Why Stormzy Was Wrong About Britain’s Racism…

Sort of.

Recently Stormzy was disappointedly but predictably dragged in the media for his misquoted comments from an interview where he was asked whether he thought Britain is racist, he responded with “yeah, 100%”. For those of us who have a decent grasp in reading comprehension, it was obvious that he wasn’t saying the country is 100% racist, but that yes, there is racism is 100% present in the UK. Of course, as all Union Jack wielding white people do after they loudly claim this colonising country isn’t racist – they begin defending it by…being racist. There was a flurry of “If you don’t like it, you can just leave” “your father was absent and your family depended on the state so be grateful” “You’re the true racist, you have a scholarship that discriminated against white people!” It does not matter to them that Stormzy was actually born in the UK, has always paid his taxes and has done a lot more for Black youth than the “not-racist” British government they all rush to defend.  You see, Black people must be grateful for Britain’s apparently tolerant attitude to non-white people, and if we do manage to jump through all the hoops and succeed, we can’t talk about the white privileged shaped hurdles we had to jump over to get there.

Stormzy like an absolute G did not subscribe to the  “when they go low, we go high” rhetoric when the media started bashing him. No, with his chest he said I’m no better than them, they’re not acting classy so why should I? and then told them all to suck his dick. A man after my own heart. Here’s where I disagree with him though; this country is 100% racist. The beautiful British Empire exists because of colonisation and in turn, racism. It’s in the earth and in the air, in the history books and in the news, it’s in every industry and every white person – because ultimately although this country was built with the help of people who look like me, it was built for the melanin deficient. We had our general election a few weeks ago, and this country showed overwhelming support towards an outwardly racist prime minister and party. Their greatest hits including the Grenfell fire, the unjust deportation of the Windrush generation and most recently, an erection of a statue of a notorious racist and anti-semite. (Johnson himself also featured with “pickaninnies with watermelon smiles, compared hijab-wearing women to letterboxes and said gay men were tank top wearing bum-boys). My little woke bubble on social media was naturally outraged by each and every one of these incidents and comments but most of the country outside of London share these sentiments, and unfortunately, the success of the Tories only means that we will start hearing them on the street far louder and more frequently than ever before.

Every Black person I know in the UK has some story of being discriminated against. I personally recall having dog faeces put through my letterbox at 6 years old because my neighbours did not want Black children in the estate. I have put up with micro-aggressions my entire life including school “friends” grabbing at my hair like I was a goat at the Urban Farm. I was expected to know how to twerk as well as often overly sexualised due to my body and skin tone. The smell of my food and hair products mocked regularly “why is your hair always so greasy? omg, your food STINKS” and told I was not like other Black girls (they could never answer what they meant by this one when pressed). There’ve been more serious incidents too like being verbally assaulted by strangers and physically threatened, but much of it I have blocked out. I am sure the level of severity of these types of incidents multiplies tenfold when you add in other factors like having a darker skin tone, being Muslim, Gay and/or Trans. There is countless anecdotal evidence, and statistics that prove this country is one of the most racist to exist. However, society does not deem it acceptable to talk down on the wonderful British Empire that allowed Black people to walk and work alongside the native whites. They have given us freedom, all whilst denying any contribution to the slave trade – the irony.

I am willing to say with my entire chest how racist this country is, and a lot of you will know that I do, often. However, I feel powerless: if Stormzy with all his accumulated power, influence and money can not change the minds of the masses, then what hope do I have? Even if we somehow manage to force this country to look in the mirror and realise the atrocities of colonisation, slavery and the consequential racial wealth gap, targeted police brutality and general undercurrent of white supremacy that buzzes constantly like electricity running through the telephone wires – they will still find a way to justify it and make no change. Below are screenshots from a pussyclart who although is verified on Twitter, he is wildly irrelevant. He posted these tweets throughout the Stormzy interview drama – I don’t want any white person to read them and think this is an outlier view – this is a common viewpoint in this country and it’s what we’re up against daily. This view of white saviourism and supremacy has been shoved down our throats since the moment we were growing in our mothers’ bellies, our childhoods are shaken from ignorant bliss to a stark reality like a baby bird flung from its best.

A lot of white people in this country are also generally clueless about Britain’s colonising past; it’s hidden from school textbooks like the dirty secret it is. The problem is that hiding one’s past does not play out well in the future, the truth always comes out in the end. Maybe if it was out of embarrassment or genuine shame we could cut Britain some slack, but then we have to remember that as recently as 2018, the British government were reimbursing families who lost money when they were no longer allowed to keep their slaves – (using taxpayer money by the way). On the contrary, do you wanna know how much money the descendants of slaves were awarded (that could’ve helped contribute to closing the gap on generational wealth)? Fuck all. Some racism, such as this is easy to point out but it’s not always that easy – some of the more individual and personal racist incidents fall into this category and thus they are often not reported (so fuck your ‘which country in Europe is more racist?’ graphs – they’re lacking in information). As Stormzy pointed out, racism is definitely present in the UK and it grows uglier and bolder each day.

It’s hard to end this post because I have no answers, does anyone? I don’t believe this country will ever become progressive enough to face its crimes and awful treatment of Black and people of colour. I personally see this country having a long conservative government reign that will breed and promote more violent racism from the same infested petri dish that Boris Johnson derived from. I see nationalism being celebrated at the detriment of minority communities and trips outside the M25 being a risky mission for anyone who wouldn’t pass the paper bag test. I see police brutality to increase and worsen, and discrimination of all aspects to become acceptable behaviour.

I predict all of this because Britain is 100% racist.

Until next time,

Demi – Colleen x

Extra reading;

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/29/slavery-abolition-compensation-when-will-britain-face-up-to-its-crimes-against-humanity

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/slavery-database-goes-live

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/12/treasury-tweet-slavery-compensate-slave-owners

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-people-are-proud-of-colonialism-and-the-british-empire-poll-finds-a6821206.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/time-teach-colonial-history-british-schools-180830055614463.html

(Not extensive, please continue to research and read more beyond these links).

Books to start with;

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

Don’t Touch My Hair – Emma Dabiri

Black And British: A Forgotten History – David Olusoga