October is Black History Month in the UK. This year, the student union at the University of Kent decided to choose several prominent people to serve as the face of the campaign on campus. Amongst those famous faces was former member of One Direction, Zayn Malik. Zayn Malik is not black.
Another choice for the campaign was London mayor Sadiq Khan.
Sadiq Khan is not black.
Amidst the backlash, a Twitter account representing "the Official UK guide to the events and people who make every October worth celebrating" registered their deep disappointment in the choices, chiding the Kent Student Union by asking "will Black icons be celebrated by Kent University" during Asian Heritage Month?
With Asian Heritage Month being observed by a growing number of countries in May, will Black icons be celebrated by Kent University then?— Black History Month (@BhmUK) October 25, 2016
The president of the student union behind the posters, Rory Murray, apologized on Facebook.
His apology did not, however, mollify much of the anger directed at Kent University. Here are two of the top comments on Tuesday's apology:
According to the BBC, the Kent Union and the University of Kent also released a "joint statement" saying their "campaign was in line with the National Union of Students' position on Black History Month which chose to 'recognise and celebrate the immense contributions that people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage make to humanity.'"