Yet another mob has descended upon on an individual it deems unfit for society. This time, the historian David Starkey has been charged, tried and judged to be guilty based on a single line of an interview he took part in. The clip can be watched here:
"Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there?"
David Starkey, one of the most widely known popular 'historians' in the UK who has been a regular fixture on TV and other media for decades. pic.twitter.com/gVeodJakTW
— Louis (@Louis_Allday) July 2, 2020
There is no doubt that the historian could have been less coarse in the way he explained how slavery was not genocide. Although it does not look as clear to me as it seemingly does to everyone else that this was meant as a derogatory comment. In fact it seems as though the use of ‘damn’ was to emphasise his point rather than to be exasperated at the existence of black people, however inappropriate the context may seem to some.
And, briefly, I think Starkey is right to say slavery was not genocide. Slavery was (and is) poison, exploitative, evil and utterly barbaric. But it is not genocide, for this is the deliberate policy to wipe out a race. The Western slave trade clearly was not designed to wipe out people from Africa, it was subjugation and economic exploitation that, if anything, needed slaves to be alive to work. In such topics as controversial and important as slavery is, using correct English is important for proper debate.
Most importantly, this event shows that the world many on the left would have us believe in is an utter lie. Otherwise why would Starkey’s status in the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s most esteemed institutions of education, be threatened if the system of the West is geared to favour white men and subjugate minorities?
It is not just Fitzwilliam College, one of the colleges at the University of Cambridge, who has threatened to review Starkey’s position- he has an honorary fellowship at the college. Lancaster University have also said they are reviewing his status as an honorary graduate. Canterbury Christ Church University have also cancelled his position as a ‘Visiting Professor’. These are only a few examples of establishments cutting ties with Starkey; much of the media, including the BBC and Sky have joined in, or have at least not even attempted to defend him, and the publisher Harper Collins has said they will not publish his books again.
The views expressed by David Starkey in his recent interview are abhorrent and we unreservedly condemn them. Our last book with the author was in 2010, and we will not be publishing further books with him. We are reviewing his existing backlist in light of his comments and views.
— HarperCollinsUK (@HarperCollinsUK) July 2, 2020
Joining in the chorus of execration as well is the man who interviewed Starkey, Darren Grimes, as well as many conservatives allegedly against “cancel culture”. The ex-chancellor Sajid Javid has also attacked Starkey for his comments.
It is worth contrasting this with the treatment of another academic at Cambridge, Priyamvada Gopal. After recently tweeting ‘White Lives Don’t Matter’, Cambridge University responded by saying they defend free speech and promoting Gopal to a professor.
The University defends the right of its academics to express their own lawful opinions which others might find controversial and deplores in the strongest terms abuse and personal attacks. These attacks are totally unacceptable and must cease.
— Cambridge University (@Cambridge_Uni) June 24, 2020
Gopal has also, in the past, tweeted how she resists the urge to kneecap white men.
Where was the outrage in the mainstream media or the powerful institutions of our society in response to these comments?
As well, how does the comparison of these two stories logically fit in with the narrative that Britain is systematically racist? People may argue that his comments were racist, or at least offensive, but surely this event contradicts any notion that there is systemic oppression; any institution in society that has the power to enforce systemic racism is against Starkey.
If the University of Cambridge, the media or, to be frank, anyone who claims to be conservative was serious in its defence of free speech and of the pursuit of truth, it would defend Starkey and place an obstacle in the way of the mob. Instead, the mob will carry on its assault on Starkey. Until it moves on to its next victim.
Photo by Surrey County Council News on Flickr.
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