Stacey Dash officially sells her soul to ‘post-racialism’: “Black history month needs to end”

 

The dominance of America’s racial narrative within society, media and social media in the last few years has been persistent, and 2016 is looking to be another racially motivated year for many black Americans and the white supremacist system in which they reside. Following Jada Pinkett-Smith’s criticism of the Oscars awards  and her intention to boycott the awards due to lack of black nominees, a stream of responses from other famous people on the issue of racial inequality in the American film and music industry have been received  from the likes of  rapper Snoop Dogg,  Janet Hubert (AKA dark-skinned aunt Viv from fresh prince) and most recently: Stacey Dash.

 

EXHIBIT A: The video that began it all.

 

Although many comments have been made from the various responses that I do not wholeheartedly agree with, I need to address this “let’s end black history month” foolishness that Dash was spewing in particular. I am certainly not the conspiracy theory type, however if there was ever a time to believe that there are planted agents of white supremacy in the black community, this would be the time to believe it ( although Stacey does not consider herself to be “black”, per se).

The purpose of the creation of black spaces and certain black events, including black history month is to honour the history that led black Americans to make the progress in the fight for the level of equality that they have in the present day. Awards such the BET awards (which is white owned, may I add) reserve recognition for artists that make music within the space of black culture, not only black artists (because white people win  the BET awards too.)

Both America and Britain are western societies, they are white dominated. All of the space is already white space. I find it disgusting that Stacey is proposing that black Americans give up the little black social space that they have accrued, all  in the pursuit of some pseudo equality,  as though black people are the ones that are  keeping racial discrimination alive by simply mentioning it. Black people are still being shot in the street like dogs and the perpetrators are walking free, it’s the 1960’s all over again.

Stacey Dash has obviously sold her soul and  signed the contract of post-racialism and good for her, but many do not have, nor do they want this for themselves. If she wants to abscond from her blackness and join the “slavery was a long time ago, get over it” team, then that is her prerogative. However for her to suggest that the rest of the black US population should do the same, many of whom who are not sitting on the same fame, money and European features as she is, is abhorrent and she needs to go sit down somewhere.

EXHIBIT B: The foolishness.

To  acknowledge and celebrate blackness in a white supremacist system is necessary, and to suggest that anything reserved for blacks needs to end, highlights another case of  the unfaltering audacity of white supremacist thought that Stacey has obviously subscribed to. The oppressed always end up with the short straw and all of the blame in the end.

Personally, the most prominent issue I have with all of this is the fact that black people care so much about the acceptance of white society In the first place. I do agree with Stacey on one thing however: Black people either need to run toward segregation or run away from it, we cannot remain ‘frenemies’ with white society if we want to see real change. I i am not suggesting we  separate ourselves physically from white society, I refer to political, economic and educational segregation. Black needs black in these fields of society as these are the areas in which real change is made, the fields of society that will better our lives.

Equality is not something we can ask for any longer, as it simply will not be given by those who will not benefit from giving it. Equality needs to be built and sustained, obtained through black education and financial literacy, and most of all through proper organisation and unity.

The journey to uplifting black society is not about knocking down the door and begging to be let in because it is raining outside;  It is building a house of our own, even if it is not as glamorous as that white house.

 

 

 

“We’re all Colour blind here”- Post-racialism, political correctness and the irony of multi-culturalism

The most hilarious statement a white British person has ever said to me is that they don’t “see race”.

The second was “I forget that you are black sometimes”.

I looked at them and thought, why are you always lying? The first thing you noticed about me upon introduction was my skin colour and it isn’t a problem, so there’s no need to lie about it.

With these statements in mind, the question that springs to mind is this: Why does British society as a whole, attempt to completely evade conversations regarding racial and cultural differences?

Some answers to Britain’s attitude to racial and cultural differences can be found in the history of mass multi-culturalism in Britain. Masses of people from the commonwealth country India and the Carribbean island of Jamaica, were invited to England to partake in the effort to re-build Britain post-WWII. The ethnic minority population increased the most in the 1950’s and 60’s.  This is known as the windrush. 

However the British public were not prepared (and were not warned) that the migrants arriving would be so ethnically and culturally different to themselves, nor were they informed that there would be quite so many ‘different’ people arriving. The windrush saw Britain rear it’s head in protest to multi-culturalism and  the racial tensions between UK nationals and the migrants reached great heights in all aspects of society.

Well, pretty self-explanatory

Despite this opposition to a diverse Britain presented by it’s nation, the Asian and black migrants showed no signs of returning to their native countries anytime soon. As more migrants arrived from other parts of the world, the anti-immigrant slurs, overt racial abuse and “no dogs, no blacks, no Irish signs” over time simmered down to anti-immigrant grumbles, replacement of the word black with the term ‘urban’ (which still makes me laugh to this day), and the conservative yet still very real continuation of resentment towards ethnic minorities and their cultures.

My favourite multi-ethnic food market in Brixton, London.

I watched an interesting channel four documentary earlier this year, titled Britain’s racist election,  which provided insight into race relations in Britain in the 1960’s after the  influx of black and Asian migrants. The documentary detailed how racially-centred the 1964 UK election became in the city of Smethwick Birmingham, and showed how xenophobia was used by politicians to manipulate the British public to hold hatred and contempt for ethnic minorities.

The documentary is no longer available to view in full online, however I shall post it’s trailer below.

A relationship between the white British and black and Asian migrants built upon the negative broad-brushing and demonising of a whole ethnicity of people, has created a British attitude (no matter how subdued), towards ethnic minorities that is deeply-rooted in racial stereotypes and judgement.

