A South London Mental Health Nurse plans to sue an NHS clinic over so-called "anti-racism" training which she alleges claimed Christianity was "responsible for racism" through its use of the words "light and dark".
Amy Gallagher, 33, a mental health nurse from London is preparing for legal proceedings against the National Health Service's Portman Clinic, part of the controversial Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, after accusing them of racial and religious discrimination against her while she was enrolled in their Forensic Psychodynamic Psychotherapy course she started in September 2020.
Gallagher said the £20,000 training included elements declared as "anti-racism" which were actually racist against white people, that "anti-Christian" views were taught and "intolerance" instead of "tolerance" was promoted throughout the course.
In November 2020 students training to be psychotherapists at the Portman Clinic were given a compulsory lecture by forensic psychoanalyst Dr Anne Aiyegbusi, who is a self-described "BLM" supporter and "anti-racism" campaigner, it is reported.
Ms Gallagher claims that Dr Aiyegbusi initially "spoke negatively about Christianity, while no other religions were mentioned", and after this was questioned by Gallagher she was told by Aiyegbusi that "the [Tavistock and Portman NHS] Trust sees Christianity as responsible for racism because it is European", the Daily Mail reports.
The mental health nurse alleges this lecture had "little or no reference to psychotherapy", and was "politically biased".
Just days later, Gallagher was then told by the Portman Clinic to attend a free public seminar titled "Whiteness: A Problem for Our Time", delivered by Jungian psychoanalyst Helen Morgan.
Morgan is the author of a book titled, ‘The Work of Whiteness: A Psychoanalytic Perspective‘, in which she calls for "whiteness" to be "dismantled", and accuses white people of having "white privilege" with a focus on psychoanalytical communities.
Morgan's lecture was openly advertised on NHS Tavistock's website as part of their Centenary celebrations which said it aimed to focus on "the assumption that the problem of racism is a problem of whiteness".
The lecture also aimed to challenge "the colour-blind approach" - that being the belief an individual doesn't see race and treats everyone equally regardless of skin colour - branding it as "fragility" and attributing it as a practice by "white liberal families" that maintains "white privilege and racism".
Gallagher raised concerns about this lecture with her course leader and said she took a "colour-blind approach" to life but was told this was "outdated".
Following these two incidents, Gallagher made a formal complaint to the Tavistock Trust in January 2021 after being made to feel that she "was essentially being asked to subscribe to a racist ideology - that you have to believe these radical ideas to become a psychotherapist", which initially resulted in an apology from the Trust.
However, in March 2021 Gallagher was advised to read ‘The Criminalisation of Blackness‘ by Maxine Dennis - a text on the course reading list - which Gallagher found to contain "further discriminatory anti-white and anti-Christian content".
Gallagher justified her analysis of the piece as "anti-white" and "anti-Christian" by pointing out that the book claimed the Bible caused "people to be racist in their unconscious" as it used "the words light and dark", however, she asserts the book failed to acknowledge that "the use of light and dark is used in all major world religions and there is no evidence the Bible's use of those terms causes racism". She believes ‘The Criminalisation of Blackness' unfairly "singled out" Christianity so was discriminatory.
Following this, in May 2021, Gallagher received a written warning from Elisa Reyes-Simpson, the Tavistock Trust's deputy director of education, which highlighted concerns over Gallagher's behaviour which Reyes-Simpson labelled as "vexatious" and "angry", and suggested she may be kicked off of the course if she continued questioning the course's content.
Gallagher has labelled this letter as "extreme", and she believes she is being targeted because she doesn't believe "Christianity is a racist religion" and doesn't "think all white people are racist".
The Tavistock Trust has declined to comment on Gallagher's specific case, however, a report published on Gallagher's complaints about Dr Aiyegbusi's lecture admitted it was "intense" but claimed it was "undeniable" that "Europe in the name of Christianity was instrumental in the racism, slavery and colonialism that has a linear connection to what we see today in forensic services".
The Trust also doubled down on the claim that Gallagher had been "excessively and inappropriately confrontational" when questioning the content on the course.
In response, over the weekend of the 22nd-23rd of January 2022, Gallagher has created a crowdfunder with the intention of raising funds to sue the Tavistock Trust for racial and religious discrimination, harassment and bullying. Gallagher says that her motivation for pursuing this is because she hopes her "case will prove that teaching these discriminatory ideas - as though they are factual and true - within the NHS or within academia is wrong", and if "left unchallenged, such institutional bullying will only be emboldened".