August 14, 2011

Historian David Starkey is a big stupid stupid-head

Have you noticed how the smarter the offender against political correctness, the more the establishment denounces him for stupidity? A few nights ago, English historian David Starkey intellectually mopped the floor with the other three participants on a BBC talk show about the riots. Slowly the outraged losers in the debate are trying to gather their wits and respond.

Dreda Say Mitchell writes in The Guardian:
David Starkey's ethnic year zero 
The historian's views on race and rioting are ignorant and confused. Thankfully most people realise this 
Invited by BBC2's Newsnight last Friday for a discussion about the rioting, I was looking forward to an interesting debate. Fellow guests were Owen Jones, whose recent book on the white working class was widely admired, and historian David Starkey, whose perspective should have been a plus. 
But, instead of that debate, the viewers were treated to Starkey's random and confused thoughts on British youth culture. ... It is, as anyone who's tried it will know, very difficult to argue with crass stupidity. What do you make of someone who thinks using "Jamaican" slang encourages youth to torch buildings? You may as well argue that speaking with an upper-class accent encourages people to hunt foxes. 

Of course speaking with an upper-class English accent encourages people to hunt foxes. If you speak with an upper-class accent, you are vastly more likely to be invited to a fox hunt or to otherwise be invited to socialize with foxhunters or with people who approve of foxhunters than if you speak like Liza Doolittle's dad.

This isn't a particularly novel concept. G.B. Shaw wrote a play about the social and behavioral implications of English accents a century ago, Pygmalion. From Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady:
Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she ever uttered. ...
Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too! 

Conversely, if you think it's cool to speak like Ali G all the time, you are more likely to get invited along by other people who talk like Ali G to a looting. And if more people in your society start to think its cooler to speak like Ali G than like Henry Higgins, that means, to a somewhat lesser but still positive extent, that more people will think its cool to behave like Ali G than like Henry Higgins.
The host, Emily Maitlis, Jones and I had a go at challenging Starkey's views. But it's difficult to challenge someone who offers you no evidence apart from someone's text message and a spell teaching in Jamie Oliver's Dream School. 
As a former teacher I was tempted to suggest that Starkey go out into the corridor and think about what he'd said. Do intelligent and well-educated people in Britain really believe this nonsense? Are the debates about "race" and criminality that were supposed to have been fought and won decades ago going to have to be rehashed? Do we really need to compare gangsta rap with other forms of "outlaw" music, like country and western? Again? 
Mercifully the response to Starkey's remarks was overwhelmingly negative. I've been bombarded with emails and tweets from across the globe, 99% of which found him either ludicrous or comical. One tweeter was reminded of the 1970s character Eddie Booth from Love Thy Neighbour, the British sitcom. ... 
But the central problem with Starkey's comments is that they were based on complete ignorance about the social dynamics of urban life in Britain. 

In sum, everybody I know knows that I'm smart and David Starkey is stupid, for reasons that I can't quite put my finger on at the moment, but, obviously, I'm smart and he's a big stupid-head, almost as ignorant and unintelligent as that Enoch Powell.

74 comments:

Carol said...

The comments and ratings at the Daily Mail story are pretty heartening.

Anonymous said...

That program encapsulated everything that is wrong about the UK today, and how it's best days are behind it. The aggressive, stridently ignorant Dreda Mitchell, the indoctinated know-nothing Owen Jones, and the manipulative, biased interviewer attacking white Britain while taking its tax revenues; one could not have made it up any better than this.

Notwithstanding the fury, Starkey was still a long way short of telling the whole truth.

Time will tell whether his courage will lead to more people being more robustly honest, but I think the Stalinists who run the UK media will snap into high gear and crush it.

Anon.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

OK but sometimes the smart are caught with their arses hanging out the back of ripped trousers.

Speaking of popular culture, was Eddie Booth the British Archie Bunker? It be nice to think we were being simultaneously indoctrinated in similar ways on both sides of the Atlantic. No one wants to be left out in the cold on groupthink.

