remove the monument due to ‘considerable obstacles’, including financial costs and ‘complex’ planning processes

It came after a long-running campaign demanding the removal of the British imperialist’s monument.

An independent inquiry to examine Rhodes’ legacy was set up last June in the wake of BLM protests after the governing body ‘expressed their wish’ to remove the statue from outside the college.

A majority of members on the Commission supported the college’s original wish to remove the Rhodes’ statue.

But Oriel College said: ‘In light of the considerable obstacles to removal, Oriel’s governing body has decided not to begin the legal process for relocation of the memorials.’

The Rhodes Must Fall campaign accused Oriel College of ‘institutional racism’

Music faculty considers reforms to address ‘white hegemony’ 

In March, Oxford was considering changes to the music curriculum, including alternative titles for courses, after certain staff raised concerns about the ‘complicity in white supremacy’ in the teaching of the subject.

Professors were set to reform their music courses to move beyond the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the BLM movement.

University staff argued that the current curriculum focuses on ‘white European music from the slave period’, according to The Telegraph.

The University of Oxford (Merton College pictured) was in March considering changes to the music curriculum, including alternative titles for courses, after certain staff raised concerns about the ‘complicity in white supremacy’ in the teaching of the subject

Documents seen by the publication indicate proposed reforms to target undergraduate courses.

It claimed that teaching musical notation had ‘not shaken off its connection to its colonial past’ and would be ‘a slap in the face’ to some students.

And it added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory because the current repertoire’s focus on ‘white European music’ causes ‘students of colour great distress’.

It is thought that music writing will also be reformed to be more inclusive.

But the proposals caused upset among some faculty members who argued that it was unfair to accuse those teaching music from before 1900 of being concerned with just ‘white’.

College defies calls to remove statue of slave owner Christopher Codrington from its library after agreeing to change room’s name

All Souls College in January removed the name of an 18th century slave trader from its main library but defied calls to take down his statue (pictured)  

All Souls College in January removed the name of an 18th century slave trader from its main library but defied calls to take down his statue. 

The college reviewed its link to Christopher Codrington, a Barbados-born colonial governor, in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter movement.

The former fellow, who died in 1710, bequeathed £10,000 to the library which has since been unofficially known as the Codrington Library.

A marble statue by Edward Cheere of the benefactor has been standing in the library for centuries and the college says it has no plans to take it down despite the clamour from students. 

The All Souls governing body said: ‘Rather than seek to remove it the College will investigate further forms of memorialisation and contextualisation within the library, which will draw attention to the presence of enslaved people on the Codrington plantations, and will express the College’s abhorrence of slavery.’

Their review found that Codrington’s wealth ‘derived largely from his family’s activities in the West Indies, where they owned plantations worked by enslaved people of African descent’.

The college claims it has undertaken a number of measures to address the colonial legacy, including erecting a memorial plaque in memory of those who worked on the Caribbean plantations. 

The college’s review found that Codrington’s (pictured) wealth ‘derived largely from his family’s activities in the West Indies, where they owned plantations worked by enslaved people of African descent’ 

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