Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Response To David Strakey's Racist Comments Wrapped Up!

Since the London Riots I've heard some of the most outrageous, outright racism mainly from (educated and unappreciative) white middle class people. This weekend I did a gig at a Festival in Bath and got into a conversation with a lovely (white and higher educated) lady who works for a bank who had this to say.

"What on earth do these ethnics have to complain about living in this country? Its not like South Africa is it? no! we have a fair and functioning society with free health care and welfare state. It's disgraceful and they should have bought in the army"  etc

I asked her to expand on the South Africa comment and she said

"White people know about oppression, my friend is a white South African... I mean sure she has black maids and the rest of it but she's having a hard time as a white person out there"

I've not seen South Africa for myself but I'm going out there to work in a township for two months in November. I'll comment on this when I've seen it for myself but I think I know enough to be sure this is a shallow and insensitive comment.

Now, lots of people I know personally have shocked me with some of their twitter comments and facebook updates and I couldn't help but be a little conscious over my own social standing as a young, Jamaican and British male born and raised in Hackney (in a single parent home).

I used to do voluntary work in Hackney Youth Clubs and I've grown up attending quite a few around London. The comment made by a Politician about "the kinds of kids that got involved with the riots aren't the kind to want to go to university or play ping pong at a youth club" is a horrific statement to make.

I've seen kids who despite carrying knives and smoking weed on the (youth club) premises, responded positively to the youth club environment. It kept them off the streets and many of them were pretty good at ping pong. (ha!)

Anyway, after seeing Starkey's comments which has angered and embarrassed as many white people as it has black. I couldn't help but once again be made aware of the horrific prejudice that has surfaced from the skins of our society in this past week.

This video from Nabil Abdul Rashid is on the money!

Here's a poem by Chill Pill's Mista Gee which featured on BBC Radio the other day.

 Dear Mr Juvenile (An Overview of the 2011 England Riots) by Mr Gee poet 

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