Live!
Tue 26 Sep 2017
- The award-winning student news website of Imperial College

Know something you shouldn't? Tell us, using our quick, 100% anonymous tip-off form!

Live! - News

Mullan Cleared by the NUS, Suspended by KCLSU

Sep 10 2008 14:05
Ashley Brown
KCLSU President Chris Mullan has been cleared by the NUS of making racist remarks at a training event, despite a 'witch hunt' which saw him suspended by KCLSU.
Allegations spread across the internet, with no opportunity for Mullan to respond

An NUS investigation into claims that KCLSU President Chris Mullan had made racist remarks has cleared him, with no complaints being upheld. The police also took no action as no complaint was brought to them, despite coverage in the Daily Mail and thelondonpaper stating otherwise.

Until the end of August King's President Chris Mullan had been called many things, mainly due to his tendency to speak his mind, however none of them especially serious. However the NUS Black Students Officer, Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, then mentioned him in a note on Facebook about "racism in the student movement" and how it should be tackled. This led to a number of people branding him a racist, spreading the allegations across websites and eventually into the press.

Until now Mullan had been banned from speaking publicly by the NUS investigation (not, as was reported last week, due to a police investigation). While Mullan was required to keep quiet, his reputation was attacked on messageboard after messageboard, with no opportunity to respond. The resulting fallout saw the KCLSU Trustees meet, where they took a decision to suspend him while they conducted their own investigation.

Live! hopes to conduct an interview with the King's President later today, however potential legal action against those responsible for spreading the allegations may prevent it. Those involved in making the accusations have not responded to requests for information from Live!'s journalists.

Email this Article | Share on Facebook | Print this Article

Discussion about “Mullan Cleared by the NUS, Suspended by KCLSU”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Sep 10 2008 14:41
 

What I'd like to know is why officers such as Bellavia and Ama Uzowuru think going round calling people a racist without giving them a chance to respond is professional conduct. They should both be disciplined.

2. Anon   
Sep 10 2008 15:45
 

Because nobody stands up to their smears. Why do you think I write anonymously?

3. lol   
Sep 10 2008 16:57
 

Stupid naggers

4. sbel   
Sep 10 2008 22:37
 

Stupid what?!!?

Sep 11 2008 01:41
 

You get your facts right. You think calling blacks undesirables at KCL is funny.

And what a nice word to use Stupid Naggers. Very appropriate word.

WE black have always been naggers and everything else that people liek Mullans says.

GO and say any of those stupid things to jews and you will see the outrage. this is blatant and fragrant. Sheer hypocrisy of the system. What is good for the goose is good is good for the gander.

We all know what i am talking about.

This is a message to those who have posted supporting comments to the man in question and those who have made veiled insults.

The women and those with mothers, sisters, etc., ask yourself/them if at any time they have been treated in a manner that leaves them feeling 'less than'!? To those of you who are homosexual, ask the same question. To those from poor working class and disadvantaged families, the same. To those with a disability, the same. And so on.

All the oppression and discrimination you experience is of course unpleasant and has a negative impact on you lives, I am sure. However, woman are truly a majority in many areas of society, homosexuals can chose to remain in closets, etc.

A person from African, Asian, etc., descent in this society can experience all that you experience but they cannot hide.

To those hiding behind your VEILED insults you are cowards. To those of you who find oppression and discrimination amusing read a newspaper, any page will tell you of a war, etc., that began just like this... To those of you who support people who throw racist and other offensive jokes or comments out and won't accept the repercussions, you are an insult to the human race.

And to those of your who are indeed RACISTS but continue to hide behind the protective wall of whiteness, masculinity, bigotry, THINGS CAN AND WILL CHANGE.

Just think slavery was abolished. At the time it was felt it would go on forever!!!!!!!!!!

Sep 11 2008 10:28
 

5) and 6), while I didn't quite understand all of what you wrote, I can see that you have both come from a starting point where you believe what has been said about Chris.

You think that anyone giving support to Chris Mullan must be a racist, because you are unable or unwilling to listen to his side of the story. Can *he* hide from the persecution being dished out by certain groups?

Were you there? If not, what gives *you* the right to judge what was said without a fair hearing?

Two NUS officers have now shouted 'racism' in public, without any opportunity for the people they have accused to respond. It isn't the support of black students you need to tackle racism, or even the support of "student activists", it is the support of normal students you need.

These officers have spoken out because they want to fight discrimination and get black/ethnic minority students the respect they deserve. Ask yourself this though - will they serve that purpose by not showing respect for the people they need to educate? Just because you think someone is a racist, doesn't mean you should lay into them, it means you should talk to them, explain to them why what they said was offensive and try and change how they behave.

Ama and Bell chose to rant about it in public, which means they've lost any respect I had for them. Not because they're black, but because they've not conducted themselves in a professional manner.

