Yet again, historian David Starkey is embroiled in another racism controversy. As if his comments about the London riots were not bad enough, it seems Starkey is back for round two.
After being invited on Darren Grimes’ “Reasoned” podcast – ironic, given what Starkey went on to say – Starkey descended into a shocking diatribe on slavery, claiming it wasn’t really “genocide” otherwise there wouldn’t be so many “damn Blacks” in Africa and Britain and “an awful lot of them survived”.
His comments are a shameless attempt at dehumanising Black people – and he speaks about Black people as if they are undesirable or vermin. Indeed, little discussion is necessary of these comments, because they speak for themselves.
And then, of course, is the outrageous general claim that if there are survivors of a genocide, it did not happen. Not only is that false, ahistorical nonsense – made all the more shocking when it comes from the mouth of a “historian” – it is deeply offensive to communities who have experienced genocides.
Not only that, but it quite literally echoes arguments neo-Nazis use to delegitimise those calling the Holocaust a genocide because there are survivors. It’s no exaggeration to say that Starkey’s comments are a brazen manipulation of history.
Next, is the false claim that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was not a genocide. Not only does it reduce the countless different African cultures and ethnic groups into a monolith – which is racist – but it also, quite literally, erases history. The trans-Atlantic slave trade destroyed communities, wiped out cultures, and erased peoples’ histories.
Entire ethnic groups were ended, and others decimated. Many slaves were thrown overboard on the voyages from the African continent to the Americas. And,...