Watch: Ex-Wits Principal Adam Habib uses ‘N-word’ during webinar

Fulcrum29

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This is a terrible look for Adam Habib. The former Wits Principal - now at the University of London - has shocked students with his use of the N-word.​

This is not going to end well for Adam Habib. The former Principal of Wits University has caused outrage this week, after he liberally used the ‘N-word’ during a webinar with a group of students. The 56-year-old is now a Director at the University of London – but he’s done nothing to endear himself to his classes.

WHO IS ADAM HABIB? PROF IN HOT WATER OVER ‘N-WORD’ USAGE​

It all kicked off when Adam Habib was asked about his own use of the N-word by one of the intrepid students. None of those on the call, however, could have expected him to actually use the grossly offensive term. He was rightly called out by the youngsters on the call – and that’s when his dubious attempts to backtrack began.

The Pietermaritzburg-born Professor said that the word is ‘commonly used’ in South Africa, and he only uttered it ‘to provide context’ to his original point. However, the kids online did a brilliant job of holding Adam Habib to account – even if some of the students had to fight through an overwhelming urge to ‘facepalm’ whenever he was speaking

EFF OUTRAGED BY EX-WITS PRINCIPAL AND HIS ‘RACIAL SLUR’​

The clip was uploaded onto social media late on Thursday evening. Of course, the EFF has picked up on it, becoming the first political party in South Africa to condemn Habib’s remarks. The Red Berets want him removed from his directorship at the University of London – a position he took up just two months ago.

 

Fulcrum29

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neoprema

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The stupids at EFF always seem very quick to respond to removing people. I guess when you don't work, contribute to anything or actually do something useful with Oxygen, you're able to quickly reply like that.
 

Fulcrum29

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For those who don't want to access Twitter, here is Habib's explanation:

1. I notice some individuals deliberately misrepresented a conversation in a student meeting yesterday. The video is deliberately cropped in a way to misrepresent. Unfortunately many others have rushed to judgement without the full facts. So let me explain what really happened:

2. A student did question SOAS’ responsiveness to anti black racism & suggested a staff member used the word without consequences. I did use the word & said: “if someone used the word ‘******’ against another staff member, then it would violate our policy & action would be taken.

3. Another student objected arguing that only those who were ‘black‘ (or what I in SA would describe as ‘black African’) could actually verbalize the word.I was taken aback because the case was being argued devoid of any understanding or explanation of the context of my argument.

4.I did say that I am surprised by the reaction because I could have made the same statement in the context of the same argument back home without provoking this reaction. I did not say we use the word in SA.This is a deliberate distortion used for despicable political agendas.

5. I then did apologise saying no offense was intended & I again said that if the word was used against another person, it would be a disciplinary offense as it would violate our policies. The question is why is it that after this apology, some are still politicizing the issue?

6. What is their agenda?There were many issues of importance discussed at the meeting: the strategic plan, the experiences of students & what measures are being instituted to address it,what can SOAS do & and what it cannot afford. None of this is highlighted. What is the agenda?

7.Why did I apologize?I was not of the view that I did anything wrong.After all I was saying if anyone used the word against another person,action would be taken and I should be duly informed of the case.I apologized because it created discomfort with someone who was engaging me.

8. So why don’t I think it was problematic to use the word when I did.Well, because context matters and I was arguing for taking punitive action. You cannot impute maligned intention without understanding context. Do I believe that only blacks can verbalize the word. No, I don’t.

9. I am aware that this is a common view among activists committed to an identitarian politics. I don’t identify with this political tradition. I grew up in a political tradition that is more cosmopolitan oriented and more focused on the class dimensions of structural problems.

10. I think identity politics prevalent in the US & Europe & in middle class circles of the developing world is problematic on 2 levels.1st it distracts from the real struggles of poor people’s around the world which are on econ. issues & in the unequal distribution of resources.

11. This is not to suggest that we must ignore identity. We must of course be sensitive to questions of identity and how it impinges on class and how it in turn is influenced by it. But this cosmopolitan class oriented political tradition cannot be defined by identity variables.

12. Second I think the way this politics manifests through its targeting of individuals and labeling has the effect of silencing people. Daily people complain about how self appointed activists determine what is acceptable or not and how intolerant they are of alternative views.

13. This is particularly destructive in a university which is meant to enable competing ideas. But it also creates a fertile ground for political forces on the right to mobilize on as we have seen when conservative political actors demand academic freedom and the right to speak.

14. Of course these political forces do so for their own purposes.But the fertile ground is in part created by activists who target & label others with a different viewpoint.They essentially alienate many who have different views & ideas & allow them to be politically mobilized.

15. So to return to the original question. Did I use the word: yes I verbalized the word in the context of explaining that if it was used by a staff member against another, it would be a violation of our policy & action would be taken.

16. Do I think I did something wrong? No, for reasons I explained above. However I did apologize because some individuals felt offended, and it was the right thing to do.Did it make a difference? No because some focus on a politics of spectacle.These are my final words on the issue.

17. As for those who have just joined my account: note the rules on it.I don’t tolerate foul language, racist remarks & threats of violence.Those who do this should do so in their own political circles. This is my account & it meant for thoughtful deliberation.Please keep safe!
 

saturnz

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Oh look, another nothing event trying to be made into an event worse than murder ........

the evidence already exists

a Saudi prince kills a US journalist, US government reacts years later with "sanctions"

Assange publishes truths which have never been debunked, he faces 170+ years in jail

so in this day and age telling the truth is worse of a crime than murder
 

karnuffel

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Meh... So some people may use the word and others not... When is someone black enough to use it?

Anyway, he is trying to explain himself in the toxic cesspit called Twitter, wont work buddy. You have been labeled and no amount of reasoning will remove it.

I wonder whether the SAHRC will investigate?
 

Cube3

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So he used the word n1gg3r to explain why the use of this word will be dealt with as per the policies and everyone is going mad ?
 

Fulcrum29

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The stupids at EFF always seem very quick to respond to removing people. I guess when you don't work, contribute to anything or actually do something useful with Oxygen, you're able to quickly reply like that.

Habib have made valuable intellectual contributions to SA which places this matter in our public interest. To see this now being turned into a probable political crisis would be another propagated stain. The EFF have become overly aggressive in how they enact their ideology, an identity with which the 'new' youth is relating to on which the Zuma cohort is also capitalising on.

What is happening here is a political party propagating how these messages must be perceived, removing all contextual basis. The media also does this, pending on the public reaction they desire.

Personally I believe Habib made a valid explanation though I haven't listened to the webinar. Now it is to be seen whether the public will let this go or push towards a restorative response.

As seen in the EFF statement, it is a personal attack.
 
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