If Bell had dealt with the issue in private, I'd be far more inclined to listen to what she has to say. But she acted unprofessionally, so her side of the story is worth very little.

Sep 11 2008 10:50
 

If the qoutes attributed to Mullins are correct then such comments were unaccepteble he should apologise. There has been no denail from him.

If he said those thing as reported then he has articulated a deeply offensive racial sterotype and

by doing so has angred both black and white students.

If this is what he truly believes then he is nt fit for office. If he does not believe or now has had time to reflect on the stupidity of his statement then he should issue a written apology for the offence caused.

It will be very intresting to see both his and the NUS statements in this regard. I for one will be taking a keen intrest and urge all students to stand up to racism and racist commentary.

Sep 11 2008 10:52
 

There has been a denial Lee. See here: http://live.cgcu.net/opinion/wideningparticipation/1833

10. Gloria   
Sep 11 2008 16:34
 

Did he he make the comments or didn't he? This article implicates that he is innocent, yet he hasn't denied saying what he said.

If he did indeed say what he said, (and I believe there were several witneeses) then how on earth can he be 'cleared'? And why are the events that proceeded being described a 'witch hunt'

Why is it still ok for people to make offensive statements about black people and get away with it?

Sep 11 2008 17:00
 

Ashley

We really need to know precisely what was said. The statement does not clarify this point rather it simply says what meant to say rather than what were the actual words used. Can we have the actual words used please.

Sep 11 2008 17:46
 

post 7.

as usual a thoughtful comment but i completely disagree that racists deserve respect. I also disagree that we should criticize those who brought this matter to light. We should criticize them IF we judge them to be wrong

Sep 11 2008 18:00
 

post 12. I think you misunderstand. There's a tendency to lump all 'racists' together. There are people who hate people who are not like them (be it skin colour, religion, sexuality, disabilities), and they should be given no respect.

However, I think what we've been dealing with in BOTH the NUS 'racism' cases is case of people saying things without even realising they could be considered racist, but without any hatred (ignore Craig Cox for a minute - he deserves no respect if he held up a sign saying 'bring back slavery').

It's *these* people which need to be respectfully educated about why what they have said could be offensive. I found a number of people in the NUS liberation campaigns who believe in punishment for people who offend their special interest groups, with apparently no desire to help them understand what the problem is. To people who don't understand the issues, it looks like they're a bunch of self-important whingers, which is fundamentally NOT the way to get results.

I believe that both the people who have pointed the finger of racism, WITHOUT FIRST DISCUSSING IT WITH THE PEOPLE THEY HAVE ACCUSED, should be criticised. My problem is that they did not discuss it in private first. That is unprofessional - they are NUS officers.

I judge them to be wrong, both by their conduct and the allegations they have made, which is why I criticise them.

Sep 12 2008 15:21
 

This is a slap in the face an a direct message of how Africans (this incldes those from Caribbean) are regarded by not only Mullan but by the NUS as well.

15. why?   
Sep 12 2008 15:36
 

Why is that the case? Because you can't or won't listen to reason? You believe exactly what you've been told, when not in full possession of the facts and then jump to the racist conclusion that the white man must have made anti-black comments. Therefore your opinion is irrelevant.

Sep 13 2008 10:32
 

I believe there is a word for all this rushing to judgement without bothering to get the facts in: prejudice.

Sep 13 2008 13:21
 

No one seems to be answering this. Can we have a quote of what was said please so we can make our own minds up.

Sep 13 2008 18:43
 

is here: (http://live.cgcu.net/opinion/wideningparticipation/1833) read the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs. If the statement were untrue the NUS would have acted against it and served Live! with notice to remove it. It can therefore be considered official record.

You're not going to get a quote because there was no recording of the meeting and nobody ever remembers exact wording.

Sep 14 2008 14:37
 

EDUCATION IS THE KEY BECAUSE OF THIS PUNK'S IGNORANCE MANY OF US ARE FEELING HURT. WE SHOULD NOT FEEL THAT WAY WE SHOULD FEEL SORRY FOR THIS FOOL BECAUSE HIS IGNORANCE IS JUST BLINDING HIM AND HIS KIND(FOOLS) WE CAN ONLY DO ONE THING PRAY FOR THIS FOOL SO THAT HIS EYES MAY BE OPEN AND THAT HE WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT LIFE MEANS

Sep 14 2008 14:41
 

TO THOSE WHO USE THE TERM (NAGGERS) WE KNOW WHAT U MEAN BUT DO U KNOW THE DEFINTION OF THE WORD WE DO SO WE ARE NOT OFFENDED WE JUST FEEL SORRY THAT THE WORLD STILL HAS THIS DEGREE OF STUPIDITY AND IGNORANCE FLOATING AROUND IN THESE TIMES. ADVICE: THE TIME IS NEAR WATCH ALL UR BACKS CUZ WE WILL BE COMING AND WE'LL BE COMING WITHOUT A TRACE...

