David Starkey’s Views on Race Disgrace the Academic World, Say Historians

Anita Singh, Telegraph (London), August 26, 2011

More than 100 historians have signed an open letter expressing their dismay at Starkey’s controversial comments on the riots during an appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme.

They asked the BBC to stop referring to Starkey as a “historian” on anything but his specialist subject, the Tudors, claiming that he is “ill-fitted” to hold forth on other topics.

Signatories to the letter include academics from Cambridge and the London School of Economics, institutions at which Starkey once taught.

Starkey’s Newsnight appearance caused outrage earlier this month when he was asked about the cause of the riots and replied: “What has happened is that a substantial section of the chavs . . . have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion.”

In a letter to the Times Higher Education magazine, the collective of 102 academics said: “His crass generalisations about black culture and white culture as oppositional, monolithic entities demonstrate a failure to grasp the subtleties of race and class that would disgrace a first-year history undergraduate.

“In fact, it appears to us that the BBC was more interested in employing him for his on-screen persona and tendency to make comments that viewers find offensive than for his skills as a historian.

“In addition to noting that a historian should argue from evidence rather than assumption, we are also disappointed by Starkey’s lack of professionalism on Newsnight.

“Instead of thoughtfully responding to criticism, he simply shouted it down; instead of debating his fellow panellists from a position of knowledge, he belittled and derided them. On Newsnight, as on other appearances for the BBC, Starkey displayed some of the worst practices of an academic, practices that most of us have been working hard to change.”

The letter asked why the BBC had invited Starkey to discuss the riots when his academic research and published works have nothing to do with the subject.

“In our opinion, it was a singularly poor choice,” they said, adding that “the poverty of his reductionist argument . . . reflected his lack of understanding of the history of ordinary life in modern Britain. It was evidentially insupportable and factually wrong.

“The problem lies in the BBC’s representation of Starkey’s views as those of a ‘historian’, which implies that they have some basis in research and evidence: but as even the most basic grasp of cultural history would show, Starkey’s views as presented on Newsnight have no basis in either.”

Among the signatories are Paul Gilroy, professor of social theory at the London School of Economics; Steven Fielding, professor of political history of at the University of Nottingham; Richard Grayson, professor of 20th century history at Goldsmith’s, University of London; and Tim Whitmarsh, professor of ancient literatures at the University of Oxford.

Others come from as far afield as Harvard, the University of Winnipeg in Canada and Jawaharlal Nehru University in India.

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  • Anonymous

    David Starkey was on a TV with an air head Black woman, Dreda Say Mitchell, and some White twit named Owen Jones.

    What is the problem, Starkey wasn’t up to the standard set by the other guests?

    You can bet that every one of the academics signing the Starkey complaint is a certified Nazis complainer and constantly moans about how Hitler stifled free speech. But the fact is they make the Nazis and Hitler look tolerant by comparison.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of the deluge of indignation that was heaped upon James Watson by memebers of the British elite for saying that Africa’s chronic under development may be due to blacks’ lower intelligence scores. Britain is now a totalitarian state where racial heresies are punished just as swiftly as religious heresies were five centuries years ago. Even in Obama’s Amerika I don’t think political correctness is as strictly enforced as it is in the UK. That’s saying something.

  • Preparation H-Bomb

    So, uh, what’s the problem again? Blacks have proven the world over that their only solution to their discontent is to riot. Starkey’s saying so is simply the truth. The people who are unhappy about that want us to believe that African voodoo is equivalent to Harvard Medical School teachings.

  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    There can never be a candid discussion of black social pathology as long as those drawing attention to it are subject to this kind of persecution. Someone less prominent than David Starkey could lose his or her job for saying in public what virtually everyone knows to be true.

    Before the civil rights legislation was passed one could plausibly argue that racial discrimination caused black social pathology. Two generations after the passing of that legislation it is becoming increasingly apparent that racial discrimination was a regrettable, but wise way of dealing with racial differences that appear to be innate.

  • Ben

    “His crass generalisations about black culture and white culture as oppositional, monolithic entities demonstrate a failure to grasp the subtleties of race and class that would disgrace a first-year history undergraduate.”

