Weird place, the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). To investigate Adam Habib and all the “pain” he caused, as well as promote “anti-racism”, its Board of Trustees has commissioned one Judy Clements. Not any old Judy Clements, but “Judy Clements OBE”. When last I checked, those letters stood for Order of the British Empire. .
What’s with the SOAS trustees? No statement they make fails to mention that OBE. Presumably then they are as proud of this OBE as Ms Clements herself obviously is (no doubt with very good reason). So to look into racism the trustees appoint the bearer of an imperial medal. Obviously the SOAS trustees are not nearly as woke as their counterparts on other campuses, who have long since cottoned on to the fashionable notion that the British Empire was itself a racist enterprise. That’s why they are all falling over one another in their haste to topple statues of British racist imperialists.
Perhaps Ms Clements should give her imperial medal back to Her Majesty. Otherwise the SOAS lynch mob might get on to her after they have finished with Professor Habib.
Although she does not mention it in her statements on the Habib affair, Marie Staunton, who chairs the Board of Trustees, holds a CBE, which makes her a Commander of the said Empire. She informs us that Judy Clements OBE will conduct an external investigation into, among other things, “unexplored and unactioned complaints about anti-black conduct across the school”, this to be done “in the context of anti-blackness as a structural issue in SOAS”.
However, Judy Clements OBE’s investigation will not be a repeat of the work already being undertaken by the “Race, Accountability, and Listening Action Steering Group”. This group will engage black staff and student societies to “organise listening spaces designed to identify the major strategic and practical shifts that need to occur in the institution”.
Ms Staunton also says, “We want to re-affirm that SOAS has to be – and be seen to be – committed to anti-racism, to tackling hate, to bringing people together, and to listening and learning throughout life”.