Guilty Outrage: Frank Assessment Disrupts Comfortable Racism

Why waste so much time with obvious red herrings and diversions? Please tell me you are not so intimidated by David Starkey’s reputation for scholarship that you failed to notice his naked contempt. It couldn’t have possibly been made any more obvious for you, could it? I mean, that was the entire purpose for his appearance on the show!

Starkey capitalized on this projection of gravitas to easily deliver, straight into the bloodstream of his liberal audience, the message they most wanted to hear. Or do you think that people don’t usually express such a volume of outrage when they feel guilty?

I would invite you to see this link containing a sound bite from BBC Newsnight,  the only version a great majority of commenters are likely to watch for themselves and perhaps the only version you are likely to ever  see on your local news program. [Please do that now if you have not yet heard or read Starkey’s comments] I chose this particular excerpt, instead of citing the entire discussion (which you’ll find easily without my help) not so much for what Starkey said, but for the quote contained in the description above in which Labour Member of Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, is quoted as asking:

Why was racist analysis of Starkey unchallenged?

That’s a very plain question which, coming from anyone else, I would consider naive. But, no one should be taken in by this bit of transparent political rhetoric. As though Corbyn didn’t know!

Everyone loves to repeat Starkey’s little flesh wound, “whites have become black”. Great converstation starter, isn’t it? Meanwhile, no one cares to take to task the patronizing and clumsy racism from the self-styled expert on youth culture, Owen Jones, author of Chavs. He thought it would be appropriate just then to intone — addressing him to his face with finger-wagging earnestness — that Starkey was:

…equating black culture with criminality…white people, he calls that ‘being respectable’…black culture in this country has had a huge contribution, like music and – and a whole range of cultural ways

And Starkey cuts him off instantly!

Starkey nailed this self-styled, fashionably liberal child to the spot and successfully diverted the rest of the conversation, irreversibly toward a weakly defended attack on “black culture”! As though smelling blood in water, Starkey inquired after Jones’s thoroughly insipid citation of black musical contributions:

Like, ‘Rap’? Do you glorify Rap?

The rudest man in Britain skewered Jones’s superficial and empty headed assessment of “black culture” with the ease of a man well-acquainted with comfortable liberal duplicity. Jones couldn’t have indicted himself any worse or with more efficiency had he merely invoked, say, “natural dancing skills” instead! Meanwhile, blubbering and harrumphing, ineffectual Dreda Say Mitchell could offer little more than polite indignation. The camera and all attention was on David Starkey and his stale, pseudo-academic frankness. His facile and scripted false equivalences met no competent argument! Neither of the “published” authors seated in that studio had the confidence to lob deserved mockery on Starkey during this cathartic, made-for-TV moment!

By the way, did Starkey say, “Jamaican patois”? What a fucking idiot.




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