A World Apart

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Racism, Riots
Tags: ,

This is an interview by a BBC journalist with Darcus Howe, the journalist, writer, broadcaster (Or Marcus Dowe as she calls him mistakenly at one point).

I found it incredibly depressing viewing.

The man is obviously distressed (maybe he has not slept due to worry or the sound of sirens and smashing windows), about the violence that has hit his local community and those of his family and friends. He is also a man of Afro-Carribean origin who has lived through many phases of ‘violence’ with regards to the diaspora in Britain.  He’s not stupid.

But the journalist, a white woman who probably has not have lived through much violence at close quarters (I do not know for sure but if she has she is even more insensitive), treats him as if he is. Stupid, and also potentially violent.

The part of the interview that upset me the most was where Darcus described his grandson, and how he has been frequently stopped and searched by police, for no apparent reason (other than the colour of his skin and where he lives?). The journalist said ‘but that’s no excuse for rioting’. As if Marcus’ grandson was without question one of the rioting ‘youths’. As if all black young men are the same. As if they all are responsible.

If  this situation has illustrated one thing it is how people in the UK may live together side by side, they may take the same tube trains and go to the same Tescos, but they are often living A World Apart.


  1. she obviously had an agenda, he stood up for himself well though…..

  2. billsnshits says:

    Whether she’s lived through violence or not, her existence as an unprovocative, dull BBC journalist, is predicated on never digging deep, just always moderating and pretending like everyone should be polite and normal before anything.
    So an interview subject who is eagerly pressing forward, maybe a bit too far, will always seem “way out there” compared to the repressed reporter.

    What I can never understand is who in the hell the “middle of the road” are trying to appeal to. They aren’t middle of the road by ample collection of facts, however inconvenient they may be, to give all sides some justification. They’re just middling.
    Yet the rancid screams to cut publicly funded news, or once it’s commercial, the demonizations of communism, never end.
    Keeping up appearances may seem like an agenda but it’s really an agenda to look like you don’t have an agenda.

    And I don’t agree with his statements objectively. He was suggesting that the riots have political validity. And I think that riots against the current situation could, hypothetically have political validity, it would be pretty hard to grant that to these riots. It’s her ultra middle class refusal to even engage on that hypothetical discussion (and his distressed lack of humor, though he doesn’t lack wit) that not only makes them seem to be worlds apart but makes every viewer feel like they are their own island, with no right to tread into any one else’s without breaking social taboo.

  3. billsnshits says:

    But other times the BBC can truly be a real bastion of privileged scorn for any kind of need.

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