The British National Party (BNP) is set to bring its most recent campaign to Glasgow University amid protests from the SRC, the University and Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance (GARA).
White History Month, the BNP and Young BNP’s latest publicity stunt, is aimed specifically at university cities. A mass e-mail was sent last week to union presidents and student bodies across Britain in advance of the project. The group will be touring Britain in the ‘Truth Truck’ distributing flyers and CDs to promote White History Month.
Jatin Haria, Director of GARA, was highly critical of the BNP’s agenda in promoting White History Month, arguing that White History Month was unnecessary and would ultimately be dominated by racist sentiment.
He said: “In effect, every month is White History Month. As it’s the BNP organising this, it’s likely to be a month featuring white hoods, and ‘celebrating’ Adolf Hitler, Enoch Powell and Oswald Mosley.”
Gavin Lee, President of the SRC, joined Mr Haria in condemning the BNP’s plan.
He explained: “The views encouraged by White History Month are incongruous not only with a modern society that prides itself on equality of races, but also within a University environment that prides itself on fairness, logic, and tolerance.”
Concordantly Paul Golding, the director of the BNP’s dedicated white British history web site British Pride, described the unilaterally negative response he had received from other student representatives throughout Britain.
He said: “I generally didn’t receive much response but the ones we did were very hostile because these student unions are run by fanatical left-wingers.
“You’ve got some very warped and brainwashed left-wingers in charge of the student unions. They’ve been brainwashed with the second world war, with slavery, with apartheid, with all sorts of various left-wing instigated guilt trips.”
The SRC have passed a motion banning the promotion of White History Month in the John McIntyre building and pledging to dissuade students from becoming involved with the British National Party.
Gavin Lee said: “We are delighted – yet ultimately unsurprised – that students have chosen to boycott this month. The organisers of White History Month will not be able to further their ill-conceived agenda at Glasgow.”
Having supported Black History Month, a university spokesperson announced that the University would be officially opposing White History Month, adding that the BNP’s intentions were certainly malicious.
“Black History Month is a grassroots development which recognises the contributions and achievements of ethnic minority people in the UK. This is a perspective that is often overlooked or missed in everyday evaluation of history and achievements.
“Whilst on the surface it would appear White History Month is only fair and equal, the University recognises that the political organisation that are behind this suggestion have a particular motive, which is the promotion of a non-inclusive society.”
Simon Darby, the BNP’s press officer, was unwilling to give away specific details of the tour’s itinerary saying: “If we forewarn people, rent-a-mob would be out in force.”
Golding did, however, confirm that they intended to come to Glasgow.
Mr. Haria explained that Black History week was necessary to raise awareness of past black accomplishments and was, in this respect, positive about the BNP’s reaction.
“The fact that the BNP are doing this shows the success that Black History Month is finally having. The reason we celebrate Black History Month is because without this focus, the historical contributions of black people over all time would continue to remain hidden.”
The BNP have argued that White History Month has become as necessary as Black History Month, as white history has allegedly been ‘suppressed’ by ‘the liberals and left wingers’ that rule Britain.
Paul Golding explained this view: “Native British history and general white history is generally suppressed in the education system. Most young British people leave school these days and hardly know anything about their country’s history. It’s ridiculous and it’s all intentional because the liberals and the left wingers in charge of this country, and that includes all the main parties and all the journalists in this country, are doing it deliberately to try and rob us of any sort of group identity.
“There was a poll the other day in one of the papers which said Churchill was the insurance dog. That is the kind of thing we are dealing with, it’s almost like cultural genocide. That’s the only way I can explain it.”
Gavin Lee stressed that the SRC was in favour of free speech, but would not support the BNP exploiting its right to free speech to racist ends.
He said: “The SRC continues to welcome the freedom of speech and debate that is a foundation stone of our culture. We believe each culture should have the right to celebrate their heritage and traditions. However, we will not tolerate these rights being misused for an ultimately racist and divisive purpose.”
Mr Haria warned that racism was still prevalent in Glasgow, saying: “Racism is still a major problem in Glasgow. This can be easily evidenced through the GARA State of the Nation – Race and Racism in Scotland 2008 report, available from the GARA website.”