In some ways, well, in many ways, David Starkey is a bit scary. He knows stuff and he knows he knows stuff. To contradict him is an act of folly. His command of English, his passion and his directness of presentation can cut to the quick.
However, he got things a bit wrong on a recent Newsnight programme on BBC2 TV. Well, he actually only really got one thing wrong, and that was to not pick his words more carefully and cautiously as he presented his thoughts on current ‘street’ gang culture.
In truth, his analysis was more or less spot on, but his presentation failed with a crash and burn that will haunt him for a long time.
Unfortunately for Starkey he decided to pre-amble his analysis with clumsy references to a highly controversial speech once given by Enoch Powell, long consigned to the “racist” bin by the liberal elite who were so instructed by the Guardian newspaper.
Once he’d mentioned Enoch Powell, the liberal elite automatically hated him. Their reflex action was to put their fingers in their ears and loudly shout, “Can’t hear you, racist, racist, racist, can’t hear you, can’t hear you.” Hence why they missed any worth in what he was explaining, and why idiots like Ed Millipede joined in with the childish finger-in-ear rants, and the after-shocks are still rumbling to this day.
Starkey was correctly pointing out that the gangs that children join whilst at school, usually when they are 9 or 10, are indeed highly influenced by the negative and glamorised ‘gangsta’ aspects of Afro-Caribbean and Black American culture. Regardless of the actual colour or culture of origin of the street gang child, they will all speak, text and Facebook with one style of voice, using words and mannerisms born directly of the recently coined “Jafaican patios” which is the basis of all street slang in Britain. Why? Well, that’s the question.
Meanwhile, other Blacks and Whites will all speak with clipped tones and intonations born of traditional white middle class culture in order to all be the same. Why?
Well, it will be for exactly the same reason that the gangs copy each other. It’s a form of integration that unfortunately leaves the cultural traditions and mannerisms of the Whites being perceived as what the educated and intelligent aspire to, and the cultural traditions and mannerisms of the Blacks being perceived as what the poorly educated and unintelligent aspire to.
Sadly, being this way around appears to load considerable negativity onto Black culture and traditions.
Even though it’s all true, the intelligent and proud Blacks don’t like it, and quite rightly will fight it and pull the race card on anybody who tries to analyse and speak of it. It’s not something to be proud of, especially since there are many other aspects of original Black culture and roots that have a far superior mortal value but are brushed aside for only the bad bits.
However, understanding what’s happening and being able to objectively strip it down is not racist. David Starkey is not racist. To call him that is to demonstrate the same ignorance as the street gangs.