I guess we've diverged in recent years, though. I was perusing a series of excerpts and book reviews of female "comedian" writers like Chelsea Handler and Kathy Griffin on Amazon.com. Mostly they were crass or acerbic without the wit. It bothered me how simplistic and heavy handed the bitchiness was that was supposed to pass for humor. The fact that they were on the NYT bestsellers list made me feel like an intellectual by comparison to the hordes of people who read such tripe for amusement.

To their credit, the Brits don't seem to have a similar crop of ballsy broads. Of course it's the least they could do to make up for Benny Hill.

Anonymous said...

It's projection. He has a fussy, English, professorial manner, and she's ..uh, black. So of course she's going to call him stupid. Humans aren't fascinated by anybody else, only by ourselves and by how everybody else makes us feel. If she could stop being so self-absorbed for a moment, she could have found something that could actually hurt the guy - something that's true, but depressing. His advanced age, for example. Or his homosexuality (I just looked him up on the Wikipedia). His presumed childlessness. The fact that he's probably out of a job now.

One thing that's definitely not going to hurt him is being called stupid by that woman though. He knows he's not. He's gone to Cambridge and has taught at the London School of Economics. He's written lots of books about an arcane subject and he simply sounds smart.

Ian said...

I have found that it's difficult to discuss racial politics, in person or online, with black people. They get belligerent/aggressive/name-calling/loud to an extent one rarely finds among white people.

Also - there's that word again, "ignorant". It seems that it's the left's favorite go-to word to describe heretics, and black activists' go-to word to describe whites who won't cooperatively submit. I wonder if the true meaning of their usage is less what they think it means ("Don't you know THE FACTS: Tuskegee, colonialism, lynching, redlining, sundown towns, etc?") and more like, "Don't you know that speaking that way in public will get the race KGB all over your sorry ass?"

It's ironic, because I am repeatedly struck by how ignorant (in the more dictionary definition sense of the word) both groups are.

Marlo said...

"Have you noticed how the smarter the offender against political correctness, the more the establishment denounces him for stupidity? "

Hbdcons are guilty of something similar. The smarter the proponent of "political correctness" is, the more Steve (and istevers)denounce him for stupidity.

Malcom Gladwell and John McWorter come to mind.

David Robinson is cool though, and Kareem Abdul Jabar is okay, because they're not that into race politics. But could you imagine if they were, say, geneticists who occasionally blogged in opposition to HBD theory? Would they not be denounced for stupidity?

The sphere nuts would go crazy, man.

Shouting Thomas said...

Apparently, Britain lacks diversity in the crucial arena of rioting.

Perhaps Britain's leading intellectual lights can put their heads together and lead us to a new era of diversity in rioting.

Anonymous said...

ADJECTOLOGY in full force/swing. When liberals don't have facts or truth on their side, they sway opinions by use of adjectives.
Starkey is 'racist', 'odious', 'virulent', 'rabid', 'divisive', 'poisonous', 'noxious', etc, etc... and bloody shupid.

Anonymous said...

"Mercifully the response to Starkey's remarks was overwhelmingly negative. I've been bombarded with emails and tweets from across the globe, 99% of which found him either ludicrous or comical."

Yes because the first thing anyone who agrees with Starkey would be inclined to do is email Dreda Say Mitchell.

Fortunately this dear woman (probably) can't misrepresent the article comments.

Anonymous said...

TERMINATOR movies say it will be the rise of the machines.
APES movies say it will be rise of apes.
DEAD movies say it will be rise of zombies.
ALIEN movies say it will be invasion of the alien.

So, who will win?

Jack Aubrey said...

Loved this comment by Waltz (3:45 pm):

"Actually he has lived something that you haven't. He is a white Briton of a certain age looking on bewildered as entire boroughs of major British cities go up in flames, torched by kids who speak an affected West Indian lingo, talk about "the Feds", celebrate a species of gangster culture most of us associate with Baltimore, LA and Kingston. You write as if your viewpoint is superior to his. In fact, it's simply different and - as your article demonstrates - you haven't the slightest clue what all this looks like to vast numbers of Britons. You know, those tens of millions who don't get down wiv da Hackney Massive or pen chirpy articles about the variety of exotic foods now available on their doorstep or read The Guardian.

"The expectation is always that white Britons must see things from your perspective. Well, how about you practice what you preach and try seeing it from some of ours for a change?"

