politics

Black History Month becoming 'racism history month', claims Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch


The top Tory was accused of “scoring cheap political points” after she dismissed the celebration as an “American import”

Kemi Badenoch Minister for Woman and Equalities

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has been accused of “scoring cheap political points” after she claimed Black History Month was becoming “racism history month”.

In an interview with Sky News , the top Tory controversially claimed the international celebration of Black culture was an “American import” being politicised in the UK.

Black History Month was first celebrated by Brits in 1987 and was marked again this year after fierce debate over England football players taking the knee and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

It also followed anger at a government-backed report, from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which rejected claims of institutional racism in Britain.

The minister told presenter Trevor Phillips, however, that while she saw the phrase ‘black lives matter’ as “very much a good thing”, she saw some interventions during last month’s celebrations as “contrived”.

“To be honest, I think Black History Month, it’s become much bigger than it used to be because a lot of people are doing different things, different things with it,” she said.

“It’s an American import, which hasn’t always fitted exactly with what I would call British and Commonwealth history.

“But what I’m also seeing is there’s politicisation happening in every sphere and I see it happening even there where Black History Month becomes racism history month, which isn’t what it should be.”








Taiwo Owatemi, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
(

Image:

TIM EASTHOPE/BIRMINGHAM MAIL)



Taiwo Owatemi, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, told the Mirror: “It’s really worrying that some government ministers find celebrating Black History Month such a difficult thing to do.

“Black History Month is about coming together to celebrate the incredible contribution Black people have made in Britain, not about scoring cheap political points.”

She went on to claim that the Black Lives Matter movement was being used as a vehicle for smuggling in other themes.

“I think with the phrase Black Lives Matter … very much a good thing,” she said, adding it had seen organisations focus more heavily on discrimination.

But she added: “Where it has become a vehicle for smuggling in other themes, probably less so, because many of those things are not values which I share. But that doesn’t mean that it should be stopped or banned.

“You know, I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. When you look at the defund the police and other things that people who claim to speak for that movement, those things that they put forward or they support, I do disagree with those things.

“I don’t think those are good things. But in terms of focusing on how we can improve disparities, and reduce prejudice and discrimination, yes.”

The junior Levelling Up Minister also appeared to be confused by reports which claimed she was “under fire” for reportedly saying she doesn’t care about colonialism.

In the leaked WhatsApp messages Ms Badenoch reportedly wrote: “I don’t care about colonialism because [I] know what we were doing before colonialism got there. They came in and just made a different bunch of winners and losers.

“There was never any concept of ‘rights’, so [the] people who lost out were old elites not everyday people.”








Labour MP Dawn Butler speaking in the Commons,
(

Image:

PA)



Justifying her comments, Ms Badenoch said: “I was not talking about this country, I was talking about Nigeria.

“If you go to the part of Nigeria I’m from, people will say ‘why is colonialism my concern?’.”

Last year, Ms Badenoch shut down calls for more teaching of black history in schools.

And in a Commons debate on Black History Month, Ms Badenoch said schools that taught pupils about “white privilege” as an uncontested fact were breaking the law.

The minister said she did not want white children to learn about “white privilege and their inherited racial guilt”.

Ms Badenoch was responding to Labour MP Dawn Butler’s claim that black children were made to feel inferior by what they are taught in school and history “needs to be decolonised”.

Labour’s Abena Oppong-Asare also pressed for a taskforce to look at diversifying the content taught in school.

“We want all our kids, all our children, black and white, every single corner of this country, to better understand our history so our children have a true sense of belonging within British culture,” she said.


Read More




Read More







READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more