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David Starkey's theory that black culture is the root of London riots

David Starkey's theory that black culture is the root of London riots

(11:09) Shopping with violence. Historian David Starkey says that white chavs have turned black and adopted black gang culture, and it's this that's at the root of the recent riots. Newsnight chat also with contributions from author and broadcaster Dreda Say Mitchell and author Owen "Chavs" Jones.

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Guest: Maldonian. (2283 days ago)
Oh Dear, Mr. Starkey. You've said what everyone knows. How dare you. Never stop having the courage to tell people in this country what they no longer have the guts to say themselves.
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Oh Dear, Mr. Starkey. You've said what everyone knows. How dare you. Never stop having the courage to tell people in this country what they no longer have the guts to say themselves.
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Guest: Negro (2278 days ago)
Latest comment: Old Man 1, Niggers 0
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Latest comment: Old Man 1, Niggers 0
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Filmaddict Filmaddict (2285 days ago)
I think I understand what Starkey is saying, but he's not explaining it correctly. ANY culture that does not abide by the proper language of the land is not taken seriously; it's an unfortunate fact, but a fact all the same e.g. you might have achieved a 1st in your degree of choice, but if you do not speak English properly, how can you possibly teach those who speak and write English proficiently. Any credibility you might have gained from your degree is lost in the spoken word. If people refuse to conform or even educate themselves, then Iím afraid they have made a burden for themselves, since they will find it extremely hard to get a job or progress in the workplace. The rioting and looting were not a demonstration, but non-conformists, opportunists, criminals etc taking advantage of a situation, since they felt they were entitled to some control/power as they had/have none in their everyday lives. Such people can only use chaos as a control mechanism, as they have nothing else to fight with.
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I think I understand what Starkey is saying, but he's not explaining it correctly. ANY culture that does not abide by the proper language of the land is not taken seriously; it's an unfortunate fact, but a fact all the same e.g. you might have achieved a 1st in your degree of choice, but if you do not speak English properly, how can you possibly teach those who speak and write English proficiently. Any credibility you might have gained from your degree is lost in the spoken word. If people refuse to conform or even educate themselves, then Iím afraid they have made a burden for themselves, since they will find it extremely hard to get a job or progress in the workplace. The rioting and looting were not a demonstration, but non-conformists, opportunists, criminals etc taking advantage of a situation, since they felt they were entitled to some control/power as they had/have none in their everyday lives. Such people can only use chaos as a control mechanism, as they have nothing else to fight with.
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Guest: SoothSayer (2293 days ago)
He is totally correct. It's just a shame that more people don't have the balls to speak out like this about black "culture", which has been the "elephant in the room", so to speak.
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He is totally correct. It's just a shame that more people don't have the balls to speak out like this about black "culture", which has been the "elephant in the room", so to speak.
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Trolltrawler Trolltrawler (2292 days ago)
Big ears or small ears, African or Indian, of which type of elephant do you speak?
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Big ears or small ears, African or Indian, of which type of elephant do you speak?
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Guest: (2292 days ago)
Until blacks accept that black culture being imposed on a white nation results in violence, they will never understand that they need to fit in with us, not the other way round
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Until blacks accept that black culture being imposed on a white nation results in violence, they will never understand that they need to fit in with us, not the other way round
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Guest: dannyboy501 (2293 days ago)
I think David Starkey is talking for a section of society in the same way as the other speakers are. I think that a lot of what he says is valid, and I do see the point, and even agree with a lot of it, but it does not come across particularly well - he should have structured his argument slightly differently and kept it in context. Although I do like the bit where Owen Jones talks about the contribution of black culture - "Music...... ummmm...... and a whole load of other ways". So.... music then? Great legacy not well advertised...
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I think David Starkey is talking for a section of society in the same way as the other speakers are. I think that a lot of what he says is valid, and I do see the point, and even agree with a lot of it, but it does not come across particularly well - he should have structured his argument slightly differently and kept it in context. Although I do like the bit where Owen Jones talks about the contribution of black culture - "Music...... ummmm...... and a whole load of other ways". So.... music then? Great legacy not well advertised...
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Guest: Paul (2291 days ago)
Starkey's view is not a theory but the solid truth. The authorities will always try to shut up good thinking British people by a left wing media.
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Starkey's view is not a theory but the solid truth. The authorities will always try to shut up good thinking British people by a left wing media.