Anonymous said...

Guardian:
Comments on this page are now closed.

Anonymous said...

Marlo: factual question. Do blacks have higher crime rates and lower test scores than whites in most every country where the two live side by side?

stari_momak said...

"To be a white kid in contemporary England isn't particularly glamourous, particularly if you haven't got much money."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=sRyV0n8hab0#t=80s

Crawfurdmuir said...

Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan) wrote in his autobiographical "Memory Hold-the-Door" (1940) of the once-powerful Liberal party that:

"Its dogmas were so completely taken for granted that their presentation partook less of argument than of a tribal incantation. Mr. Gladstone had given it an aura of earnest morality, so that its platforms were its pulpits and its harangues had the weight of sermons. Its members seemed to assume that their opponents must be lacking either in morals or in mind. The Tories were the 'stupid' party; Liberals alone understood and sympathised with the poor; a working man who was not a Liberal was inaccessible to reason, or morally corrupt, or intimidated by laird or employer. I remember a lady summing up the attitude thus: Tories may think they are better born, but Liberals know they are born better."

The aristocratic pretensions of the right have pretty well disappeared, but the moral and intellectual vanity of the left is alive and well, on both sides of the Atlantic.

stari_momak said...

Somebody's got the joke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsAewwtlXfU

Anonymous said...

The Left is growing more and more shrill as they realize their policies have caused more ignorance, more dependency, more chaos, more social dysfunction than even their opponents originally told them they would.

Marlo said...

"Apparently, Britain lacks diversity in the crucial arena of rioting.

Perhaps Britain's leading intellectual lights can put their heads together and lead us to a new era of diversity in rioting"

There is no way that someone with clear vision could conclude that Britain lacks diversity in that arena.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and refrain from calling you a liar. But please,for purposes of accuracy, get your eyes checked.

Aaron in Israel said...

This article is more evidence that Starkey really is a big stupid stupid-head, for the reason I posted earlier: Starkey really did indulge in crude stereotyping, and his critics were correct, on that point at least, to call him on it.

Starkey's unwillingness to concede that black cultures (plural) are complex, etc. just shunted the debate into this endless loop. Some of this woman's points - and she is raising some points here, not just name-calling - are valid, but they're tangential to the main issue. She's obviously not interested in charitably trying to understand what Starkey was clumsily trying to say; she's being an uncharitable stupid-head. But it's not just her fault. Her whole article is a result of Starkey's stupid stupid-headedness, his unwillingness to think or at least communicate clearly.

Just one sentence from him is all it would have taken. "Yes, I acknowledge that I'm generalizing about something complex, but the generalization is valid because...". Then get on with the substance. Instead, we have this stupid stupiditiness about whether Starkey's crude stereotypes are crude stereotypes, instead of talking about the truth that his crude stereotypes crudely point to.

Anonymous said...

"Guardian:
Comments on this page are now closed."

Crimestop!

Anonymous said...

Burning London vs flaming homo. Welcome to 21st century UK.

eh said...

An excerpt from Dreda Say Mitchell's 'about Dreda' page:

I was born in the East End of London. My parents migrated to England from the Caribbean island of Grenada. I grew up on a housing estate one street up from Cable Street and five minutes walk from The Tower of London. It was during my visits to Whitechapel library that my love of books grew. I then went off to take a degree in African history at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and later obtained an MA in education studies.

She sounds well-qualified to...give her opinion on TV.

Anonymous said...

Wait... why is being 'stupid' and dumb a bad thing? If the left is for egalitarianism, it should NOT favor smartness and intelligence over stupidity and dumbness.

Besides, there is more than one kind of intelligence--or so the Left keeps telling us. Starkey isn't shupid. He has politically incorrect intelligence while liberals have politically correct intelligence.
And businessmen have constructive intelligence while rioters have barbaric intelligence. We are all intelligent in whatever we say and do. It's just different kinds of intelligence. And 'stupidity' is just a social construct. It is about us(smarties) vs them(stupids), bad way to think.

Anonymous said...

Starkey won't accept that 2 + 2 = 5 and that blacks + looting = 'blacks are not responsible'.

What a racist dummy.

Aaron in Israel said...

