A Cambridge academic has gone on strike after claiming that a porter’s refusal to call her “doctor” is racist.
Dr Priyamvada Gopal, a fellow specialising in postcolonial literature, is refusing to teach students at King’s College after experiencing what she described as “consistently racist aggression and profiling” from the college’s porters.
The lecturer announced her decision after an altercation with a porter on Monday.
She described on Twitter how she told him: “Please address me as Dr Gopal”, to which the porter responded: “I don’t care who you are.”
A certian standing upon dignity there. The thing is, it’s the wrong dignity for this country:
Dr Gopal, who is from India,
Dr Gopal’s remarks quickly sparked a backlash, with fellow academics saying that her demand to be addressed as “Dr” was unreasonable.
Dr Chris Kavanagh, an anthropologist at Oxford University, said it is “not that common in the UK to refer in everyday situations to academics as ‘Dr’”, adding: “Almost no one refers to me as Dr Kavanagh but that doesn’t mean they are anti-Irish.”
To insist that the habits and courtesies of your native land be imposed upon a foreign one would be, err, colonialist, wouldn’t it?