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Paul O
Paul O
8 months ago

Not a well-written and insightful article by a Black man …

… and not a well-written and insightful article by a black man.

Simply a superb and insightful article by an excellent writer.

Joff Brown
Joff Brown
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul O

Absolutely. An excellent and fascinating article.

Last edited 8 months ago by Joff Brown
Richard Roe
Richard Roe
8 months ago

Thomas Sowell has for years sought to think about disparity in America as being cultural rather than racial. The fact is that his well researched and articulately expressed data strongly support his thesis, but prominent and well informed people choose to ignore him and instead focus on race, which gives them prominence and sells their product.

Last edited 8 months ago by Richard Roe
Andy Moore
Andy Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard Roe

I agree, it’s the same reason why most people in western democracies have heard about the death of George Floyd and not Tony Timpa, both abhorrent deaths.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard Roe

The really ironic bit is how the likes of Floyd, or violent, fatherless kids in ghettos are deemed to be representative of blacks. Ironic, because that’s genuine racism, just like stating that black people are not capable of getting voter ID.

While black culture in the States is utterly rotten, it’s also nothing like the culture of say black immigrants.
I have met so many black men in Britain (first or second gen immigrants of course). Most of them lower income. But, pretty much all of them polite, conscientious, desirous of being good fathers, hard working
A toilet cleaner I met and befriended at a bank I worked at, was a lot more intelligent and well spoken than many of the overpaid traders and salespersons

Last edited 8 months ago by Samir Iker
Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

You have hit the nail on the head! Black culture in the US is awful. I blame the numerous race-hustlers from Jesse Jackson to Al Sharpton to Robin DiAngelo to Ibram X. Kendi. All trash. They tell their followers NOT to get educated or work hard, because that’s ‘acting white.’ In reality, it’s acting civilized, responsible, and ambitious. We see this in the many first generation African blacks who want nothing to do with American black culture and values.
The reason the George Floyd story was so famous is because it is so RARE. The more infrequent such incidents become the MORE attention each one gets. That’s how the race-hustlers stay relevant.

Paul Foote
Paul Foote
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Jesse Jackson once said that if he were walking alone and he saw a group of young blacks following him, he would move to the other side of the street, but that he would not do that if the followers were white. Most black violence is committed by other blacks. To expect outsiders to be able to fix their internal social and cultural problems is pure fantasy. Most blacks vote Democrat and it has led to their destruction.

Marian Baldwin
Marian Baldwin
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard Roe

Do read his book, Black Rednecks & White Liberals. You’ll learn that the blacks, having lost their African heritage, adopted (appropriated?) the white Scotch-Irish culture in the U.S. South. Fascinating thesis down to the linguistic similarities, and totally ignored by our educational institutions. Instead, American kids now will be taught the 1619 black myth along with the “guilt” and “traumas.”

Last edited 8 months ago by Marian Baldwin
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
8 months ago

The author gets to the heart of what is wrong with BLM and the rhetoric surrounding it. It is a UScentric view of blacks that is simply irrelevant to the UK that has an entirely different history of race relations.
It is indeed insulting to all of us in the UK, whatever shade of skin we have, to be forced into an alien narrative as if our own culture was irrelevant.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I remember getting on a Greyhound bus in North Carolina in the early eighties, and the middle aged white bus driver referred to the black passenger as ‘boy’, after referring to white people as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’.
At that point I’d only circulated in white environments, at a summer camp for Jewish kids, and I was pretty shocked. The black guy said nothing in response.
The local rednecks used to hassle the Jewish kids too whenever we ventured out of the camp.

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
8 months ago

This is an incredible piece of writing that has helped me articulate the discomfort I felt when the protests rampaged last year. Context is key; Britain is socially divided by class not race and that didn’t seem to come up in those protests.

Snomonkey
Snomonkey
8 months ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

I think we are seeing the effects of “Americaficaton” of our society through the social media on our youth. Our race seems to be more important than our culture and history. All white people shall be judged alike. We are all Donald Trump and All Black shall be judged alike too, they all have to potential to be the next Oprah/Beyoncé/etc but all face the struggles of George Floyd. Facts be damned!

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
8 months ago

An intelligently written article which completely discredits BLM, an organisation which has since been shown to be a profiteering, money-making scam.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

…just this past week another BLM couple were indicted in Boston, MA (USA) for using donations for personal reasons. BLM became just a “BIG SHAKEDOWN’, that they would insist is a form of reparations! And now, Patricia Cullors, head BLMer in CA, who bought multiple multi-million dollar residences with the money, is now saying that ‘the white guilt money’ is causing her harm because it’s been noticed she’s fraudulently using donations as well. Ya can’t write this stuff.