Re my comment above, I just now read this by Toby Young:

To begin with, Starkey wasn’t talking about black culture in general, but, as he was anxious to point out, a “particular form” of black culture, i.e. “the violent, destructive, nihilistic, gangster culture” associated with Jamaican gangs and American rap music. Had he been talking about these qualities as if they were synonymous with African-Caribbean culture per se, or condemning that culture in its totality, then he would have been guilty of racism. But he wasn’t. He was quite specifically condemning a sub-culture associated with a small minority of people of African-Caribbean heritage. (Admittedly, he could have made this clearer.)

I'll take Young's word for this. (I haven't gone back to watch the video again.) My comment still stands, though, because as Young admits, Starkey sure could have made that clearer.

Anonymous said...

Aaron, if you were living in London instead of Israel, you might think differently.

Anonymous said...

That program encapsulated everything that is wrong about the UK today, and how it's best days are behind it. The aggressive, stridently ignorant Dreda Mitchell, the indoctinated know-nothing Owen Jones, and the manipulative, biased interviewer attacking white Britain while taking its tax revenues; one could not have made it up any better than this

Sounds a lot like the US. Except that we made Dreda Mitchell our president.

Anonymous said...

Starkey is ok by me. On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I'd like to extend the man honorary citizenship. On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I'd also like to bar Dreda Mitchell from ever stepping foot on our soil.

We've got enough Deadheada Mitchells here already.

Man De Novo said...

Aaron, I agree that Starkey's point was not delivered optimally. Everyone here knows how sensitive people are about race talk; in that vein rather than saying "the whites have become black", he should have pointed out that black immigrants brought with them the baggy pants, patois, boasting about crime, Ali G subculture (which no one can argue) and one of the many negative consequences is that many whites have now adopted it. Nuance is desperately needed when discussing HBD because it's so easy for the other side to invoke Godwin's Law.

Indeed, if you think about it, there has never once been a complex intellectual argument or a published peer reviewed paper delivered in Jamaican Patois or American Ebonics. And probably not in East London Cockney. Large numbers of people grow up mentally under-stimulated and atrophied because of the cultural ubiquity of these dialects among certain groups.

Harry Baldwin said...

Ian said...Also - there's that word again, "ignorant". It seems that it's the left's favorite go-to word to describe heretics, and black activists' go-to word to describe whites who won't cooperatively submit."

In his latter years, when interviewers would ask him about his proclivity for sleeping with young boys, Michael Jackson would always answer, "People are ignorant . . . ignorant."

I always wondered what he meant by that usage.

Man De Novo said...

Racist [rey-sist] (noun) 1: A white person who observes the living manifestations of social science statistics in his day-to-day life and is not afraid to discuss his observations in public.

Anti-Racist [anti-rey-sist] (noun) 1: One who is determined to stop a white person who observes the living manifestations of social science statistics in his day-to-day-life from discussing his observations in public.

Marlo said...

"Marlo: factual question. Do blacks have higher crime rates and lower test scores than whites in most every country where the two live side by side?"

In which countries do blacks and whites live "side by side"?

That is certainly not the case in America. The two have never, ever, in any substantial numbers, lived "side by side". Ergo, one should expect to see huge gaps in crime rates, test scores, employment etc.

I'm not sure about black/white social distance in Europe. With respect to test scores, this is the best I could find:

http://robertlindsay.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/iq-and-achievement-in-british-black-children/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/sep/03/social-class-achievement-school

http://www.economia.unimore.it/Bertocchi_Graziella/bologna/patacchini.pdf

Anonymous said...

"The smarter the proponent of 'political correctness' is, the more Steve (and istevers)denounce him for stupidity."

Well, yeah, of course... your "Istevers" see in McWhorter an intellectual rival to some flexible degree and the impression's been reciprocated. What would be the point of calling out Matt Damon or one of the hostesses from "The View?"

That the narcissism of small differences is the prime driver of human affairs has I think been a consistent theme on the blog and it's quite instructive when applied to most outrage-du-jour news phenomena. I don't know how well it scales to racial categories, but the extended bouts of fussing which comprise all "media conversation" are otherwise about as edifying as watching apes pick nits out of each other's fur

Lucius said...

