uk riots: Starkey, ‘whites have become black’. ed, ‘thank god for that!’


So this historian, David Starkey, told BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ that ‘the whites have become black’ and hit out at ‘the destructive, nihilistic gangster culture’ that has influenced the whites, and thus contributed to the rioting in the UK. 



So have the ‘whites’ become ‘black’, or ‘more black’.  Yes.  Quite.  But where this silly bloke Starkey thinks its a bad thing, ed knows its a good thing. 



The whites, generally, are quite the dispassionate people, compared to, say, the Blacks, Arabs, and, Indians - i’ve associated with British, Jamaican and African Blacks and found them to be exceedingly bright-eyed and passionate, and especially the latter two. 

Just take a look at the ‘white’-defined dictionary, also known as, the Oxford dictionary.  It defines ‘dispassionate’ as,

‘not influenced by strong emotion, and so able to be rational and impartial’

Ridiculous definition of course as it is defined out of the context.  You have to consider the context within which passion is displayed to determine if it compromises objectivity.  We can rationally come to conclusions dispassionately, and then, on the basis of what we realise from these objectively-ascertained conclusions, push for change passionately.  Or, we can passionately search for the truth, whilst analysing all factors objectively.  The means and the spirit are not one and the same thing.  But the dictionary definition betrays the influence of the relatively sedentary ‘white’ culture - though ‘sedentary’ is not as applicable to the Spanish, Italians, or Americans, amongst others.  But that can certainly be said of English culture. 

Let’s get to the issue at hand. 

ed says, it’s a good thing that the ‘whites’ are becoming ‘black’. 

Black passion is impressing upon the whites that the unacceptability of evils are something that is worth feeling greatly about. We just need to channel it toward more legitimate means wherein it can effectively express itself. To extinguish it, or to keep the whites 'white', just serves to whitewash the systemic evils that are the real perpetrators of the riots. It has a good and bad side to it.  The good thing about it is that the whites’ tottering passion in their engagement with the systemic evils in society can be reinvigorated with Black passion.  The problem with being English, or any race/culture for that matter, is that our perceptions of what is right and wrong is determined by a combination of the evils which we’ve successfully managed to challenge, and the evils which we have gotten used to because we have constantly failed to uproot it.  It is the fusion of both that leads to the perpetuation of the latter evils.  (as i said some years ago in the guise of ‘the inquisitor’, ‘the root of all evil finds its refuge in that which is perceived to be good’) Meditate on that for moment.  Strike a ‘Buddha pose’ under a tree if it helps.

The bad side about the ‘whites’ becoming ‘black’ is that amongst the underclass, it can stir up emotions to the point that it can explode into the rage of looting and violence as we witnessed the past week in the UK - i saw a group of about 10 ‘hoodies’ gathering a stone’s throw away from my place a few days ago - which i’ve never seen before - but they dispersed a while later....but i got my rolling pin ready, just in case.  But the problem here isn’t Black passion, but the existence of a system that deprives the underclass of effective means by which their angst might be expressed and expect redress.

So without ‘black’ influence, the rampage might not have happened?  Perhaps.  Or even if it did, would it have raged to the extent it did?  Perhaps not.  But whilst it is a bad thing, it is also a good thing.  I’m not encouraging it, just explaining it a bit, so bear with me. 

The problem here isn’t Black passion, or ‘gangster culture’ or whatever you wish to call it.  A fire only spreads if there is enough flammable material around, and enough of a breeze to stoke it forward. 

The criminal way that the blacks and black-whites express their angst just serves to indicate the degree to which more rational means by which their grievances may have been redressed have become too white in character. How much of the systemic evils in the UK have seen the whites ‘dispassionately’ getting used to it?  Black passion, angst, ‘don’t confuse shite for appetisers’, approach toward life might have fuelled the helplessness of the whites that have been reinforced by the ‘dispassion’ of English culture.  It exploded in the criminal looting and rampage the UK was exposed to.  But whilst such an articulation of angst is wrong, it betrays the systemic evils of the system.  Black passion, ‘gangster culture’, etc, just serves to kick up a greater fuss about it.  We can also say that till Black passion has successfully turned the whites into blacks at legitimate levels of political confrontation, the underclass is going to feel politically impotent enough to do as some of them did the past week.  But when the underclass see the political as pointless since it has been too sedated with relatively dispassionate ‘white’ culture, then they’re going to rule it out, and take a bin to the windows of Debenhams and Marks and Sparks. 

