As many struggle to find answers to explain the explosion of rage and violence in the wake of the riots across England, David Starkey, a well-noted British historian, says the answer is clear: White youngsters have become Black.
“A substantial section of the chavs have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion.
“Black and white, boy and girl operate in this language together. This language which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.”
His controversial comments came just days ago when he was a guest on BBC2. To explain his assertion, Starkey cited conservative, anti-immigration politician Enoch Powell who predicted that one day the Black man would have the “whip hand” over the White man.
Many have condemned Starkey’s comments, labeling them racist and irresponsible. CNN’s Piers Morgan tweeted, “RIP David Starkey’s TV career. And good riddance. Racist idiot,” and respected BBC journalist Robert Peston commented, “David Starkey’s nasty ignorance is best ignored not worthy of comment or debate.”
Since making the controversial comments, Starkey has tried to clean up his statements, saying they had little to do with skin color, and everything to do with culture.
He told the Daily Mail: “I said until I was blue in the face on the programme that I was not talking about skin colour but gang culture. A large group of whites have started to behave like blacks. I think that is the most unracial remark anyone can make.”
Although the London riots were devastating, many hope that they will finally force the UK to openly discuss race and class disparities in the country. Because if comments like Starkey’s tell us nothing else, it’s clear that an open and honest conversation is needed if Britain will move forward and heal from this tragedy.
What do you think of Starkey’s comments? Can anyone ever “become Black”? Let’s talk about it!
*Photo and video courtesy of The Daily Mail