It amazes that Mitchell can allow herself so many fallacious appeals in such short compass. She must be right because everyone she knows agrees with her. The dogma is settled, so surely we won't be reopening settled questions that everyone I know knows the proper answer to. This old man from Cambridge must therefore be a doddering old racist, and I'd be within my rights to scold him like a child.

Thus goes reasoned debate, by the lights of "The Guardian" leftism.

And don't we all know that outlaw culture, whatever that is, is precious and inviolable? Don't you know that's settled, people?

Anonymous said...

Marlo,
I have lived in and driven through dozens of American communities where blacks and white were living side by side. At least, until the white were driven out by black crime and by black destroyed schools.
You are an ignorant patronizing dumby.
Robert in Arabia

Anonymous said...

David Starkey amuses himself by expressing contrarian opinions on taboo issues.

In the past he has opined that the work of women historians is inferior.

He has also opined that the the mainstream acceptance of openly gay men has left him nostalgic for the bygone nights of anonymous sexual encounters with closeted gay men in public parks.

There is enough unspoken support for such controversialists that they rarely go hungry and indeed often prosper.

In the U.K. Boris Johnson used to toy with political incorrectness, Rod Liddle continues to do so. Taki still writes a column for The Spectator. Peter Hitchens writes for The Daily Mail. Richard Littlejohn writes and occasionally does some television. And for scathing opinions delivered in an extraordinary accent, there's no topping Brian Sewell.

In the U.S., Limbaugh, Coulter, Buchanan, and others continue to be heard, seen, and read.

David Starkey is already wealthy, and I suspect he'll continue to earn a gentleman's income.

Reg Cæsar said...

Speaking of popular culture, was Eddie Booth the British Archie Bunker?

No, Archie Bunker was the American Alf Garnett.

Literally.

Anonymous said...

All of you guys talking about how Starkey should have said this or done that -- seriously stuff it.

The guy had the stones to get up there and state the truth. Maybe it's only like 80 degrees aligned with your version of the truth. Maybe only 70. In hindsight everyone can be more articulate.

It reminds me of people jumping over James Watson for not stapling a PhD thesis footnote to every single quote of his. It's simply impossible in a conversation.

You know the point Starkey was making. You know he's more right than not. If you agree with him, STFU about how he could have hypothetically made it more elegantly, perhaps in such a namby pamby way that neither the left nor anyone else would have understood exactly what he was saying.

When conservatives speak in code long enough they forget to talk plainly.

"The whites have become black" means black software has been installed on white hardware. Eminem and wigger chavs are now the standard. The text message Starkey read out loud kicking off the riot was a pluperfect example of the Ali G speak that is what white kids think is cool, because white adults have lost control of the culture and their ability to transmit their ways and heritage to their descendants.

It used to be the other way around. White software on black hardware was the standard before the whole black power movement. It meant blacks in church and wearing suits and doing their best to mimick whites and their nuclear family. Black hardware meant they could only come close, but in many ways blacks from the 1950s are better people than young whites with black software today.

Only one culture can be dominant at a time, only one can dictate its mores to the other.

A black can get on TV and mock the way a white talks and acts, and criticize their culture as a whole as being unfeeling and needing to change. A white literally cannot make a negative generalization about any group of blacks, no matter how carefully he qualifies it, without blaming it on whites.

Try it. Make such a negative generalization without hinting that it's the fault of whites. Even if it's baldly factual ("Black men are more likely to be imprisoned"), someone will consider it a racist hatefact like this fool Marlo in this thread.

Reg Cæsar said...

... he makes an above-average New York public intellectual.

A couple columns (I forget whose) recently reminded us that "intellectual" was originally a pejorative, and the true compliment was "scholar".

So, is a "public intellectual" doubly worse than a private scholar?

... they simply assume that Mexicans must be the opposite of those evil rednecks in the Southwest that they hate.

Truth be told, they hate blue-blood Yankees a hell of a lot more than they do "evil rednecks", whose only crime, in their eyes, is voting Republican, a recent phenomenon.

