IN the 1986 film Soul Man, a white middle-class student binges on tanning pills to gain a black scholarship at Harvard

University, before confessing towards the end and receiving nothing more than a slap on a wrist.

It was rightly panned by critics for its racial stereotype but was a box office hit and had a pretty decent black cast.

Now university staff appear to be intent on making a real life sequel after declaring that people can identify as any race they like.

The University and College Union has extended identification beyond gender to include declaring yourself a different race, and even if you’re disabled or not.

In the paper “UCU Position on Trans Inclusion”, it stated: “The UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify, whether that is being black, disabled, LGBT or women.”

This is clearly nonsense on stilts. Does it mean that wee ginger haired Jimmy from Oban can just declare himself to be African because he identifies as that? Even worse, I could identify as a black woman.

Now I have never been to Africa but I presume there are very few locals in great cities such as Kinsasha, Lagos or Nairobi who have ginger hair called Jimmy. I can’t prove it but it’s a reasonable hunch.

Universities used to be hotbeds of revolution, debate and deep thinkers but now they appear to just pander to the latest fad.

However, there may actually be a positive in allowing Scots to identify as any race they like as it could vastly improve our sporting ability.

The Scotland football team could identify as Brazilian and we’d stroll through the Euro 2020 play-off and go on and swashbuckle our way through the tournament with an array of dazzling goals from 35 yards away. John McGinn could be Zico while Lawrence Shankland could identify as Pele and we’re home and hosed.

It would work in other sports too. Our cricketers could identify as Indian while our distance runners could identify as Kenyan or Ethiopian and the medals would soon roll in.

But there is a very serious side. Black and minority ethnic people still suffer appalling discrimination and allowing white people to identify as them will do nothing at all to help that. It will probably actually make it worse.

It also opens the door to a white person, who identifies as black, to play the race card and claim discrimination, the classic ‘is it cos I is black’ Ali G parody but in real life and not in a comedy.

But no white person can ever understand what it’s like to suffer racial discrimination and it is insulting to try.