David Starkey says ‘slavery was not genocide’ as ‘so many damn blacks live in Africa and Britain’

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Historian David Starkey has come under fire after claiming ‘slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa, or in Britain’.

The 75-year-old called Black Lives Matter (BLM) ‘wholly and entirely a product of white colonisation’ and its activists ‘not culturally black Africans’.   

In an interview with Darren Grimes, the founder of the pro-Brexit campaign group BeLeave, Starkey said BLM is aiming to delegitimise Britain and ‘the West in general’. 

Speaking via video link from his home, the historian argued ‘the only reason that these young black protestors are here’ is ‘because of slavery’.

When asked what he would say to BLM activists who want to ‘decolonise the curriculum’, Starkey replied: ‘You cannot decolonise the curriculum because you, Black Lives Matter, are wholly and entirely a product of white colonisation. 

Historian David Starkey has come under fire after claiming ‘slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa, or in Britain’

In an interview with Darren Grimes, the founder of the pro-Brexit campaign group BeLeave, Starkey said BLM is aiming to delegitimise Britain and 'the West in general'

In an interview with Darren Grimes, the founder of the pro-Brexit campaign group BeLeave, Starkey said BLM is aiming to delegitimise Britain and ‘the West in general’

The 75-year-old called Black Lives Matter (BLM) ‘wholly and entirely a product of white colonisation’ and its activists ‘not culturally black Africans’

‘You are not culturally black Africans. You would die in seconds if you were dumped back in black Africa because you wouldn’t know how to cope. 

‘You’re a product yourselves of cultural and racial mix.’ 

He continued: ‘What has happened of course is that the only reason that these young black protestors are here – isn’t it slavery? 

‘It’s only because of the great African diaspora, the compulsory diaspora, because of slavery. What of course that brings you up to confronting is of course slavery was not the equivalent of the Holocaust. 

‘Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there? An awful lot of them survived.

‘And again, there’s no point in arguing against globalisation or Western civilisation: they are all products of it. We are all products of it.’

His comments follow nearly a month of anti-racist demonstration and protest around the UK following the killing of George Floyd in the US. 

David Starkey

Darren Grimes

Starkey (left) told Darren Grimes (right) that BLM are trying to impose a ‘false history’ of Britain on the country by making slavery ‘central to the picture’

Starkey's comments were denounced by Sajid Javid, who tweeted: 'We are the most successful multi-racial democracy in the world and have much to be proud of. But David Starkey's racist comments ("so many damn blacks") are a reminder of the appalling views that still exist'

Starkey’s comments were denounced by Sajid Javid, who tweeted: ‘We are the most successful multi-racial democracy in the world and have much to be proud of. But David Starkey’s racist comments (“so many damn blacks”) are a reminder of the appalling views that still exist’

Outraged social media users denounced Starkey for comments he made in the interview

Outraged social media users denounced Starkey for comments he made in the interview

Starkey’s comments were denounced by Sajid Javid, the former Home Secretary, who tweeted: ‘We are the most successful multi-racial democracy in the world and have much to be proud of. But David Starkey’s racist comments (“so many damn blacks”) are a reminder of the appalling views that still exist.’

Other social media users followed suit, with one Twitter account asking if Starkey ‘feels similarly’ about the Armenian, Rwandan and Cambodian genocides.

Another posted: ‘Absolutely disgraceful comments from David Starkey.’   

‘This man hates as much as he breathes’, another social media user claimed.

One angry Twitter account posted: ‘Imagine if he said that about the Holocaust. Quite rightly he never would be allowed on TV again.’

One person wrote: ‘Replace “slavery” for “the holocaust” and “damn blacks” for “damn jews” and you’d quite rightly never be allowed in the public eye ever again.’

‘As David Starkey probably knows, only one genocide in history has come close to actually eradicating an entire population,’ another tweeted. 

‘The so-called Black War of the 1820s reduced the number of indigenous Tasmanians to fewer than 300. Guess which empire perpetrated it?’

One social media user commented: ‘David Starkey’s ignorant diatribe consolidate the impression that British historians are much more reactionary than they are.’ 

Another said: ‘Open-mouthed at David Starkey’s racism. Words fail me.’ 

Outraged social media users denounced Starkey for comments he made in the interview

Outraged social media users denounced Starkey for comments he made in the interview

Starkey, a well-known TV and radio personality, called slavery the ‘terrible disease that dare not speak its name’ that was ‘settled nearly 200 years ago’.

‘The honest teaching of the British Empire is to say quite simply it is the first key stage of world globalisation,’ Starkey said.

‘It’s probably the most important moment in human history, and it is still with us.

‘So that’s how you go about tackling it. And as for the idea, as I said, that slavery is this kind of terrible disease that dare not speak its name – it dare not speak its name, Darren, because we settled it nearly 200 years ago. 

‘We don’t normally go on about the fact that Roman Catholics, once upon a time, didn’t have the vote and weren’t allowed to have their own churches because we had Catholic emancipation. And do you know what, we had Catholic emancipation at pretty much the exact same time that we got rid of slavery in the 1830s. 

Outraged social media users denounced Starkey for comments he made in the interview

Outraged social media users denounced Starkey for comments he made in the interview

‘We don’t go on about that because it’s part of history. It’s a question that’s settled.’

Starkey told Mr Grimes that BLM are trying to impose a ‘false history’ of Britain on the country by making slavery ‘central to the picture’.

Talking about US race relations, he said: ‘Slavery in the South was substituted for by a system of organised repression – economic, social and everything else – in the form of segregation. But that’s never been true in Britain.

‘In other words, we’re having a false history forced upon us.’

Starkey made his comments on ‘Reasoned’, which is hosted by Mr Grimes – the founder of pro-Brexit campaign group BeLeave.

Mr Grimes won his appeal last year against a £20,000 fine imposed by the Electoral Commission in 2018 after being accused of breaching spending rules during the EU referendum campaign four years ago. 

Starkey stirred controversy in 2011, when he told the BBC in an interview about the riots that ‘the whites have become the blacks’ and that ‘a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture has become the fashion’.

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