It is these relationships that need to be de-constructed and rebuilt, as the British attitudes to race that were created are a societal ailment that a dose of colour-blindness isn’t going to cure unfortunately.

Protests against unfair treatment towards black people in the Brixton riots, London 1981.

Britain considers itself to be multi-cultural and diverse. However, it appears that it is truly just a society with people of various ethnicities and cultures, pretending that other people with different ethnicities and cultures to themselves  do not exist, and then labelling it colour-blindness, and even worse than that; Categorising this as post-racial behaviour.

Ethnicity and race are not dirty words.  I do not wish for others to pretend they cannot ‘see’ my ethnicity.

It is not colour-blindness that is required here, It is the acknowledgement of racial and cultural differences, without the application of inferiority or superiority to these differences from any one side.

Thoughts?

Did Britain get a Pass? Britain’s colonial past and the guise of post-racialism

The racial tension in The USA at the present time is palpable. Ever since the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida USA, the American media has become a conveyor belt for one high profile case after another of young black men and women dying during the process of questionable civilian and police practices, with little to no reprimand of the individuals involved. The perceived lack of justice shown from the American judicial system in tackling the unjust killing of African-Americans has led to subsequent riots, marches and the establishment of the black lives matter  movement.

BBC’s Britain’s forgotten slave owners

At a time in which race is a particularly sensitive talking point in the media, there could not have been a more fitting time for the British Afro-Caribbean to resonate with the lasting effects of  past exploitation suffered by those living in the African diaspora than in July of this year, on the night on which the first episode of the BBC 2 documentary, “Britain’s forgotten slave owners” aired.  It was a two-part documentary that provided an in-depth account of the journey to the abolition of slavery in Britain.

The documentary hosted by historian David Olosaga, detailed not only the way life was for slave owners and their enslaved, but also provided insight into the incredulous amounts of money paid to compensate slave owners as a negotiation with the British government to bring the slave trade in Britain to an end.

Over 18 billion English pounds was paid to over 46,000 owners in compensation, and this is without considering the wealth  accumulated during the years of entrapment. This vast amount of wealth gained off of the back of one race directly into the pockets of another, made me wonder why the obvious financial benefits that slavery afforded to Britain and it’s economy are not openly discussed in the contemporary black British conversation?

David Olusaga on ‘Britain’s forgotten slave owner’

 The documentary was the first I had ever viewed that broke away from the usual narrative of African slavery in the USA, and clearly depicted that although not often spoken of, a vast amount of Britain’s wealth is also built upon the back of this atrocious period of time in black history.

Britain has definitely attempted to place itself as far as possible from it’s colonial past. However, widespread Black British attitude can be found in the list of facilitators in Britain’s ability to shy away from this discussion for so long.

I personally found it difficult to find anyone to speak to who had seen the documentary, and was even more hard pressed to find anyone who had an opinion on the factual information it presented. It was as though we had all been sworn to secrecy about Britain’s part in the slave trade, as if the subject were taboo to mention somehow.

 The social contract of post-racialism.

 There is often a lack of focus on the structural and systemic nature of racism  that requires attention when discussing post-racialism, or lack thereof in British society. Racism (or racialism) is often only addressed on an individual or micro level.

However systemic racism is a concept that works more effectively ‘top down’ than it does ‘bottom up’.  For the sake of the length of this post and how long it could turn out to be if I were to fully explained this point, here is a video of activist and Rapper Akala, who shares my sentiments on the issue of systemic racism exactly.

Is Britain’s zero tolerance policy to racism and racial inequality  and perceived era of post-racialism that we have in this country, given in exchange for Black Britain’s apathetic attitude towards unresolved issues of colonial days gone by?

I think it is fair to say that many black Brits have gladly,  (and some, unknowingly) entered into  the post-racial contract of ‘we won’t speak about it if you don’t‘ with British society. ‘Britain’s forgotten slave owner’s’ and the lack of response it conjured solidified this stance for me.

 Whilst lounging in the house of British political correctness,  polite conversation at the bus stop and buying into Britain’s slavery was a long time ago” rhetoric,  have Black British Caribbeans left our own racial plight, along with the plight of our ethnic counterparts globally, who are still so clearly struggling with the remnants of Britannia’s colonial rule of the waves, be it socially, economically or both, ‘out in the field’?

 This Pandora’s box of a documentary was one that the BBC did not mind opening, no matter how damning the evidence. Maybe because they knew a majority of those that it depicted the ancestral history of would not look inside, perhaps?

Black, British & Concerned?

Hello,
To be honest, I spent far too much time before I began writing this post deciding how I would begin it. I convinced myself it had to be something deeply intellectual, setting the tone for posts to come. I then decided that time would allow for all the profoundness I liked, and that a simple introduction would suffice for now.
 I consider myself an avid consumer of cultural content;  black cultural content to be specific. I enjoy immersing myself in the discussion of racial topics, concerning the advancement of racially driven, independent conversation in Britain. I want to discuss the cultural and social issues that are affecting us as black Brits, engulfing us even; and whether these issues are considered unwanted topics of conversation that no one wants to take responsibility for, or just an accepted reality that comes with being black in Britain.
The purpose of this blog is to create a platform to express ideas and discuss the issues that resonate with and reflect the realities of life in everyday black Britain. I hope to create a place for the respectful expression of these ideas that may not always make it into our everyday communications. I hope a community can be built here, a collective dare I say? Bringing meaningful cultural, racial and socially centred issues back into the everyday black British conversation, not necessarily in an attempt to establish what is right and wrong of the things of which we observe, but to establish the here and now, what has gone, and develop informed insight of what is to come for us as a people.
So I guess we will just see how it all goes, shall we?
Until next time.