Zayn Malik Is The Face Of A Student Union's Black History Month And People Aren't Happy

The internet has been left outraged by the "culturally insensitive" decision

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October marks a nationwide celebration of Black History Month, and while Kent Student Union shouldn't be criticised for supporting this, their decision to choose Zayn Malik as the face of the campaign has seriously backfired.

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According to Kent Online, the former One Direction star was one of six famous faces chosen to represent diversity by the university's union. 

However, his inclusion alongside a line-up of high-profile names, including journalist Trevor McDonald and Britain's first black footballer, Arthur Wharton, has been slammed on social media, as critics have been forced to point out the obvious; the half-British, half-Pakistani popstar isn't black. 

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Representatives from Black History Month expressed their anger on Twitter and described the union's actions as "ill thought" and "misdirected."

"With Asian Heritage Month being observed by a growing number of countries in May, will Black icons be celebrated by Kent University then?" they said.

The former president of the university's African Caribbean Society called out the "pathetic approach to diversity and inclusion on campus," while others said it was simply "insulting."

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The decision to include Zayn wasn't the only bad call. London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is British Pakistani, was chosen to front another of the union's Black History Month posters.  

On Tuesday, Rory Murray, the union president, apologised in a statement published on Facebook.

"I want to apologise on behalf of Kent Union to any individuals who were upset, uncomfortable or offended by the image shared," Murray said, before explaining the "context" behind their Black History Month campaign.

"Whilst we made every effort to include black & minority ethnic students on the planning for the month, clearly, we haven't got it right on this occasion. For that, I again apologise and will ensure we do better," he added.

Despite the apology, hundreds of people were still keen to point out that the union had caused "embarrassment."

"2,000 volunteers and no one thought to point out that Zayn isn't black?" one commenter asked. It's highly likely members of Kent Student Union are asking themselves the same question.