“Slavery was not genocide otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or Britain would there? An awful lot of them survived.”.. Tommy Robinson?.. Nope! TV historian and BBC regular David Starkey.
He goes on.. “As for the idea that slavery is this kind of terrible disease that dare not speak its name, it only dare not speak its name, Darren, because we settled it nearly 200 years ago.”
Starkey made these remarks on a YouTube show entitled “Dr David Starkey: Black Lives Matter Aims To Delegitimate British History.” The show is hosted by Darren Grimes, who founded the pro-Brexit group BeLeave and worked as a deputy editor for the political website BrexitCentral (founded by Matthew Elliott, the former Vote Leave chief executive) between 2016 and 2018, before then becoming the digital manager for the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) – a right wing, neoliberal, think tank.
This isn’t the first time Starkey has made openly racist comments either. In August 2011, Starkey was on the BBC’s Newsnight programme commenting on the recent riots and remarked that “whites have become black”, and that “a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture has become the fashion.” Starkey quoted Enoch Powell on the program and then attempted to argue that white activists had adopted black culture and that black culture is responsible for the rioting. He later attempted to defend himself by saying that he was merely referring to a “particular sort” of “Black culture”. Ofcom took zero action at the time and the BBC brushed it under the carpet. I’ve added the video to this article so you can watch it for yourselves and make up you’re own minds whether he was being racist or not.
Incidentally, the following year, while commenting on the Rochdale sex trafficking gang, Starkey implied that the men involved had values “entrenched in the foothills of the Punjab or wherever it is.”
Fitzwilliam College, part of Cambridge University, where Starkey teaches have said that that their governing body will be “considering… The matter of Dr Starkey’s Honorary Fellowship” in a meeting next week.
The Mary Rose Trust said it was “appalled” by Starkey’s comments and that the board has accepted his resignation today. Starkey was a board member.