Last edited 8 months ago by Cathy Carron
Rob Britton
Rob Britton
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

As we say in the UK you couldn’t make it up!

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

Yes, that’s what we say in the US as well. I don’t recall having heard of Cathy Carron’s variation until just now.

Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Ever read Atlas Shrugged? While it doesn’t focus on race, the same type of flim-flam artists are shown at work spinning their tales. That book should be required reading in school.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
8 months ago

The death of George Floyd Esq was the most over-hyped event of this century. I am surprised that those millions of knee bending grovellers didn’t go for the full kowtow. I can’t recall such an absurd reaction since the death of the Princess of Wales.

Incidentally the British made a far better job of sacking Washington DC on the night of the 24th August 1814, than those wannabe ‘rioters’ you mention.
However as the builders of the second greatest Empire the world has ever seen, that was only to be expected.

Philip Tisdall
Philip Tisdall
8 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

You just had to include that last sentence, didn’t you? Now how am I supposed to get any work done today? Rome, Mongols, Spain, Great Britain: discuss. I’m not even sure that America has an empire in the conventional sense.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Tisdall

Rome!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

Disagree. Creating an empire in ancient days didn’t require much competition, especially in Europe, apart from Carthage, hundreds of miles away. As soon as the Romans came across decent opposition in the Middle East they were slammed.
In contrast, creating an empire in the 1700s in opposition to a number of mature, sophisticated and well armed empires just across the English Channel, took some incredible skill and luck. This was a far greater achievement.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Then we shall just have to disagree.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip Tisdall

Duplication due to time lapse!

Last edited 8 months ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Rob Britton
Rob Britton
8 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

At least President Madison’s wife managed to rescue the curtains from the White House before it was burned down.

Last edited 8 months ago by Rob Britton
ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

But not the Presidential Chamber Pot, which resides in a secure location, in deepest Herefordshire, I am glad to say.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  ARNAUD ALMARIC

To be fair, although I regret the sacking and am glad we’ve been at peace with the USA ever since, it was done with a degree of civility, including refraining from attacking civilians or their property, although private soldiers in those days were not easily prevented from running amok.
Interestingly, the action was criticised both internationally and in Britain. There’s nothing new under the sun.

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Burnt in retaliation for the destruction of York* the capital of of Upper Canada, by US forces the previous year.

(*Now Toronto.)

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Very few other nations get a special place in a foreign National Anthem. “And the rockets red glare…..” – a friend of mine used to take express pleasure in absolutely bellowing that line at any sports event we attended when the National Anthem was always sung.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
8 months ago

“Many American publications, for instance, started to capitalise the b in black — including the New York TimesWashington Post and the Associated Press. Many British publications swiftly did the same”
Blatant racism, simply not to be tolerated.
“His high school, Jack Yates Senior High School, has a student population that is 90% black and 10% Hispanic. This kind of education and upbringing is inconceivable for a black British person.”
I walked past the a school yard in Bristol during break time one day a couple of months back, where the kids were 90%+ black, and I don’t remember there being one single white kid.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
8 months ago

He attended schools that were racially segregated and underfunded.

George Floyd was born in 1973. He did not attend racially segregated schools in Texas. I don’t know anything about the schools he attended but I can guarantee you that the reason his high school was 90% black and 10% Hispanic is because the demographic breakdown of the students that lived in that school district was 90% black and 10% Hispanic.

Last edited 8 months ago by Mikey Mike
Terry M
Terry M
8 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

It was de facto, not de jure segregation. Children are forced into neighborhood schools which simply perpetuates the racial distribution of the area.
If only we had school choice so kids could get out of the government schools.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

Yes but he could have pointed that nuance out easily.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
8 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

I, too, realised that the school wold not have been ‘segregated’, but then realised that with 90% black and 10% Hispanic, it might just as well have been, so the point being made remained valid..

Tom Krehbiel
Tom Krehbiel
8 months ago
Reply to  Sisyphus Jones

And I can surmise that the school wasn’t underfunded compared to mainly white schools in the same area. It may be different in the South, where Texas is, but I know that in the North and West, mainly black schools are often better funded than the majority white and Asian schools which nonetheless get better results.

Last edited 8 months ago by Tom Krehbiel
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
8 months ago

One thing that bugs me about the stories about victim groups such as blacks, is how they were simultaneously suppressed and prevented from achieving their supposed “potential”
But they simultaneously managed to, in case of American blacks,
“build this nation into a world power and along the way managed to create glorious works of art, passionate music, scientific discoveries, a marvelous cuisine, and untold literary masterpieces.”

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
8 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I wonder what kind of music this Tharps likes? I wonder what President Biden’s favourite old westerns are, too. I don’t think anyone will ever get a clear answer. Maybe the aforementioned duo’s favourite stage musicals coincide. Shouldn’t one be glad, if not grateful, for living in the West? Where else other than in America could Motown have popped up? In Russia? In Canada?

