New controversy at KCL over Clinton visit

King’s College London (KCL) is under fire from its own students and staff after it invited Hillary Clinton to launch its new events series, “World Questions.”

Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for US president by a major political party in 2016. Despite this, KCL’s Intersectional Feminist Society expressed “disappointment and concern” over her visit to the college last Wednesday (13th November).

KCL booked Clinton to launch its event series which explores “the factors that help or hinder equality between women and men.” She appeared alongside the first female Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who chairs the KCL Global Institute for Women’s Leadership.

But students and staff are signing an open letter which condemns Clinton’s history of racism, transphobia, and her support for US intervention in Iraq and Syria.

“Hillary Clinton claims to stand for modern feminism but her actions say the exact opposite,” the letter begins.

It continues:

“She has been consistently racist in her policies and political campaigns, for example using blatantly anti-black and Islamophobic rhetoric in her 2008 election campaign against Obama, or when she compared black children to ‘super-predators.’ The Clintons both take large donations from prison lobbyists and financially profit off of the prison industrial complex. She has made openly transphobic comments and has been criticized for her lack of speaking out against sexual abusers such as Harvey Weinstein. Furthermore, she has voted for and supported military actions that have caused harm to oppressed people all over the world, such as her support of the Iraq war and her push for aggressive and violent military intervention in Syria.”

The letter also speculates that Clinton’s appearance fee might be in excess of £100,000. The Intersectional Feminist Society argues that KCL has wasted money, as the event was invite-only. It is unclear how many students were invited to attend the event.

The Society finally urges the college to include a broader range of speakers across its platforms, and to become more transparent about how it funds events.

“Women and non-binary people of colour, queer people, disabled people, and the economically marginalised should be at the front and centre of a series of talks … which claim to address ‘World Questions,'” the letter recommends.

The letter has been signed by societies across the college, including by KCL Action Palestine, KCL LGBT+ Society, and Decolonise KCL.

Will is London Student's Features Editor. He has recently completed a BA History at SOAS, and you might find him hiding in a library around Bloomsbury.

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