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slicksps slicksps (2292 days ago)
The Italians went 'Gangsta' long before Tottenham... The Mafia was born out of poverty and is known for being white white with European backgrounds. They stereotypically carry guns, have a certain accent and way of speaking and a ruthless way of life. The Mafia were going while 'blacks' were still slaves so you could say that your blacks adopted 'white' culture and not necessarily the other way round... If you claim that the blacks are to blame then you should identify which came first. Black gangs or white gangs? Who copied Whom?
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The Italians went 'Gangsta' long before Tottenham... The Mafia was born out of poverty and is known for being white white with European backgrounds. They stereotypically carry guns, have a certain accent and way of speaking and a ruthless way of life. The Mafia were going while 'blacks' were still slaves so you could say that your blacks adopted 'white' culture and not necessarily the other way round... If you claim that the blacks are to blame then you should identify which came first. Black gangs or white gangs? Who copied Whom?
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Guest: (2292 days ago)
I said I think it's a minority/majority human psychology thing, in this case the minority is black, it could as easily be white if the roles were reversed, but they aren't in this case. Tiptoeing around that is just ridiculous. What we need to look at is why blacks didn't take the path of minorities like Orientals or Asians. I think there are good reasons and we need to come up with strategies that work against this anti-social tendency. You won't do that by excusing it or pretending it's not what it is.
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I said I think it's a minority/majority human psychology thing, in this case the minority is black, it could as easily be white if the roles were reversed, but they aren't in this case. Tiptoeing around that is just ridiculous. What we need to look at is why blacks didn't take the path of minorities like Orientals or Asians. I think there are good reasons and we need to come up with strategies that work against this anti-social tendency. You won't do that by excusing it or pretending it's not what it is.
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slicksps slicksps (2292 days ago)
Oh because the Asians haven't formed gangs. Whatever the guise, all races, religions, genders and interests have formed gangs; Blacks and whites fight in gangs, Christians and Moslims fight in gangs, Israel and Egypt fight in gangs, Germans and Polish fight in gangs, English and Eastern Europeans fight in gangs... gang culture is everywhere, it's just that black gangs are easier to spot than eastern Europeans who look just like us... Chinese gangs are harder to spot because all Chinese people run restaurants or are musical prodigies. The stereotype is that black gangs are worse than any other, this comes from TV, Films but why? Is it because black people carry out more violence? or because they're just easier to spot at a distance? Is it easier to ignore the black people who are trustworthy businesspeople? those who are excellent athletes or amazing doctors? just because as a gang, the black/white divide is easier to see? What I find fascinating is that when confronted with the facts; that white people are behaving violently, David Starkey is suggesting that it's because they think they're black... White people are being violent! It has nothing to do with black, they're flippin' white! They'r just violent thugs, this has nothing to do with race. Yes the initial protest started with race, but the ensuing violence is not race related, it's a bunch of people white, black young, old, rich and poor deciding to riot for the thrill or sake of rioting. To give these people excuses or suggesting their violence should be blamed on 'the blacks' is just ridiculous.
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Oh because the Asians haven't formed gangs. Whatever the guise, all races, religions, genders and interests have formed gangs; Blacks and whites fight in gangs, Christians and Moslims fight in gangs, Israel and Egypt fight in gangs, Germans and Polish fight in gangs, English and Eastern Europeans fight in gangs... gang culture is everywhere, it's just that black gangs are easier to spot than eastern Europeans who look just like us... Chinese gangs are harder to spot because all Chinese people run restaurants or are musical prodigies. The stereotype is that black gangs are worse than any other, this comes from TV, Films but why? Is it because black people carry out more violence? or because they're just easier to spot at a distance? Is it easier to ignore the black people who are trustworthy businesspeople? those who are excellent athletes or amazing doctors? just because as a gang, the black/white divide is easier to see? What I find fascinating is that when confronted with the facts; that white people are behaving violently, David Starkey is suggesting that it's because they think they're black... White people are being violent! It has nothing to do with black, they're flippin' white! They'r just violent thugs, this has nothing to do with race. Yes the initial protest started with race, but the ensuing violence is not race related, it's a bunch of people white, black young, old, rich and poor deciding to riot for the thrill or sake of rioting. To give these people excuses or suggesting their violence should be blamed on 'the blacks' is just ridiculous.
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slicksps slicksps (2292 days ago)
In fact if you want to see history, the first known street gang was formed in New York in 1850, called the 40 thieves, it was made up of the Irish (I think the film Gangs of New York was based on this). No blacks were in that violent bunch of immigrants... Perhaps the problem isn't with 'the blacks' but with the way Britain treats it's poor and how it relates to historical treatment of it's immigrant outcasts... The issue is that the British (of whatever colour) who are poor are made to feel unwelcome and feel the need to form gangs just for a sense of belonging... if that's what the stereotypical blacks did before then fine, it's not a case of white adopting black culture, it's more a case of British culture rejecting people in certain financial and class statuses. Simplifying it to just black and white when many black people are better educated, work harder, earn more and contribute more to this country than most whites is very short-sighted. While the average black person still has to work harder than the average white person to be seen as 'average'. The problem is much bigger than simple colour blindness.