Robert Buckland
Robert Buckland
8 months ago

I smile at my own reaction to your breezy sneer at Canada. But just for the record, Motown (Detroit) is a five-minute drive from Windsor, Ontario (a Canadian city), where the giant transmitters of station CKLW broadcast Motown music deep into the American heartland and contributed mightily to a vast (and black) musical sub-culture. Not to suggest that anyone commenting here would be guilty of racial or national prejudice.

harry storm
harry storm
7 months ago

3 words. Oscar Peterson. Drake.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
8 months ago

Good article, but the author is too uncritical in accepting the “revealed” narrative about George Floyd and Derek Chauvin. The truth is much more complicated and ambiguous, as is usually the case with media/ political moral panics.

The inappropriate effects of importing a foreign narrative into the UK are worsened when the narrative is itself faulty.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
8 months ago

You cannot show genuine respect to a group of people if you do not acknowledge their context — their origins, their distinctive lives, the communities and cultures they inhabit, who they are rather than what they represent.
This is key to making the changes required to make the world a better place for everyone. I would also draw a distinction between institutional discriminations that are built into the rules governing a society and habitual discrimination that is a legacy in the habits acquired over a lifetime by individuals from their particular context. Governments can and should remove institutional discriminations. We as individuals should endeavour to remove habitual discriminations. I am not sure that virtue signalling is an effective way to do it. You cannot change the distant past nor are we responsible for it. You can only change the present.

Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
8 months ago

A brilliant article.
Thomas Sowell in 2012 said ” if racism is not dead in the US then its on life support” yet in the U.S and in other western democracies, the pious, virtue signalling left, on the back of Floyds death, have managed to orchestrate and manufacture a warped perception of reality. The likes of BLM and Antifa, have pushed and promoted a dreadfully divisive, politically woke caricature of fairness, called ‘identity politics’ which is vicious, rascist to the core and a really good way to shatter communites and society that up until this point, were doing better than they have ever done before. The thing that drove the movements were the new financially commisioned “Race and Diversity’ Tsars that smelt huge financial gain and in the process, were able to meddle and sow the damage that we currently see.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
8 months ago

Excellent, well argued article.

William Cameron
William Cameron
8 months ago

And millions of donated dollars appear to have ended up enriching the BLM organisers.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
8 months ago

Two points that this article doesn’t cover in reflecting on the British context:

  1. The ignorance of the British context predates BLM. Faux Irish Americans have always referred to the British, or English (they are the same thing in American eyes) oppressing Irish when referring to Northern Ireland. I have debated Northern Irish politics many times with Americans and their ignorance of the context is profound. They think it’s a colonial war and occupation.
  2. The BLM supporters in the U.K. have barely acknowledged the fact that our largest immigrant population, by far, is Asian. The Asian immigrants have their own specific issues in U.K. culture that are very different from Black issues so BLM hardly touches them.

It’s remarkable to to see how the media, the arts and even corporates are promoting black people everywhere, as we can all see in dramas and advertisements. But Asian people don’t feature as much – in fact I’d call the BLM movement in the U.K. anti-Asian (Asianophobic?).

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Northern Ireland is a colonial outpost. As was Ireland for centuries.

Nick G
Nick G
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The are more Bulgarian and Romanians (in aggregate) in the UK than those of Caribbean heritage. Don’t see many of them on TV. Must be racism.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
8 months ago

The article doesn’t really seem to say anything about why “British black lives” don’t matter other than to say that the BLM movement is predicated on American experiences and cultural sensibilities, which is something akin to saying “Is the Pope catholic ?” The headline might have been more usefully employed if it had actually talked about why black lives don’t seem to matter to black people, not only in the UK, but indeed anywhere. Sure, the truth might be more complex than a ‘simple’ headline might encapsulate but that doesn’t mean it needs to be avoided altogether, after all this (Unheard) is ‘supposed’ to be a place where we might hear things that are often avoided or left unsaid elsewhere.

Laura Creighton
Laura Creighton
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom Lewis

The authors do not get to pick the headlines. Most of them have only some relevance to the essay they point to, but some miss it altogether. And sometimes — as seems to have happened here — the title is changed mid-morning.

Last edited 8 months ago by Laura Creighton
Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
8 months ago

Two small but important points: George Floyd was not “choked to death.” His airway wasn’t impeded. That’s not to say that his death wasn’t related to police actions: they had him pinned down and due to his health problems and the effects of the drugs in his system, his lungs weren’t able to process enough oxygen. IMO the police inadvertently committed manslaughter because at some point as they waited for the ambulance the police should have noticed that he had lost consciousness.
The second point, as already noted, is that Floyd didn’t attend “segregated” schools. In the US, the word segregated has a specific connotation of government mandating deliberate separation by race.

