Ahhh, the Brit awards. Not only is it time to show off our diverse range of talent and award them for their artistic creativity, but a time to celebrate our unified culture and embracing all backgrounds. However, as with every significant award ceremony, it has to turn political.
Rapper and artist, Dave, was the latest to grandstand his distain for the Conservative party. Following in the footsteps of fellow artist, Stormzy, Dave also has vocalised accusations of racism against sitting Prime Minister, Boris Johnson after referencing the Tory’s handling of Grenfell in his act.
However, feeding into the race narrative often does more harm than good to the people you seek to help. To explain this, we’ll have to look a bit deeper.
What the narrative actually suggests
Dave and Stormzy aren’t directly to blame for this. They’re what we call, feeders as they’re helping to fuel a much more damaging narrative. We should all be calling out racism when we see it; when it’s unjustified, this is when we run into problems.
Making sweeping statements like ‘Johnson is racist’ or ‘the government is racist’ paints a horrible picture for young impressionable black men and women. Suggesting to them that the country is endemically racist and they’re going to inevitably struggle because of nameless, faceless people in power restricting their ability to succeed based on the colour of their skin is not only incorrect – but morally wrong.
In the UK, discrimination laws are in place to acknowledge backwards behaviour and defend those vulnerable (something that many countries do not have). Black women and men, born in the UK, have the same fundamental rights as anybody else. A real ‘pro-black’ message would champion a narrative that helps black people realise they are no longer an oppressed class and achieve their ambitions in a society that will let them.
There is also blatant hypocracy in this overall narrative as it normally comes from wealthy blacks in positions of social power. People who have made it, telling people of the same race, they can’t make it or will struggle to make under the shackles of their political enemies is morally questionable.
Is there truth in Dave and Stormzy’s arguements?
To answer that, we need to look clean up any definitions. To be an actual racist, you have to believe the fundament principle that races are superior to others. Racism is also defined as prejudice against a race based on skin colour or race based characteristics.
People often refer to Johnson’s ‘letterbox scandal’ or his labelling of Uganda children as “flag-waving piccaninnies”. Despite being generally egregious comments Made in the past by the now sitting Prime Minister, to prove he’s a racist, we need evidence that he has actively discriminated and acted with malice against races – and as far as we’re aware, he hasn’t.
If you choose to believe that his a racist based on his racially insensitive comments, you have to be philosophically consistent across the board. By that standard, attributing people’s ideological beliefs based on things they’ve said – then figures like Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Rebecca Long-Bailey are rampant, Jew-hating Antisemites.
But do we believe they are? No! But some consistency needs to be thrown in. The same goes for leading figure heads in the black community. It is up to them to stop perpetuating a narrative that stirs black anxiety and holds them back and let them use their rights to benefit there lives – like anyone else in the UK, no matter what their colour or creed.