Well for some reason if you can imagine Zayn Malik from One Direction, to be the candidate for Black History Month, chances are that you are very much a part of Students’ Union at Kent University. For some apparent reasons, the union chose Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London. They gave them the chance to become the face of Black History Month at the University. The only similarity between these two is that they both have Pakistani roots and neither of them is black.
The Students’ Union chose six public figures for the Black History Month that ran all throughout October. The organization picked them to represent diversity. In addition, these individuals will also represent the contribution of African Americans to the history of United States.
Apart from these two, the Kent Union also chose other public figures. The list also includes Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Trevor McDonald.
The student reps for Kent Union posted on social media with these two representing the Black History Month. It quickly went viral and started receiving backlash from all the corners. Hell broke loose as more and more social media users started questioning the motive of Kent Union. Many could not find the relevance of these two in the campaign while others took to sarcasm to vent out the anger.
— Kelvin Osei (@KjOsei) October 25, 2016
Kent Uni really thinks Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan are icons of black history month you can’t make this stuff up.
— Patrick Bateman (@JonRichard) October 25, 2016
The Kent Union responded and tried to pacify the situation by withdrawing all the social media posts featuring the One Direction member and Sadiq Khan. Union President Rory Murray responded with an apology if “any offense was caused.” But it was not enough for damage control as many are demanding his resignation.
In a recent move, the Kent Union has called for a Public Discussion in an open forum to understand and listen to all the views of its members. Hopefully, for the Union, this exercise of damage control should draw the curtain on this fiasco.