Sep 14 2008 14:56
 

Oh grow up the lot of you. A few words came out of his mouth and someone held up a sign, get over it. How can this be hurtful...? How about people get some balls and ignore things like this. The fact the "Black Officer", the voice of all things Black they'd have you believe, said it means it MUST be racist. Its a joke it really is. Its people like you lot that make race relations in the country so painful. Call someone a racist and its is impossible to prove otherwise.

Sep 14 2008 15:17
 

"ADVICE: THE TIME IS NEAR WATCH ALL UR BACKS CUZ WE WILL BE COMING AND WE'LL BE COMING WITHOUT A TRACE..."

Sounds like something the BNP or KKK might say/have said. Perhaps if you want us to believe you aren't being irrational or over-reacting, you shouldn't make veiled threats of violence.

Sep 14 2008 19:20
 

It is however a telling example of the rather more sinister motivations behind this smear campaign.

The SWP get thoroughly trounced in KCLSU elections. As a result they have decided that the only way they are going to make electoral inroads is to forment racial tensions in lieu of actually being competent or offering any sort of popular policy.

The SWP, much like the BNP, rely almost entirely on creating an atmosphere of division into which they hope to establish themselves as the self-appointed leaders of a side. Thus their strategy for making inroads into KCLSU is to spread such scurrilous rumours in the hope that the mud will stick, and exploit the sense of hurt generated to create a mythical enemy for them to fight.

After all, it's easier than actually working out how to deal with problems that affect students.

Sep 14 2008 21:19
 

you are an idiot

25. Anon   
Sep 14 2008 22:14
 

What an intelligent comment that was. Guess it takes one to know one.

Sep 14 2008 22:38
 

Silly games by silly people who want to practice being politicians. Shame one day they probably will end up being them.

Sep 15 2008 11:59
 

Silly games they may be, but with severe consequences. Throwing round accusations of racism as if crying Wolf is immensely damaging to one's personal reputation. It follows that when so falsely accused one has to put up a vigorous defence.

There's nothing in his statement that says he made no reference to black people.

He says he made a comment about security; the original complaint was regarding his alleged comments that security would be threatened if Universities recruited from black communities. He has not denied this at all.

It appears that he did make the comments he was accused of saying, but, that it has been deemed suggesting knife crime would increase if universities recruited from black communities is not a racist assumption.

29. gu   
Sep 15 2008 17:32
 

I meant silly games being played by the idiots who made the allegations, I agree you should put up a defence against pricks like that.

Sep 15 2008 17:39
 

London Student has a bit more information about what was said:

http://www.london-student.net/2008/09/14/not-guilty/

Sep 15 2008 17:57
 

Some interesting snippets:

LSE General Secretary Aled Fisher said: ?During the role play, Chris asked a question: ?Given the increase in knife crime in the area, if we?re going to widen participation, are you going to install a metal detector?? He did not use the phrase ?black people? at all. Everyone was very involved in the role play at the time and it wasn?t obvious that it caused offence.

?In no way did he say black people. At the time no officer seemed to react to it other than ?Oh, it?s just Chris being Chris.? I just didn?t think twice about it, to be honest. We were all so into the role play.

And from SWP attack dog and accuser-in-chief Jennifer Jones:

?What Chris Mullan said on its own was not explicitly racist, it was because he said it immediately after and so in relation to a discussion on ethnic minority widening participation, the context meant it was.?

Sep 16 2008 13:58
 

Thank you, from that we can conclude that:

A discussion was had regarding widening participation of ethnic minorities to which Mullan responded with the following contribution along the lines of ?if we?re going to widen participation, are you going to install a metal detector??

I think it?s quite clear to see why Mullan would argue that on it?s own that was not a racist comment and I also think it is VERY clear why others would feel his comments were making racist insinuations.

Sep 16 2008 15:54
 

At which point the question moves to intent and interpretation. Mullan's intent was not racist, and the NUS is in agreement with that view.

Given that the only person still making the accusations (but interestingly has given up arguing against the rebuttals) believes that anything to the Right of her is automatically racist, one can assume that her application of context is both unreliable and retrospective.

It is also telling that neither she, nor anyone else, seemed to bother to seek any clarification. Jumping to conclusions was more politically convenient.

Add your comment:

If you can see this, something is broken (either with your browser, or with our system). Please leave the box below empty, or your comment will be considered to be spam.
Live!

See Also

  1. Snippets - 08/08/2008
    08 Aug 08 | Snippets
  2. Imperial Votes to Disaffiliate
    25 Jun 08 | News
  3. Referendum Hits Quorum
    23 Jun 08 | News

Live! Poll

How frequently would you like to see a CGCU magazine being published




Live!