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In fact if you want to see history, the first known street gang was formed in New York in 1850, called the 40 thieves, it was made up of the Irish (I think the film Gangs of New York was based on this). No blacks were in that violent bunch of immigrants... Perhaps the problem isn't with 'the blacks' but with the way Britain treats it's poor and how it relates to historical treatment of it's immigrant outcasts... The issue is that the British (of whatever colour) who are poor are made to feel unwelcome and feel the need to form gangs just for a sense of belonging... if that's what the stereotypical blacks did before then fine, it's not a case of white adopting black culture, it's more a case of British culture rejecting people in certain financial and class statuses. Simplifying it to just black and white when many black people are better educated, work harder, earn more and contribute more to this country than most whites is very short-sighted. While the average black person still has to work harder than the average white person to be seen as 'average'. The problem is much bigger than simple colour blindness.
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Guest: (2292 days ago)
Of course all ethnic groups will form gangs under the right conditions but look at the percentages. The poverty rate for whites in the US is about 7%, which is also the gang membership rate for whites. For Blacks and Latinos the poverty rate is about 20% but the gang membership is about 40% for each group. That is 40% of gang members are black and 40% are Latino not 40% of blacks or Latinos are gang members obviously. For the third time I agree it is not about 'race' whatever that is, it's about human psychology as applied to the development of subculture but in this case the subculture is one developed by blacks (with some help from entertainment companies no doubt) as a specific prescription for themselves. It's silly to pretend it's not. It's like saying the cocaine trade is nothing to do with South Americans because other people have produced and smuggled illegal substances before and we shouldn't consider the problem with relation to it's origin such as trying to get South Americans to stop growing it.
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Of course all ethnic groups will form gangs under the right conditions but look at the percentages. The poverty rate for whites in the US is about 7%, which is also the gang membership rate for whites. For Blacks and Latinos the poverty rate is about 20% but the gang membership is about 40% for each group. That is 40% of gang members are black and 40% are Latino not 40% of blacks or Latinos are gang members obviously. For the third time I agree it is not about 'race' whatever that is, it's about human psychology as applied to the development of subculture but in this case the subculture is one developed by blacks (with some help from entertainment companies no doubt) as a specific prescription for themselves. It's silly to pretend it's not. It's like saying the cocaine trade is nothing to do with South Americans because other people have produced and smuggled illegal substances before and we shouldn't consider the problem with relation to it's origin such as trying to get South Americans to stop growing it.
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Guest: (2293 days ago)
In other words whites are ********
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In other words whites are ********
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slicksps slicksps (2292 days ago)
He has a point but the point is in completely the wrong place. He even says himself "it's not skin colour, it's culture" - The trouble is that he refuses to accept that it this culture is as much white as it is black and has therefore distanced himself from the problem by calling it 'black culture'. many people in the media are no better in blaming 'Youth Culture' for the riots when such a huge number are older than 30. More rioters over 30 have been charged than under 18 in Manchester for instance. It's all about trying to 'group' people so that we can prove we're not in the same 'group'. There is no 'us' and 'them' there is just 'us' as a collection of individuals.
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He has a point but the point is in completely the wrong place. He even says himself "it's not skin colour, it's culture" - The trouble is that he refuses to accept that it this culture is as much white as it is black and has therefore distanced himself from the problem by calling it 'black culture'. many people in the media are no better in blaming 'Youth Culture' for the riots when such a huge number are older than 30. More rioters over 30 have been charged than under 18 in Manchester for instance. It's all about trying to 'group' people so that we can prove we're not in the same 'group'. There is no 'us' and 'them' there is just 'us' as a collection of individuals.
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Guest: (2292 days ago)
It seems to me you are indulging in the very mindset you are criticizing. Culture does not evolve in a vacuum the 'black culture' is obviously a product of all sorts of influences, what makes the label stick is that it is self-applied, this 'gansta' culture was quite self-consciously originated by and for 'blacks'...Grouping anything is a tool, an abstraction, animals are all individuals but it is useful to divide them into mammals and amphibians etc., arbitrary it's true but useful. When seeking to understand why individuals are anti-social it's useful to define them by shared characteristics, that's how you discover clues to the source of their attitude. If the people who have been rioting and looting share a culture, by all means it should be examined as a distinct classification.
