664 likes versus 886 dislikes...man, how utterly deflating, or at least it could be to lesser men who didn't have courage of their convictions. I think when you speak uncomfortable truths, people (whom those truths do not serve) will not like it (period) and will attempt to silence you with their disapproval. It doesn't mean you are not correct though...simply that your ideas are far too radical and disturbing.
Kehinde Andrews speaks here about structural and systemic racism, in schools, in the education system... He doesn't just gently suggest it though, he breaks it down in full unabridged, technicolour glory, explains the whys and hows, so those listening can taste every single mouthful of his thoughts ...and the bitterness is seemingly too much for the British middle classes to take (as can be seen in the comments and the amount of dislikes in the above video). What, our marvellous and hallowed education system, flawed you say? Racist you say? How very dare you!!
I am following a guy called Leon Oldstrong at the moment on Instagram. He talks about his everyday experiences with racism, especially as a teacher. One experience was with a headteacher of colour. She apparently told him that he would make a great headteacher, but that he would have to sacrifice much of his identity and politiscm if he wanted to get there. Basically, calling out and addressing racism within the institution of education would be seen to be in opposition to a good, valid and valued headteacher and would not be amongst the qualities desired...It would be anti the establishment to be anti racist, basically. This is how this shit works unfortunately...this is why Kehinde Andrews and so many other black and political academics struggle to get a platform because...what... maybe they should just be grateful they've been allowed to get where they are and how dare they criticise the system that has elevated them? As is seen when Kehinde Andrews went on Good Morning Britain and dared to talk against Winston Churchill, dared to suggest that Churchill's racism should be seen clearly and that no, he shouldn't be celebrated in the way he is, not when we apparently are supposed to be living in a tolerant, multicultural society. Because Churchill's eugenics beliefs are beyond that of your common garden, basic racist.
Why white people think it's acceptable to say that racism (Churchill's racism) could and should be just accepted as a bi-product of the times and 'put aside' is beyond me, utterly offensive in fact and ties into why we are still having so many issues with white fragility nowadays. Because really, racism is not seen as a priority for white people, only becomes urgent and interesting when enough people are shouting about it, when there is a big incident. But even then, don't dare say anything bad about Churchill! Apparently you are allowed to be racist once you've earned your stripes...
Here we have Akala discussing knife crime, again with the utterly abhorrent Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain. I love how he completely tears Morgan to pieces here, and in fact how he has done this time and time again with numerous ignorant white people, unable to accept what racism is. But it's interesting how differently this conversation goes down, to the one with Kehinde.
His words seem to land better than Kehinde's... perhaps because his street poet/hip hop edge renders him less of a threat, so gives white interviewers a false sense of security and less of an immediate dislike, because he looks and sounds (initially) like he is staying in his box. Also i think perhaps he is more accepted within the black community, because he is that embodiment of street, whereas Kehinde is fully working the black intellectual angle, and as both Akala and Kehinde have at different points discussed, the education system is not built to serve non white or working class people. People of colour have to work AT LEAST twice as hard as their white peers, often finding that white peers of lower intellectual abilities get further quicker, by virtue of their white birthright. Therefore academia and it's language is often seen as the reserves of the white man and inaccessible. So perhaps a lot of this stuff we see of Kehinde's (first video especially), is going direct into the upper echelon of these institutions and will not feel as accessible to the black youth. He is a man out of his box, and I for one applaud him, and Akala, they do the same thing but come from different angles of attack. Akala and his prowess is too well known now, the likes of Piers would be better prepared for him I'd imagine. The existence of black, British revolutionary intellectuals gives me hope but really, there is not enough space and credence given to them... British culture likes an underdog to cower, not hold their head up and speak in an articulate fashion about issues that are uncomfortable for the establishment.
I'm going to end with this piece, this incredible speech on the idea of bourgeois feminism by Angela Davis. I think because racism in America has more of a public documentation, black academics are more revered and celebrated. Not feared, nowadays at least. So in one sense, racism is more explicit, more endemic, more ingrained and terminal in the states, but this also gives rise to black academics being allowed to discuss this more fluently, openly and be accepted. Angela Davis treads a controversial line here by talking about the racial inequalities within the feminist movement. An assertion that I know many of my white, feminist friends would feel discomfort with. She got a fair amount of dislikes here, not as many proportionally as Kehinde Andrews did in his Oxford Union debate but still... I think we can guarantee that each and every one would be from white people, feminists and anti feminists, enraged at her perspective. How dare she say these things? The anti feminists thinking she is literally just an uppity Negress, the white feminists being angered that she dare make such unuseful distinctions, because you know, we should just all push forward with one united aim... Mmm... The aim of the white bourgeois feminists who believe that all women's struggles are equal. That believe that the struggle of the black working class American woman is the same, essentially as that of a white middle class woman - because otherwise it's just too confusing, ya know... yah :-)
Angela Davis is virtually a household name nowadays and is highly respected. But back in the day, she was viewed as pretty much a terrorist. The hard edge of the black civil rights movement. Maybe one day Kehinde Andrews will be viewed as the same and maybe, just maybe, in my utopic dreams, Akala will be Prime Minister here in the UK... Aghh...what an amazing thought... He has got to be a better and safer bet than our current effort, Bojo... As Martin Luther King said
"... the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." And I think Boris Johnson has definitely shown, all throughout his political career but especially recently, that he measures quite low in this respect... Akala or Kehinde for PM... Or better still, David Lammy!!!
One more video to highlight why (first 3 or 4 minutes in particular);