John McKee
John McKee
5 months ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

The first point is vital and true. There is a great distance between murder and negligent manslaughter.

Gilles Ward
Gilles Ward
8 months ago

Great. Thank you for writing this article.

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

“the b in black is now capitalised in the London Review of Books”
Beyond anything else, this makes me laugh most of all.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
8 months ago

People often overlook the fact that there are significantly more poor, uneducated, underserved white people than there are black people in the U.S. Many times more.
They just tend not to be a homogeneous group.

It is also refreshing to see the recent surge in the number of blacks who have begun to employ critical thinking skills and are finally beginning to see that those who have been telling them for decades that they care are really the true enemy.

Malcolm X knew this, of course, but it is rarely acknowledged. Liberal whites are hell bent in trying to keep blacks where they belong. (In their opinion) Blacks are now flying past the BS of equality and have their sites on the levers of power. And why not? But I’m sure they will be the first group in the history of the planet to make a hard stop once true “equality” has finally been reached. Just like in SA.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
8 months ago

Nice to finally see this sort of thing being put out online! More like this please.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
8 months ago

Is there a fear of an underclass increasing in size even further if abortion ends up being curtailed in America? Is not an underclass the result of a society where broken families are rife? How many talented black musicians were never in fact born these last few decades? Yet many talented black musicians of yesteryear had been born into dire circumstances. But way back then, they, as elderly as they are now, may have had the comforts of family. Was the extended fight for justice, the cries of victimhood and who was to blame, two summers ago, a way to make up for the helplessness, the fecklessness of sections of society? A way to excuse that degradation? To pull the wool over one’s own eyes? A way to stave off one’s capacity to feel guilt oneself?

Frances An
Frances An
8 months ago

An insightful article about the way globalised anti-racism movements inadvertently undermine individual countries’ capacities to consider race relations in their own countries.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
8 months ago

So few understand not only the historical slave trade but that the practice continues today, making it difficult to have a cogent discussion with race opportunists. It feels like a Great Shakedown – of time, attention, & money.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
8 months ago

A tremendous article. We must not think that all black people are copies of US African-American. BLM has the perverse effect of making us do just that. I shall stop using the capital now.

Will Cummings
Will Cummings
8 months ago

In America, one of the strangest and nonsensical racial categories is “Asian”, as if the world’s largest continent did not contain Europe, and the Uyghurs, the Han Chinese, Tibetans, and Pakistanis were all one monolithic “race”.

Nell Larkin
Nell Larkin
8 months ago

As an American who teaches British history, I totally agree with the conclusions of this article. The model of racism held by BLM does not always explain the experiences and problems faced by black people in Britain or other countries. As for capitalizing black, it totally baffles me that so many mainstream media in the US have capitalized black but not white. The rationale behind it is that identifying someone as “Black” identifies people whose experience of life is impacted by racism and slavery which was an institution created and maintained by white people. So why don’t the same media outlets who focus on the persistence of white supremacy not capitalize white? Why not tag white people as “White” because they enjoy greater privileges compared to “Black” Americans and are complicit in white supremacy in the US? Only CNN capitalizes white as well as black. Capitalize both, or neither.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
8 months ago
Reply to  Nell Larkin

I am always interested that the fact, yes fact, that African countries and The West Indies come at the bottom of GNP/GDP, industrial, financial, commercial, scientific, IT/Technology, media, academic, agricultural, broadcast, and manufacturing, as well as democracy league tables.

No doubt the wokes of this world will accuse me of somehow making a racial statement?…..

any ideas? All the fault of white nations?….. Why, then, did African nations not conquer Europe, discover The Americas and enslave their populus?

Richard 0
Richard 0
8 months ago

Thank you, TO. Excellent article.

Peter Beard
Peter Beard
8 months ago

Excellent article. Thanks.

Hank Brad
Hank Brad
8 months ago

We were breaking out of a recently organised old world of restrictions into a new one where the cause of racial justice transcended the obligations of social distancing.
It’s also easy to see this little syndrome as the noble ‘protesters’ (and looters and burners) enjoying their day of anarchy with all rules off – except the rules declaring that the most active rioters get the most publicity on the evening news.
Those ‘obligations’ were a form of consideration for fellow community members of all colors (and they were all there). But who cares about consideration, when all the employed blacks in the neighborhood can be dramatically burned out of their jobs? Is that racial justice?

Aidan Barrett
Aidan Barrett
8 months ago

Tyler Cowen has remarked on how Wokeism has ironically become a source of American imperialism (especially of values):

https://mobile.twitter.com/unherd/status/1442142044516982787

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
8 months ago

… and that is only the half of it…