Oxford U Staff Told Avoiding Eye Contact Is ‘Everyday Racism’

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Staff at Britain’s Oxford University have been told avoiding eye contact with students could constitute "everyday racism".

The BBC reports, it is included in a list of "racial micro-aggressions" published in a newsletter by Oxford's equality and diversity unit.

The newsletter claims racial micro aggressions might include: "Not making eye contact or speaking directly to people."

Other examples cited were "not believing someone is British", and jokes drawing attention "to someone's difference, their accent, or nationality".

Emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, Prof. Frank Furedi, said the newsletter's authors "need a reality check.”

"It is almost as if they have become obsessed with the idea that racism is everywhere... and I think what they are doing is trivializing the real meaning of racism."

The equality and diversity unit's newsletter said micro-aggressions could be "well-meaning", and that people might be "mortified" if they knew they had caused offence.

It also argued this makes little difference if people feel they "do not belong" as a result, and said awareness of "subtle racism" was now included in its training.

Click here for the complete report from the BBC.

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