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It seems to me you are indulging in the very mindset you are criticizing. Culture does not evolve in a vacuum the 'black culture' is obviously a product of all sorts of influences, what makes the label stick is that it is self-applied, this 'gansta' culture was quite self-consciously originated by and for 'blacks'...Grouping anything is a tool, an abstraction, animals are all individuals but it is useful to divide them into mammals and amphibians etc., arbitrary it's true but useful. When seeking to understand why individuals are anti-social it's useful to define them by shared characteristics, that's how you discover clues to the source of their attitude. If the people who have been rioting and looting share a culture, by all means it should be examined as a distinct classification.
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Guest: (2292 days ago)
That made sense, are you sure your in the right place? "Culture does not evolve in a vacuum the 'black culture' is obviously a product of all sorts of influences..." - Warner, EMI, Sony BMG etc. have been very influential in molding this culture.
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That made sense, are you sure your in the right place? "Culture does not evolve in a vacuum the 'black culture' is obviously a product of all sorts of influences..." - Warner, EMI, Sony BMG etc. have been very influential in molding this culture.
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Guest: (2292 days ago)
And the history to which black people have been largely subjected. I'm not making an excuse, 'gansta' culture is poisonous but it doesn't do much good to try and blame it on anyone. Let's work on containing it, save your blame for people who foster, defend or excuse it.
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And the history to which black people have been largely subjected. I'm not making an excuse, 'gansta' culture is poisonous but it doesn't do much good to try and blame it on anyone. Let's work on containing it, save your blame for people who foster, defend or excuse it.
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hellion73 hellion73 (2284 days ago)
every kid goes to school in this county regardless of ethnicity. It aint about your skin colour or culture its down to whether or not you can be bothered to grab that FREE opportunity that has been given to you and educate yourself and put the work in. Those who looted and rioted are lazy good for nothings who think the state owes them when they have not put an ounce of effort in to sorting their lives. I aint got a great job and yes I could have tried harder at school but I do work i do pay my bills and taxes. come down hard on rioters and looters no one has the god given right to a easy life you have to work for it!!!
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every kid goes to school in this county regardless of ethnicity. It aint about your skin colour or culture its down to whether or not you can be bothered to grab that FREE opportunity that has been given to you and educate yourself and put the work in. Those who looted and rioted are lazy good for nothings who think the state owes them when they have not put an ounce of effort in to sorting their lives. I aint got a great job and yes I could have tried harder at school but I do work i do pay my bills and taxes. come down hard on rioters and looters no one has the god given right to a easy life you have to work for it!!!
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Guest: bb (2293 days ago)
yes, he did come off as a bit racist.. but he still had many good points. If they hadn't repeatedly interrupted him, and had allowed him to explain his point, we probably would have heard some good theories about why society is the way it is today. He's obviously been around for a while, and has seen, and studied many parts of the world and it's culture. He probably had many insights that would have been very useful at a time like this.
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yes, he did come off as a bit racist.. but he still had many good points. If they hadn't repeatedly interrupted him, and had allowed him to explain his point, we probably would have heard some good theories about why society is the way it is today. He's obviously been around for a while, and has seen, and studied many parts of the world and it's culture. He probably had many insights that would have been very useful at a time like this.
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Guest: (2293 days ago)
When he says black culture I think American culture is more appropriate - Lil Wayne, Drop the World - LINK
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When he says black culture I think American culture is more appropriate - Lil Wayne, Drop the World - LINK
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Guest: (2293 days ago)
But the whole problem is 'them and us'. When you have a clearly defined subgroup embedded in a larger population the smaller group goes one of two ways. They huddle together, focus on themselves, usually centering on strong families or they view the lager culture as a hostile tribe to be preyed on when opportunity permits. Blacks in America have been encouraged to adopt this latter view while their families have been simultaneously eroded by the welfare state. White youth is attracted to this culture of hostility and rebellion as youth has always seemed to be. It's nothing to do with their,'race' except in so far as their skin color makes them easily recognizable as a distinct group. This is basic human psychology.
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But the whole problem is 'them and us'. When you have a clearly defined subgroup embedded in a larger population the smaller group goes one of two ways. They huddle together, focus on themselves, usually centering on strong families or they view the lager culture as a hostile tribe to be preyed on when opportunity permits. Blacks in America have been encouraged to adopt this latter view while their families have been simultaneously eroded by the welfare state. White youth is attracted to this culture of hostility and rebellion as youth has always seemed to be. It's nothing to do with their,'race' except in so far as their skin color makes them easily recognizable as a distinct group. This is basic human psychology.
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