    Ah, maybe some of this “historians” would be so wise as to teach by example via moving to the African continent.”

  • Tom S.

    If I were Mr. Stark I would inform all 102 of these liberal idiots what an honor I thought it was to receive their “dismay”, and ask them to please send me their “research and evidence” that will prove me wrong.

    It is precisely these sort of “academics” that have contributed to the downfall of White societies worldwide and, ironically, will be the first ones slaughtered in the end. It’s like Rosie O’Donnell standing up for muslims when they would kill her on the spot for being a lesbian.

    I will never understand these people.

  • Tim in Indiana

    His crass generalisations about black culture and white culture as oppositional, monolithic entities demonstrate a failure to grasp the subtleties of race and class that would disgrace a first-year history undergraduate.

    Translation: They disagreed with him (or more precisely, they were afraid to agree with him).

    “Instead of thoughtfully responding to criticism, he simply shouted it down; instead of debating his fellow panellists from a position of knowledge, he belittled and derided them.

    Wow! Want to see a real example of belittling and deriding? See the quote above.

    AR nailed it with their summary: “Historians pile on to squash dissident.”

  • Gerald

    Of all the learned professions, history has lost the most credibility and prestige during the past 100 years. The reasons for this are complex, but have to do with the seeming triumph of technology and materialism over any deeper view of human nature and history (caused both by soul-destroying world wars & the triumph of soul-less capitalism world wide) and the ideological conquest of the history profession by poltical correctness, aka cultural Marxism. The people on that list are pathetic. It’s clear they suffer from extreme status envy – they yearn to be respected as medicial doctors are in their various specialities, and pretend that only a specialist in urban history, or social history, or black history, is qualified to comment on the riots. They are trying desperately to equate themselves with those in harder (and therefor more prestigious) professions to get into: medicine, physics, chemistry, even engineering, with its various branches.

    In short, a collection of mediocrities who are all too conscious of being in a profession which they themselves have helped make mediocre.

  • whiteraven

    ““His crass generalisations about black culture and white culture as oppositional, monolithic entities demonstrate a failure to grasp the subtleties of race and class that would disgrace a first-year history undergraduate.”

    And their obnoxious attempts to so blur what common sense and the real world tell us is factual and true is an abomination that would make disingenuousness seem credible by comparison.

  • Patrick

    Is there any possibility that someone could be considered an “expert” on race based sociology and not be 100 percent pro-diversity? I doubt it. So they are claiming he’s not an expert because he views they don’t believe could be correct. It’d be like the Vatican calling for the death of Giordano Bruno because all the experts agreed that the sun revolved around the Earth. They were all right at that time also, so right they were able to get Bruno killed. But now? They are looked up on as fools. I would guess at some point people are going to have to address the facts staring them in the face, but until then I guess some people are going to have to be burned at the stake. Sad, but probably true.

  • Anonymous

    The historians are not only disgracing themselves, but they are calling into question all their historical writings, which we must assume have been ideologically sanitized. In other words, if they aren’t telling the truth about today, how can they expect us to believe that they’re telling the truth about the past?

    It’s amazing how this feeds off itself. I bet that some of the signatories don’t even believe what they’re signing, but they just are protecting their own positions. To not sign is to be suspect. This is straight out of Stalin’s playbook.

  • Anonymous

    How many of these historians live in a black area?

  • Paul Jones

    I saw the “discussion” and it was pretty pathetic how the young white “twit” and the “hip” black woman tried to gang up on Starkey. He essentially backed off from some of what he’d said after a while, so I don’t see what the ruckus is over the positons he took. It just goes to show how far political correctness has gone in Great Britain to see this huge number of “academics” criticizing Starkey for what were really fairly mild observations on his part – by comparison, Pat Buchanan is a much harder hitter against the liberal-minority coalition.

  • GetBackJack

    I take none of these “historians” at face value. Their words mean nothing to me and they shouldn’t mean anything to you. If I want facts, I go back 50-100 years when honesty and personal integrity existed among professionals. Over the decades, Western society has become filled with institutions and “experts” that are nothing more than hand-picked shills for the corporatists and globalists. Can anyone look at the Nobel Prize seriously ever again? It has lost all of its legitimacy. The global warming farce is another debacle. The endless wars started with misinformation.