It wasn't all that long ago when Southerners and their drier Soutwestern cousins were embraced by NYC and DC "intellectuals" as the salt of the earth. And the embrace was somewhat mutual-- the WPA photographers had to tell them to stop smiling and look suitably oppressed for the camera.

Anonymous said...

Namechecking 'Eddie Booth' from 'Love Thy Neighbour', gotta love it.
That was a legendary and highly popular British 'golden age' comedy of the 1970s.
There are many clips of it on youtube.

Whiskey said...

Aaron -- Why would Starkey NEED to be sensitive?

Blacks do not belong in Britain. They are there basically on sufferance. Blacks did not fight at Badon Hill, neither did they fight with Henry V. Blacks did not attend the Globe Theater, nor did they fight with Drake against the Armada. Blacks did not fight with Arthur, nor did the wonder at Merlin. Blacks did not retell the stories of Robin Hood, nor did they fight in the Crusades. Blacks did not create Sherlock Holmes, neither did they stand alone against Hitler for a YEAR.

Blacks, at most, can only be a guest, and never an owner, of Britain. Should any native Briton wish to opine on the failings of the guest brought in, he needs not to watch his words. HE is the landlord and THEY are the guests.

Mitchell should have watched her words and acted respectfully the same way I would have in Jamaica or Nigeria if I as a White guy born there were to opine on White emigres rioting in Kingston or the Nigerian Delta. I would defer to Nigerians or Jamaicans on their assessment of rioting White emigres. Because it is THEIR country.

That principle works universally.

Anonymous said...

'The debate on 'race' and 'criminality' was fought and won decades ago'.

Was it?

Marlo said...

Robert in Arabia,

Your claim of having driven through dozens of American communities where blacks and whites were living side by side has little bearing on the validity of what I wrote--given that America is a country of thousands of communities.

Moreover, the high degree of social distance between black and white Americans is documented by almost a century of research. The concensus is that, blacks and whites in the U.S. remain segregated regardless of income level, education level and crime rates. Put another way, if black Americans achieved parity with whites in income and education, and commited crimes at the same rate that whites do, the two groups would still not be living side by side in any significant numbers.

Only an idiot would deny that.

Marlo said...

"Try it. Make such a negative generalization without hinting that it's the fault of whites. Even if it's baldly factual ("Black men are more likely to be imprisoned"), someone will consider it a racist hatefact like this fool Marlo in this thread"

Actually, I wouldn't consider the statement that "Black men are more likely to be imprisoned" racist.

If you want to talk about black crime, imprisonment or test scores, be my guest.

Anonymous said...

"Are the debates about "race" and criminality that were supposed to have been fought and won decades ago going to have to be rehashed?"

I find this comment interesting. We see variants of it all the time. I think it should be called the 'Double Jeopardy Fallacy'. A forensic accountant explained to me long ago: The past is what it is; the facts are the facts. There is no statute of limitations on fraud or wrongdoing. These poor leftists and blank-slatists are determined to 'move on' and keep the gains of their intellectual fraud, but they just keep getting dragged back to the facts.
Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

"Blacks did not fight at Badon Hill, neither did they fight with Henry V. Blacks did not attend the Globe Theater, nor did they fight with Drake against the Armada. Blacks did not fight with Arthur, nor did the wonder at Merlin."

But they are sure fighting now.

NLF said...

"It amazes that Mitchell can allow herself so many fallacious appeals in such short compass."

No doubt, she's a stupid stupidhead beneficiary of afro-motive action.

Big Bill said...

I believe you misspoke. It should be "big, stupid poopyhead".

Justin O. said...

"Have you noticed how the smarter the offender against political correctness, the more the establishment denounces him for stupidity?"

- Seems like just yesterday Truth wrote about the Jared Taylor library being coloring books.

Simon in London said...

If she had any sense, Newsnight would not have invited her on to form part of the bear pit. Same with the white idiot. I don't see any reason to pay attention to her lumpen-intelligentsia witterings. It's far more important to know what the actual powers-that-be, such as Newsnight's producers, are thinking.

BrokenSymmetry said...

In the 2007 kerfuffle brought about by Jim Watson's unfortunate observations on African intelligence, the Guardian spared no effort in bringing out its biggest guns and commissioned a rebuttal by Ghanaian media personage, Cameron Doudu.

