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Right-Wing Historian Claims Slavery Wasn't Genocide Because There Are 'So Many Damn Blacks' Around

Right-Wing Historian Claims Slavery Wasn't Genocide Because There Are 'So Many Damn Blacks' Around

The discourse around race relations is being examined under a microscope in our current political landscape. In many cases, people are being taken to task for the racist things they say, much more than they have at any point in the past.

This isn't just happening in the United States, but across the ocean as well. In the UK, historian David Starkey has always been a controversial figure, with other historians condemning his work.

However, it wasn't until now that he's experienced genuine consequences for his inflammatory ideas.

In the above video, Starkey is speaking on a podcast called Reasoned, hosted by right-wing figure, Darren Grimes.

When the topic of the UK's history of slavery came up, Starkey spoke his mind.

"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."

He also criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming it has been characterized by "violence" and "victimhood" and described pulling down statues as "deranged."

Most worryingly, Starkey—who one should be reminded is a supposed historian—tried to argue that something that happened in the past seems to have no effect on the present.

He said:

"As for the idea that slavery is this terrible disease that dare not speak its name, it only 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."
"We don't go on about that."

Again, Starkey is an historian, a person whose job is arguably about the effects the past has on our present.

As Starkey speaks, his interviewer nods his head seemingly in agreement. However, after the backlash began, Darren Grimes put out a statement saying he does not condone Starkey's words.

Grimes himself is in hot water over his description of his podcast when he launched it. He's invited anyone who is in "fear of being called homophobic, a TERF or a racist" to join his movement.

So despite his weak condemnation of Starkey, not many are willing to believe him.

Starkey's reckoning has been a long time coming. Despite a history of inflammatory comments, it's the more recent ones that have had people ready to see him dropped from political commentary.

In 2011, Starkey spoke on riots taking place in England, putting the blame on "gangsta" culture and saying "the Whites have become Black." When the BBC received hundreds of complaints over his comments, he doubled down and defended it.

For those waiting for some kind of comeuppance since, this might be cathartic. Starkey has been facing actual consequences for his comments last week.

Publisher HarperCollins has dropped Starkey in light of the recent controversy. Canterbury Christ Church University also terminated his role as a visiting professor.

Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Cambridge accepted the resignation of Starkey from his honorary fellowship.

There is an argument to be made for diversity of thought when it comes to debate or philosophy. However, it's much better to bring new ideas to the table, rather than espousing tired and old racist thoughts debunked years ago.

Especially when a purported historian swaps lies, exaggeration and half-truths for facts to support their own bigotry.