After the UK Riots: No Voice for Blacks

Distorted coverage and racist analysis outraged black Brits, who are now shut out of the post-mortem.

Getty Images
Getty Images

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

John was adamant that he was not scaremongering; he was simply expressing a real concern that the mood of the country was in rapid decline. The majority of those I interviewed were clear that some kind of uprising was imminent and that it wouldn’t be young people spilling onto the streets protesting. The reality could be that of older generations acting out against the recession. 

Rewind back to April 2010, when it went largely unnoticed that Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the man appointed deputy prime minister, warned that England was at serious risk for riots if there were heavy cuts to public services.

In London, the death of Mark Duggan was the incident that served as the trigger for this year’s riots. It is argued by most of Britain’s media — particularly the white middle-class media — that the violence outside of London was pure and simple shoplifting on a major scale.

If we review the footage of looting and burning in the major cities, the majority of those who were trying on sneakers, stealing TVs and burning down buildings were white and over 25. Yet the British media are intent on broadcasting image after image of young black boys in the latest tracksuit recounting their tales of why they felt the need to steal that mobile phone or keyboard.

This has galled a large segment of blacks in England. The majority of the looters were white and were not juveniles. They were not young black men. Professor David Starkey’s outburst that “whites have become black” confirmed for many of us that there is a determination to make the young black male the scapegoat. It’s official: The Young Black Male is the root of Britain’s ills!

But why, we ask, was an aged Tudor historian given a voice to inform the British public about 21st-century riots? Not a day goes by without someone asking me if I have seen the Starkey interview — such is the level of disbelief about his appearance on national TV. Why was he allowed to vent his vile rhetoric?