Just because you can't make it work, Jon.
A barrister has been ordered by his chambers to delete a tweet calling a black teenager 'stroppy' after she and her family fought her school when it banned her afro.
Jon Holbrook of Cornerstone Barristers tweeted that the Equality Act "undermines school discipline by empowering the stroppy teenager of colour".
Holbrook was commenting in response to a video produced by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It described how the EHRC had assisted teenager Ruby Williams and her parents when Williams was sent home repeatedly by her school for having an afro hair style. The school maintained that Williams's hair contravened its rule that afros had to be "of a reasonable size and length".
"I could just see me daughter, kind of, withering away in front of me", said her father. "It's really been two years of being stopped in corridors and being told my hair is too big", said Williams. The teenager was awarded £8,500.
Holbrook, who also writes for online libertarian magazine Spiked, was crucified on social media for suggesting that the Equality Act was propelling schools towards lawlessness by permitting black students to have great hair.
"Who said anything about Ruby being stroppy?" said one poster. "If you did your homework before flapping your gums you’d know that Afro hair grows outwards and upwards NATURALLY!!!! Why should we be made to chemically alter our hair, in order to be afforded an education?"
Lawyer Anya Palmer added that the Equality Act didn't empower stroppy teenagers of colour, but "provides a remedy against schools that discriminate unlawfully by singling out black kids for extra rules about their hairstyles".
Williams's mum thanked Holbrook, however. "By trying to say she was in the wrong... you've actually highlighted this awful form of discrimination again", she said.
Some went further, accusing Holbrook of racism and calling for sanctions to be imposed by the Bar Standards Board. Twitter rebuffed calls to delete his tweet, concluding that the barrister's comment did not breach its rules.
However, Holbrook‘s chambers has commenced an investigation and, in the meantime, said it had asked him to delete his remark. "We want to make it very clear that Cornerstone Barristers repudiates the tweet and all it insinuates", it said. "The individual has been asked to delete the tweet immediately and permanently and we are undertaking an urgent internal investigation into the mater".
Holbrook has stood firm, leaving his tweet to grow a ratio so outsized it may soon require its own ECHR representation.
"Because the law commands a particular outcome (diversity) those who challenge it are seen as ripe for censure", said Holbrook. "This is wrong because in a democracy everyone should be afforded the same practical reality of being able to express their views."
"There is a woke tyranny that is so unsure of its arguments that it invariably responds to its critics by seeking to silence and cancel them", he said.