That doesn’t mean that it ought to be condoned.  Rather, it serves as a reminder of the evils of a system which the whites may have become accustomed to by their dispassionate attempts to compensate for it by a host of means, be it selling off their antiques at Dickenson’s Real Deal, buying the lottery, drowning their sorrows in economy alcohol from Asda, taking some solace in Little Britain or Red Dwarf, or saving up for ages so that they can sun themselves silly in Spain.  Blacks are teaching the whites that if something is evil, it is worth shouting about, instead of ‘being civilised’ and minding one’s Ps and Qs, and hence moving on to doing one’s best to make it more palatable.  Black passion is impressing upon the whites that the unacceptability of evils are something that is worth feeling greatly about.  We just need to channel it toward more legitimate means wherein it can effectively express itself.  To extinguish it, or to keep the whites 'white', just serves to whitewash the systemic evils that are the real perpetrators of the riots. You know those instances where some 'whites' like to think you've lost the argument and laugh because you use vulgarities and yell out your viewpoint? That's the point, not where you've lost the argument, but where they childishly give themselves the excuse to your views by focusing on your usage of vulgarities. The same thing is going on in this situation. See the parallel? One fuels the other.

Just laying the blame on Black culture and saying that the ‘whites have become black’ is just another attempt to whitewash an evil the system.Let’s not forget, Black passion cannot spur the whites to greater or volatile heights of expression unless there is something to yell about it.  The criminal way that they express it just serves to indicate the degree to which more rational means by which their grievances may have been redressed have become too white in character.  In a nutshell, Black passion is teaching the whites to yell about something which they have become accustomed to drenching in salt and vinegar to make more palatable. 

Just laying the blame on Black culture and saying that the ‘whites have become black’ is just another attempt to whitewash an evil the system.  



ed



2 comments:

  1. for Starkey, 'black' seems to be about destruction, violence, nihilism; how can a historian be so ignorant??? If you're gonna go the way of racializing complexity (a pretty dim-witted way), my definition of 'black' would be i) hugely courageous and politically astute under massive systemmic and centuries-long injustice ii) diverse and dynamic -- a thousand 'cultures'/voices, beings under one 'roof' iii) smart as hell - Walter Rodney, Angela Davis, Amina Mama, on and on and on (iv) deeply spiritual/know about the meaning of Land... I think Starkey's PhD should be taken away from him.... the white->black thing is just so dumb, on so many levels

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  2. Hi JForess,

    I wouldn't say that Starkey is all that wrong actually.

    'Black culture' has different faces, and whose features are contoured and delineated by class experiences, and within-class experiences. We can have the 'gangbangers' of the ghetto, as well as 'JJ and family' (ref.Good Times). They do share a common factor though. Passion, vibrancy, critical-mindedness, and fist-in-the-face sort of wit and insight. Starkey is just focusing on the underclass variant of 'Black Culture', i.e., amongst others, 'gangsta' culture, etc.

    In which case, we could say, 'gangsta' culture is what passionate people might do when pushed into a corner. In this case, the problem aren't the Blacks or 'Black culture', but the 'corner'. Of course we could vilify and get rid of their passion altogether - like the Chinese in s.e.Asia do with the non-Chinese - or render them sedate enough to be 'moderate' in their expressions of angst.

    Yes. The blacks are certainly massive courageous, and have withstood the great trials and tribulations that they underwent in the colonial and post-colonial period. But, that said, if it was China that had done to the Blacks that which was done by western colonialists, they wouldn't have emerged with the vibrant culture that they have now. They would have been assimilated and resistance would have been futile.

    Yes. I certainly think that Starkey's PhD should be taken away, but then again, that would just give non-PhD holders a bad name wouldn't it. ;)

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