The part of the programme which seems to have most got the Left’s goat is the one where David Starkey says that “the whites have become black.” But again, the cultural point he is making is indisputable. Listen to how many white kids (and Asian kids) choose to speak in black street patois; note the extent to which hip hop and grime garage and their offshoots have penetrated the white mainstream; check out how many white kids like to roll like pimps or perps with their Calvins pulled up to their midriffs and their jean waistbands sagging below their buttocks.
Is anyone seriously going to try to make the case that this isn’t black culture in excelsis? Or does anyone, perhaps, want to persuade me that this is but one tiny and much-exaggerated facet of a broader black culture dominated by opera and madrigal singing and crochet and sonnet-construction and lawn bowls and Shakespeare and new translations of Ovid? If they are capable of doing so then maybe, just maybe, I might accept that there was something demeaning or reductive in Starkey’s comments on black culture. Problem is, I don’t think anyone can. (And I speak, by the way, as someone who quite likes his hop hop and who is very much into the new Kanye West/Jay Z album. But who, listening to it, can’t help noticing that it’s rather more a celebration of gats, hos, casual sex and easy money, than it is an invocation for study, hard work and social conformity.)
To pillory a man for pointing out such a glaringly obvious cultural fact just because he’s white and Right-wing would have been quite wrong even before the riots. Post riots it is positively obscene.
Not just obscene, in fact, but dangerous. Of course, we expect the BBC not to get it. Like the Guardian – and the Labour party – the BBC created the culture that led to these riots, so it’s hardly surprising if it carries on playing the old PC game like the 80s and 90s never went away. But if an up and coming member of Cameron’s Tories hasn’t got the message then we seriously need to worry. The riots were a game changer. The decent majority of this country has moved on. If what David Starkey said was racist, then so are we all.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
David Starkey and black culture
James Delingpole on Starkey's views of the British riots: