The Student Union Presidency – A Parable of Wokeness – By Russel Alanbridger – 08/04/2021

Dear reader, welcome. I bring glad tidings. Do you remember that orange man across the sea? Yes, that one. Do you remember how he lost an election and then tried to overturn the result? You do? Oh good. He didn’t manage it in the end. His loss is our gain. Because it turns out that the student leadership of Oxford University is much more effective at nullifying elections than the President of the United States. We should all be so proud. If you’re sitting comfortably, then do please read on…

A cursory glance at her presidential manifesto might suggest that the ex-president-elect Rashmi Samant is not a bigot. But don’t let that deceive you. Our beloved university has had a narrow escape from a racist transphobic Nazi.

I can’t tell how relieved I was to hear that our wise student leadership had stepped in to overturn Samant’s landslide overall majority last February, particularly as the election received the highest turnout in the student union’s history. We should applaud the efforts of the tiny minority courageous enough to spy the naked bigotry in each of the 1,966 people who voted for her. For those people to make the wrong choice of president was appalling. This goes to show that people can only make good democratic choices when the candidates are vetted beforehand. Just ask Xi Jinping.

Of course, some simpletons might argue that Samant’s platform was actually progressive. It’s clear this was merely a cover for her blatant fascism. When she stated that her number one priority was “decolonisation and inclusivity”, what she actually meant was ‘apartheid is bae’. When she argued that “belongingness is something that should come naturally”, she was obviously referring to how ‘naturally’ she felt her politics ‘belonged’ to that of the Third Reich. Her support for the “decolonisation of syllabi”, and her belief that “it’s just very white and male now” was plainly misdirection to distract from admiration for Edward Colston. In fact, her advocacy for the removal of all statues proven to be imperialist can only be interpreted as a ploy to enlarge her private collection of marble slave-owners. Her commitment to “tackle institutional homophobia and transphobia” disguised a hidden love of conversion therapy. And when she proclaimed that she dreamed of a time when “five of five [presidential candidates would] be female”, I for one was devastated that she did not demand a higher number, say 10 from 10. This puts it beyond all doubt that her internalised misogyny is rampant.

And then we come to the social media posts which the keen-eyed guardians of our safe spaces were able to leverage like a giant trapdoor beneath the unsuspecting bigot’s feet. I don’t know about you, but I regularly go through the social media archives of my political enemies. As a hobby, I can’t recommend it enough. And thank goodness my passion is shared by my fellow students, who had the time and will to excavate the four year old posts which allowed us to cancel this elected-representative once and for all.

When questioned about one post from 2017 referencing Berlin’s Holocaust memorial, Samant told her accuser that “I completely condemn the Holocaust (…), I am by the end of the day [sic] a non-Native English speaker”. Luckily, our allies in justice saw through this feeble gaslighting, and spied the bigot beneath the obfuscation. Anyway, why should we give Samant any leeway for her lingual ineptitude? Foreigners should never be able to hold any position unless they can speak the Queen’s English. The eastern Europeans who clean my house are all required to recite ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou from memory. Failure to do so means a 50% cut of their wages.

Another post which rightly drew the ire of our brave comrades used the caption ‘Ching Chang’ beneath a photo of Samant in Malaysia. Samant claimed it was a linguistic joke about plants. Hah! That old biscuit. A likely story. Given we already know that her manifesto could only have been constructed by a raving Sinophobe, it’s clear that this is just more evidence of her bigotry. Thank goodness a warrior for social justice tracked down this smoking gun.

Samant was also rightly condemned for comparing Cecil Rhodes to Hitler. I couldn’t agree more, she missed a golden opportunity to compare Rhodes to someone much worse, like JK Rowling.

Perhaps most incriminating of all, Samant used one post to pledge her support for “women [and], transwomen”. As any ally knows, to celebrate women and transwomen separately is morally equivalent to declaring a fatwa against Ru Paul. Of course, intent is immaterial. She may have meant to be supportive of trans people, but as long as we are able to perceive Samant as a bigot, then she is one. Case closed.

Of course, when her crimes were discovered, Samant hoped to find cover behind her democratic mandate, and a grovelling apology. Naturally, those offended by Samant deemed the statement in which she pledged to “make the utmost efforts to unlearn and relearn nuances of every diverse community” as “not sincere”. Duh! How could anyone who starts their apology with “I sincerely apologise” really be sincere?

As any true member of Gen Z knows, forgiveness is weakness, and retribution is justice. This is a faultless creed, as pure as avocado toast. For Samant, no forgiveness was offered, and justice was done.

Thus, her apology curried no favour and her resignation followed. All of us who had labelled her a transphobic racist rejoiced at the news that we’d cancelled the first Indian woman to hold the student union presidency; it was as if we had vanquished an anti-Christ version of Kamala Harris (peace be upon her). Racial progress is only progress when we say it is. Obvs.

Here is the truth: Samant tried to be woke. But she was found out. Oxford saw through the façade to the fascism beneath. Her manifesto reveals imperialist discriminatory racist misogynistic cis-heteronormative tendencies that only the most well trained bigot-spotters can identity. But they’re there. We have had a lucky escape. Just imagine the harm she could have done to our university if this self-proclaimed advocate for better mental health and decarbonisation had been let loose.

Our university’s democracy is immeasurably strengthened when candidates who dupe the electorate can be removed post-ballot. Ultimately, it would be rash to entrust something as important as selecting our leaders to the general student body. Self-appointed activists do a much better job.

Rightly, Samant was unable to claim the rewards for those who pledge themselves to our faith. The Woke Faith. Absolute purity of ideology, or wokegasm, as I like to call it, awaits all those who follow the approved path. Far from an impossible task, achieving wokegasm simply means never offending anyone ever in your life. Easy.

It goes without saying that the next president-elect will have no trouble meeting this standard. But, in the unlikely event they don’t measure up either, we now know what justice will be dispensed. And what perfect justice it is. Personally, I can’t see any potential candidates being discouraged by Samant’s experience. After all, it is literally impossible for anti-racists to be mistaken for racists. Samant was just a racist in disguise as an anti-racist. The difference is easy to spot.

By the way, as I wrote this piece, I heard some bigoted bloke on the radio quote some bigoted poet’s bigoted prose:

‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity’ – W. B. Yeats.                                                                                                                   

But hey, even Samant knew that there are too many ‘white males’ like Yeats on the curriculum. There’s sod all we could learn from him.

We have been shown that for counter-revolutionaries like Samant there is no place to hide. The true-believers will continue their long march towards a better Oxford, and a brighter world. 

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