News Brief

Twitter Deletes Priyamvada Gopal’s ‘White Lives Don’t Matter’ Post, Spares Her ‘Brahmin Lives Don’t Matter’ Post

Swarajya Staff

Jun 30, 2020, 01:15 PM | Updated 01:15 PM IST

Cambridge University professor Priyamvada Gopal
Cambridge University professor Priyamvada Gopal

Micro-blogging site Twitter has deleted a controversial tweet on “white lives” by Indian-origin Cambridge professor Priyamvada Gopal, but has spared her similar tweet on “Brahmin lives”.

“I’ll say it again. White lives don’t matter. As White lives”, Gopal, who is a Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures in the Faculty of English and Fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, posted this on her Twitter account on 22 June.

Her next tweet said, “Abolish whiteness”.

Gopal faced a torrent of abuse for the posts. Soon, an online petition was floated on demanding her dismissal from the university.

The petition said that her statements are racist and hateful and must not be tolerated by Cambridge University leadership. Cambridge must move to immediately discontinue their relationship with Ms. Gopal in the best interest of all students and the community at large.”

The Cambridge University however defended its faculty member saying that academics have right to express opinions and has condemned personal attacks and abuse.

The online petition stands removed from the site.

Two days after her controversial tweets, Gopal had followed them up with a similar take on “Brahmin lives”, arguing that “Brahmins are the whites of India”.

“Brahmin lives don’t matter - not as Brahmin lives. Abolish Brahmins and the upper castes…,” she tweeted on 24 June, adding, “…My Brahmin life does not matter. Abolish Brahmin-ness”.

A week later, Gopal’s job is not only safe but she has also been promoted to full professorship by the university.

Her original tweet on white lives, however, has been deleted by Twitter on its own.

Gopal confirmed this on Twitter, saying, "I would also like to make clear I stand by my tweets, now deleted by Twitter, not me.”

“They were very clearly speaking to a structure and ideology, not about people. My Tweet said whiteness is not special, not a criterion for making lives matter. I stand by that,” she wrote.

A look at her profile shows that her similar tweets on Brahmin lives, on the other hand, remain.

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