A UNIVERSITY union has claimed anyone should be allowed to identify as black regardless of their skin colour or background.
The stance was revealed in a report from The Universities and Colleges Union, centered around the ongoing debate about whether men should be able to self-identify as women, after they faced criticism over their labelling of transgender people.
The body, which represents 120,000 academics, said in their statement that they agree with self identification of gender, but also race.
The union said: “Our rules commit us to ending all forms of discrimination, bigotry and stereotyping. UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify whether that is being black, disabled, LGBT+ or women.”
They added: ‘UCU also supports a social, rather than medical, model of gender recognition that will help challenge repressive gender stereotypes in the workplace and in society.’
Many criticised the union’s position on race, including union member and Sussex University philosophy professor Kathleen Stock, who said the union’s position on race was “nonsensical, anti-intellectual propaganda.”
Stock added: “It’s fairly simple: being a woman, being black, and being disabled are each causal factors in distinctive patterns of mistreatment & discrimination. Does @ucu think academics should be allowed to use distinctive names & non-subjective categories for those causal factors, or not?”
Another commentator said the statement was “racist and stupid.”
In the US, Rachel Dolezal self-identified as a black woman but was exposed as a white woman during a TV interview, sparking a worldwide debate.
She quit her post as an official at the National Association for the Advancement of coloured People in 2015, after her parents confirmed she was not black.
In the UK, white theatre director Anthony Lennon faced criticism for identifying as an “African born again” and securing public funding intended to help develop the careers of those from underrepresented communities.