Starkey Raving Bonkers

This is a lovely twitpic I found on Owen Jones‘ twitter feed which I think best describes David Starkey; best known as a historian and now proven to be a massively ignorant man. It’s funny isn’t it how sometimes those who we think are educated and capable of logical discussion can be so blindingly basic in their genralised opinions.

If you have been living under a rock these last few days and aren’t aware what new fallacy has been spouted from Starkey’s mouth let me quickly fill you in. The historian appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight alongside authors Owen Jones and Dreda Mitchell to discuss the rioting that occured all over England last week. For some reason Starkey decided that now would be the perfect time to express his inherent racism and put the cause of the rioting down to ‘the whites becoming the new blacks’. He also criticised ‘Jamaican patois‘ which he said had intruded into English language and given people a sense of living in a foreign country , rap music, ‘the nihlistic black gangster lifestyle’ and the most offensive of all, he praised MP for Tottenham David Lammy for being the archetypal successful black man, then said but ‘on the phone he would sound white.’

Now, I already expected these kinds of views to come to the fore in my post last week, but for them to be presented as fact, or educated opinion is not only wrong, it is highly dangerous. Those people sitting at home who hold these same stereotypical views of young black people will feel vindicated by the fact that a celebrated historian is spouting the same rubbish they secretly believe. He even tried to justify his outburst by saying ‘this is a time for plain speaking’ which is true, but this isn’t the time to hide behind ‘plain speaking’ to excercise your blatantly prejudiced and unjustified hate.

Ms Mitchell correctly pointed out that there is not one homogenous  group in black culture, so to speak negatively of all black culture, like there aren’t huge differences, is inaccurate and dangerous. Owen Jones, young and white as he is, also pointed out that lots of people would be offended by what Starkey was saying and that he was painting a picture where being black was negative. To me it is simply a man failing to understand that these riots could not be blamed on ‘young black males’ as evidence shows the rioters were a mix of ethnicities, sex and age. Without an easy scapegoat, Starkey had to find a way to blame ‘the blacks’ – even if his comments have come at the cost that he is now  a laughing stock amongst people who have sense.

My main issue however, is that my TV Licence fee funded the program, and probably paid, this idiot to come on my TV and spout hate. As much as the BBC will claim they were trying to present the whole argument, or be provocative it is simply dangerous to allow a man who quoted Enoch Powell‘s hateful ‘Rivers Of Blood‘ speech, as having being fulfilled. Powell’s famous speech is staunchly racist and anti-immigration and most often quoted by mindless racist thugs from the BNP or EDL – not scholars who appear on the BBC.

It is also sad that Starkey as a gay man feels absolutely at liberty to unjustly stereotype another group in society in such a hateful fashion, not that gay rights and equal racial  rights are the same thing, but as an openly gay man in the 1970’s he must’ve felt a certain amount of hosility at some point in his life. People like Starkey can’t see past their own nose and spout crap willy nilly without even considering that they might be wrong. For that reason I would like all you readers to click here, and sign this petition for a full apology from Starkey and a fine to the BBC for broadcasting such utter shite  – and making us pay for the privelege.


Monica Rahman