Sunday, August 14, 2011

In defence of David Starkey

Wrote this piece for my friends in Singapore: my perspective of what Mr Cameron called the "sick society".

David Starkey in using the phrase "The whites have become black" has been branded a "racist".

I am no fan of Mr Starkey. As a social scientist from outside the UK, one who is not weighed down by the guilt of British colonialism (but is in fact a product of it), one who is colour-blind except when it is culturally significant, I feel that Mr Starkey is only using this statement to make a "shortcut" to what I had alluded to in my original blog piece referenced above.

There is something in the black African/West Indian/Caribbean culture/s that is preventing their younger generations from benefitting from all the resources thrown at them in the UK. The same is happening amongst a certain class of young white generations.

Taxpayers should be keen to ascertain what exactly are the factors (fatherlessness, lack of disciplinary boundaries, benefits culture, lack of role models/role model substitutes, etc) driving this and come up with solutions. And soon. Before another generation is "wasted".

To shout "racist" every time a cultural reference is made does not make the problem go away. On the contrary. This is an ostrich mentality. It stifles discussion and does no one any favours.

Put it this way, if research shows that black people are more prone to certain diseases, and further studies show that this is due to their diet, would it be racist for the researchers to flag up this problem by saying, for example, "black (or white, Chinese, Turkish, whatever) people should reduce the consumption of abc as it increases their chances of contracting xyz"?

To muzzle those who wish to spread this message by crying "racist" is to ensure that the people group concerned are forever doomed to poor health because no one would dare, or is allowed to, speak the truth.

Likewise to sweep obvious facts under the carpet on spurious cries of "racist" is to condemn a people group forever, to ensure that they would never enjoy the trappings of happiness and success now reserved for those outside this group.

Was David Starkey being racist on Newsnight last night?

If David Starkey is racist then so is everybody 

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