White supremacy and European colonialism are embedded in the study of viruses and other diseases, don’t ya know? This is according to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), which has vowed to ‘decolonise’ its curriculum after advising the British government on the coronavirus pandemic.
The alma mater of the Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty, who has led the government’s scientific response to the coronavirus, has vowed to reform its curriculum in order to make the study of tropical diseases “anti-racist”.
A guide issued to staff at the LSHTM told staff that they should examine how they benefitted from colonialism and racism if they are “white, middle-class, able-bodied, cis-heterosexual, European or North American, and do not have to worry about our immigration status.”
The guide, which was seen by The Telegraph, went on to warn graduates against spreading “Eurocentric” scientific knowledge discovered by “white, male” experts and staff have been told to “de-privilege white European and North American men” who can, they claim, be seen as “white saviours”.
Staff who are unaware of the Marxist concept of decolonising the curriculum have been pushed by the guide authors to read works such as Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race and Layla F Saad’s Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World.
Lecturers at the top school have also been asked if they could have “someone from the Global South” teach their students instead of them.
Tests and other teaching methods will be reformed to take into account “colonial and post-colonial power dynamics” and to remove any so-called microaggressions that could make students feel “racialised”.