Darcus Howe: “Show some respect for an old West Indian … “

Wikipedia’s entry on DH starts

Darcus Howe (born 1943) is a British broadcaster, columnist, and civil liberties campaigner. Originally from Trinidad, he moved to America in the 1960s, then arrived in England intending to study law, where he joined the British Black Panthers, the first such branch of the organization outside the United States.[1] He came to public attention in 1970 as one of the Mangrove Nine, when he marched to the police station in Notting Hill, London, to protest against police raids of the Mangrove restaurant, and again in 1981 when he organized a 20,000-strong “Black People’s March” in protest at the handling of the investigation into the New Cross Fire, in which 13 black teenagers died.[2]

He is a former editor of Race Today, and former chair of the Notting Hill Carnival. He is best known in the UK for his “Black on Black” series on Channel 4; his current affairs programme, Devil’s Advocate; and his work with Tariq Ali on Bandung File. His television work also includes White Tribe (2000), a look at modern Britain and its loss of “Englishness”; Slave Nation (2001); and “Who You Callin’ a Nigger?” (2004).[3] He writes columns for New Statesman and The Voice.

The following interview is disturbing in several respects.  Given Howe’ earned stature, it provides an insight into kinds of divisions that may have been operating in producing the riots, as Howe clearly thinks.  In short, we are seeing a problem exemplified.

The BBC has apologized for the unfortuate question.

4 thoughts on “Darcus Howe: “Show some respect for an old West Indian … “

  1. Hi Jackie, it was a very disrespectful interview. It made the sense of “them vs us” very clear.

    There’s another interview with him on TV; Edwina Currie, whom you may remember as a conservative MP, was maintaining that while there was a taint of racism in England in 1981, now there is none.

    Actually, there are a number of interviews with him on youtube. One has a fascinating account by a London blogger of what went on between the initial shooting and the riots, which consisted in the police trying to dispel community leaders who wanted to hold talks and beating up, e.g., a young girm. He and Howe were pointing out that Scotland Yard lost its leadership during the hacking scandal and that there’s lots of hard nose posturing that in effect amounts to various people’s job applications for those top positions.

  2. This is London. The English riots have been different elsewhere. It would be a mistake to think that they were race riots.

  3. Goodness, it’s like she had a lesson in “patronizing” before she went on air. It’s all outrageous, but particularly ironic when she lectures him about waiting for the Board of Inquiry report in the Duggan case before drawing any conclusions, despite her clear position on the indefensibility of the riot/insurrection, which is clearly based firmly on a lack of inquiry.

    “Marcus Dowe” is just proof that she’s not familiar with Howe and his work, and probably isn’t qualified to do the interview. Although, whether anyone else at the Beeb would be more competent is an open question …

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