King’s College Master’s student Dhruv Shah, who sparked great outrage over his social media posts mocking the death of George Floyd and hateful comments to a fellow student, shares his version of the story. He claims his Instagram account was hacked and wants to issue an official apology to everyone he has or may have offended. This is what he shared with Roar:
“As the world has come to a standstill over the unfortunate death of George Floyd, I have been accused of being racist and making fun of him over my Instagram post. My IG has been hacked multiple times in the last 36-40 hours. The meme which offended everyone was actually posted by the hacker, and as soon as I was aware of this, I deleted the post, but it was too late. I came across a post of his (George Floyd’s) official arrests over his lifetime by a woman of the same community. The post was about how he had robbed and hit a pregnant woman. I intended to showcase the safety of Black Women equally, as all I had been seeing were posts highlighting brutality just against black men. Therefore, I shared the pictures on Instagram. All I wanted to showcase was that irrespective of what colour or caste a man comes from; he has no right to treat women like that. I did not mean to comment or approve of the police brutality as it’s a very sensitive topic, and I did not want to hurt anyone’s sentiment by saying something wrong.
“Since then, I have been mentally harassed and been threatened to be reported and kicked out of the university. This was when I decided not to reply to anyone and logout. I had emailed my programme director about this. A few moments later, I was sent a twitter screenshot where allegedly someone from my account had slurred racial abuses and bullied an individual named Hassan. I was furious and decided to log into my account and apologise to Hassan, but I could not log in. I thought I’d try again in some time. Soon few friends of mine texted me saying they got random, weird, absurd texts from my account. I then reported this matter to Instagram, and since then, don’t have access to my account. I later woke up to threats and abuses all over my social media profiles. Apparently, a girl called Meghna Aggarwal from SOAS had exposed all my social media handles on Twitter and deemed me guilty of being racist and what not. All of this was done without hearing my side of the incident. Since today morning, my family and I have been getting abuses and threats.
“I strongly believe there is no excuse for reinforcing racist stereotypes and putting others down.Therefore, I take responsibility for the derogatory words sent from my account to Hassan. Even though I haven’t said them, I am profoundly remorseful. I cannot imagine how much It might have hurt the sentiments of Hassan and everyone who felt offended. Racism has no place in my heart, and I guarantee, for whatever it’s worth, going ahead this will never happen again. I hope that everyone especially Hassan, can accept my humblest apology and allow me to make amends. I promise to be very responsible from here on.”
Shah has received many threatening messages and emails from infuriated King’s students ever since and wants to apologise to all he has offended. He approached Roar with the request to share his point of view.