Let me repeat: "a rebuttal by Ghanaian media personage, Cameron Doudu"

Read it and weep

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/oct/19/herewegoagain

jgress said...

I think Steve makes an excellent point that speaking the dialect of a certain community makes you more acceptable to that community, and thus making it easier to participate in that community's culture and behavior. In that respect, it is indeed unsurprising that white underclass thugs would choose to speak the dialect of black underclass thugs, who are universally acknowledged to be dominant in the cultural realm of thuggery. It's in essence nothing different than upwardly mobile working class boys choosing to speak upper class toff dialect in order to be invited to the next foxhunt. The most crassly liberal sociolinguist would not balk at any of this.

However, Starkey didn't say that. He instead made the kind of half-baked Whorfian nonsense blather that non-linguists, especially of the conservative variety, make about language, in their unshakable belief that languages decay in the way dead organisms decay, and that languages actually determine how people think. It's as if it were the poor language's fault that its speakers can't use it properly to express profound or useful thought, or that its speakers don't know how to use their brains and behave like productive citizens. What does it even mean to say that their dialect is "false"? What is a "true" dialect supposed to be?

Some earlier poster thought it significant that no papers have ever been presented in Jamaican patois (or Creole, to use the technical term), as if this were incontrovertible proof that the language were somehow incapable of expressing the requisite concepts. Isn't the reason rather that Creole is socially unacceptable in academic and professional circles?

Anonymous said...

I think Steve was referencing Homer Jay Simpson in the title....

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavendar/poitier/135/stpidhed.wav

Along those lines- During the Springfield riot Homer was upset because he wasn't able to "loot Marge a present"

Dan in DC

josh said...

Re Anonymous 8/14 at 7:31:"...the least they could do to make up for Benny Hill." Do intelligent and well-educated people really dislike Benny Hill? Are debates about pinching womens buttocks going to have to be rehashed?Are we going to compare Benny to other "slaptick" comedians like Jerry Lewis?

Kylie said...

From the linked article:
"What do you make of someone who thinks using 'Jamaican' slang encourages youth to torch buildings? You may as well argue that speaking with an upper-class accent encourages people to hunt foxes."

So does this mean whites can use the n-word without being denounced as racists?

Oh, wait. That's different.

It always is.

Kylie said...

"The smarter the proponent of "political correctness" is, the more Steve (and istevers)denounce him for stupidity.

Malcom[sic] Gladwell and John McWorter come to mind."


Poor Blinkie, he didn't even rate having his name spelled correctly.

Don't worry, hon. We won't be denouncing you any time soon.

Kylie said...

"Sounds a lot like the US. Except that we made Dreda Mitchell our president."

No, "we" didn't.

And he's not "our" president.

Matt said...

"Aaron -- Why would Starkey NEED to be sensitive?"

Because you are trying to win an argument, not rail at the heavens. Aaron's point is that if you want to be heard, you need to learn how to do it. Ok, so the left controls the bounds of acceptable discourse. Since we all know this, the task for rightists is to figure out how to shut down the inevitable kneejerk responses so that we can get our views across in the few arenas in which we have the opportunity to do so. It may be unfair that rightists have to constantly qualify their remarks, but that's the way it is, so we either deal with it or consign ourselves to ignominy. We don't have to convince Dreda Say Mitchell--and probably never will. We have to convince the average Briton who has just seen his city go up in flames and might just remember that the vast social programme of the left was supposed to ensure that never happened. The Guardian's comments show that while there is still plenty of support for the leftist narrative, there is also plenty of dissent against it. So--make a breach and capitalize on it.

Starkey may have missed his chance--let's try not to miss it next time.

Truth said...

"Blacks do not belong in Britain. They are there basically on sufferance. Blacks did not fight at Badon Hill, neither did they fight with Henry V. Blacks..."

They did fight in Bermuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and BVI, which were part of Great Britain.

Anonymous said...

In which countries do blacks and whites live "side by side"?

That is certainly not the case in America. The two have never, ever, in any substantial numbers, lived "side by side". Ergo, one should expect to see huge gaps in crime rates, test scores, employment etc.

The stupidity is strong in this one.

