Cambridge nightclub Vinyl opened in mid-SeptemberRosie Bradbury

Oliver Moodie, a black second-year student at Clare, was verbally attacked with racial slurs at Cambridge nightclub Vinyl late last month, on Friday 28th September.

Moodie described one individual of student age repeatedly addressing him with a derogatory term referring to black people in the smoking area of the club while he was trying to make a phone call. Moodie said that he had not previously met the perpetrator or his friend, who attempted to stop the verbal abuse.

CUSU BME Campaign said that they have received similar complaints of racial harassment directed at students in recent terms, and added that Moodie’s experience “should not be treated as a one-off incident that is out of the ordinary and unreflective of Cambridge”.

Moodie told Varsity that he felt embarrassed over the incident as he felt he “[couldn’t] react in public” after taking abuse. He has also commented that it had found it frustrating that he had to “censor” himself: as being one of the few black students at Cambridge, he was afraid that his actions “can often be interpreted as representative for the entire black male body in Cambridge” and he did not want to appear to be “the stereotypical angry, aggressive black guy”.

He further expressed that this incident has reinforced his belief that Cambridge is a space which he will “never belong” and made him “mistrustful” of people here as racist opinion surfaces easily.


Mountain View

Don’t tell me that words can’t hurt

The CUSU BME campaign commented that Moodie was “one of the very few” who has decided to come forward with his experiences as they said many remain silent to avoid further abuse after receiving little to no support.

The campaign added that “the way racist harassment and abuse is always underplayed or reactions to it [are seen] as ‘overreactions’ has meant that many BME students are hesitant to escalate matters.”

Vinyl nightclub said in a statement regarding the racial attack, “We don't tolerate racist behaviour of any kind in our club and did everything we could on the night to support our customer, including trying to identify the perpetrator.”