There’s a debate going on at the moment in the UK as reported by The Telegraph involving Will Straw, the son of the former Secretary of State for ‘Foreign Affairs’ and the ‘Commonwealth’.
Will who ironically is a British Labour Party candidate sees nothing wrong in 2014 with white people in Lancashire blackening themselves up, because it’s part of tradition.
In fact, he goes further saying those who think the coconut dancers are racist are themselves ignorant.
So now, I’ve got the privileged son of a former Minister calling me a black man an ignorant.
Well, here’s my message to Will Straw and the Labour Party.
As a black man, the reason I support no party is because they are all as bad as each other.
And, we question why Britain’s Black Youth look to American for hope and their inspiration.
More so when, the likes of Will Straw haven’t a clue about what many find racist and is indeed racist. Has he even taken a straw poll of British Black Voters on the issue? I have.
Many forget the definition of racism is … ‘anything perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’ (as defined in the Macpherson Report 1999, you know, after the horrific killing of a young talented black kid).
I’m offended because the first racist word I was called by a colleague at the start of my 11-year policing career was a “coconut”, but that too wasn’t meant to be offensive.
As someone pointed out, hanging use to be a Great British tradition. But, I’m hoping we don’t go back to that – although, some want to.
The picture of Will Straw with the coconuts reflects a place he wants to become an MP, where there’s the need for white people to dress as black people. If they are so desperate for accuracy, why not use ‘real’ black people – you know, the ones who don’t need makeup?
The only question with regards to tradition surely is, does it offend some British folk – yes, it does.
Next, people will be saying we can go back to the Minstrels when theatre makeup was used to represent a black person – and, not in a good way.
Until Will Straw and the privileged like him understand the journey I have taken as a black man, he is not fit to hold any public office and I’m hoping he doesn’t until he apologies to those people like me he has offended.
I’m more disappointed that the Labour Leadership has not stepped-in either, as Will is one of their prospective candidates. Which, probably say’s more about the party and what it deems as acceptable and not.
What’s the point of voting for anyone in 2015?