If only the goverment would force white communites to let blacks live among them, to attend the same schools and colleges, we would see the gap in crime rates, test scores, employment etc dwindle!

Marlo, your knowledge of America could be written on the back of a matchbook.

Anonymous said...

Moreover, the high degree of social distance between black and white Americans is documented by almost a century of research.

Social distance!

Remind me again - in which countries do blacks and whites (or any other two races you care to mention) not have a "high degree of social distance"?

Put another way, if black Americans achieved parity with whites in income and education, and commited crimes at the same rate that whites do, the two groups would still not be living side by side in any significant numbers

Wonderful. Given that you concede this point, what possible relevance does "social distance" have?

Truth said...

"And he's not "our" president."

So you're s Commie! I always knew it!

AmericanGoy said...

"Are the debates about "race" and criminality that were supposed to have been fought and won decades ago going to have to be rehashed?"

THIS IS THE KEY LINE AND THEIR CHIEF FEAR.

ben tillman said...

I just started watching the video, and one of the first things that Starkey said was that it was "superficial" -- it was "shopping with violence".

That's a great line.

Kylie said...

"It amazes that Mitchell can allow herself so many fallacious appeals in such short compass."

It shouldn't. She was born into and brought up in a society which allows her to be fallacious without penalty because she's a black female. Indeed, she is merely following the example of its elites.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of popular culture, was Eddie Booth the British Archie Bunker?

No, the British Archie Bunker was Alf Garnett.

In fact Archie Bunker (All in the Family) was the US Alf Garnett (Till Death Us Do Part). The characters and basically the whole British show were rewritten for the US audience.

The purpose being the same, to belittle and ridicule whites Brits and Americans.

Check the writers both both, a veritable army of ScotsIrish types.

Anonymous said...

Cameron Doudu? Not the Cameron Doudu?

I thought the Doudu was extinct.

Anonymous said...

The level of public debate in Britain has declined, partly because half the participants are genuinely stupid, the other half are scared to tell the truth and the TV journalists are there to enforce a world view remote from reality.

Such a society is not long for this world.

Anon.

Marlo said...

"Poor Blinkie, he didn't even rate having his name spelled correctly."

...says the queen of spelling errors.

"Don't worry, hon. We won't be denouncing you any time soon"

I'll try to hold back the tears, Kylie.

Which isn't hard because I admit to not being smart and thus, undeserving of your denunciations.

I am merely a student of science, trying desperately, often unsuccesfully, to wrap my head around the convolutions of human biodiversity. That is my purpose here--I wish not to achieve the rank of stupid.

At best I can become a scientist or a quant, like you guys.

David said...

"Have you noticed how the smarter the offender against political correctness, the more the establishment denounces him for stupidity?"

It's a common form of projection. The less sharp, if insecure about their intelligence, always go to "stupid stupid-head" or the like when describing those who have bested them in argument.

The rest of us simply hold as a possibility that anyone disagreeing with us might not be playing with a full deck. Usually we discover we're mistaken about that before putting our foot in our mouth - not always.

Anonymous said...

Just watched the video, how old is Owen Jones? He looks like he is about 16, although clearly he is older, he seems to be like Bill Gates, preternaturally young looking. It's ironic, I just recently became aware of and a fan of David Starkey this summer, when his series "Monarchy" was listed as recommended for me on Netflix. I watched the first two seasons, and they are a great quick education on British history. Getting back to the video, it was very clear that both Dreda Say Mitchell and Little Lord Fauntleroy were completely out of their depth, Starkey would have crushed them both like bugs if the moderator hadn't interrupted. Now it is clear they are exacting their revenge in print that they would never have had on air.

Svigor said...

That is certainly not the case in America. The two have never, ever, in any substantial numbers, lived "side by side". Ergo, one should expect to see huge gaps in crime rates, test scores, employment etc.

Lol.

Don't worry, hon. We won't be denouncing you any time soon.

Indeed, I was just about to laud his stupidity and ask for seconds. More please!

Anonymous said...

PC is so rampant that maybe even 'hate groups' will become 'inclusive' and 'diverse'

Anonymous said...

"i use rap in schools" ... gee wonder why literacy is declining.