    Nothing is as it seems until those not part of the game realize it is a game.

  • Martin

    While I do agree with his comments, the fact is that American Renaissance and we as race realists in general should not embrace Mr.Starkey too quickly. He has a checkered past. In 2003, he was a strong supporter of the British Labor Party

    (a liberal party), and was very supportive of immigration. By 2008, he denounced his views and reversed course. Yes, I realize people can change, but this change seems too sudden and too radical for me to believe that it was a sincere one.

    Time will tell.

  • Cassiodorus

    “It was evidentially insupportable and factually wrong.”

    A mere assertion. What factual errors did Starkey commit? As an example of scholarly prose this is rather poor, multisyllabic mouthfuls notwithstanding. “Evidentially insupportable” and “factually wrong” mean the same thing, though of course the two phrases are tacked together in an obvious attempt at intimidation by verbosity.

    “His crass generalisations about black culture and white culture as oppositional, monolithic entities demonstrate a failure to grasp the subtleties of race and class that would disgrace a first-year history undergraduate.”

    Either blacks are disproportionately responsible for riots and violence or they are not. Windy academic condemnations of “oppositional” and “monolithic” characterizations do not address the question on the table in even a rudimentary way.

  • Robert in Arabia

    Svigor said…

    Learning is racist, tests are racist, history is racist, America is racist, western civilization is racist, Europe is racist, whites are racist, conservatives are racist, firemen are racist, colorblindness is racist, equal opportunity is racist, the truth is racist, fairness is racist, “live and let live” is racist, self-determination is racist, free association is racist, rights are racist. Courage is racist, honesty is racist, forthrightness is racist, fighting city hall is racist, speaking truth to power is racist, fighting the system is racist, speaking up for yourself is racist, racism is racist.

    Sane, decent people should start worrying if they’re not being called “racist.”

  • white advocate – Canada

    If this matter gets to the tribunal stage, I expect David Cameron to be called. He is saying multiculturalism has been an outright failure. Many have said the same thing over the years and been hounded as heretics and racists. Did the history professors say anything about this persecution? Where were the perceptive observers among the profs who foresaw the failure of multiculturalism? Now that the PM has announced a new policy, how many profs will come to agree with him, and come up with good logic for doing so?

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    These “historians” can’t understand history when it’s happening right in front of their faces.

  • jason robertson

    Starkey was referring to objective facts, well known to others but he put the “wrong spin” on it. Google in articles from black supporters Tony Sewell and especially Ben Douglas. The signatories to the latest bell, book and candle include Paul Gilroy a “Professor” who has stated that “black” criminality is not pathological but largely a political protest against “racism” (i.e. the English host society and its native culrure, not that “blacks” are more prone to crime than anyone else! A hybrid himself he is an exponent of “hybridity” imposed on the UK since the Windrush invasion, but expressed with much greater lucidity and intelligence than that displayed by the bloods, “brothers” and youths recently engaged in subjecting some of our homes to a devastation not experienced since the Blitz. Some stuff on Gilroy is found on Wikipedia. And now for the Notting Hill Carnival which The (former)_Times, owned by Murdoch and edited by James Harding, today praised for “vibrant diversity”.

    27 August 2011.

  • Not an historian

    If you’ve read Jared Taylor’s books, this sounds so familiar–whites falling all over themselves to demonstrate that they aren’t racist–why, in fact, they are shocked, SHOCKED, that Dr. Starkey could even think such a thing!

    Took me many years to lose my fear of the r-word. Before I lost that fear, I would have reacted just as these historians have. There will be no effective White Identity until most of us lose that fear.

  • Dennis

    Martin wrote:

    You are right. He was also married to a Pakistani woman for several years as well.

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    21 — Not an historian wrote at 9:29 AM on August 27:

    “Took me many years to lose my fear of the r-word…There will be no effective White Identity until most of us lose that fear.”

    So true. Most of us have to go through our process with that word; I think I’ve finally completed my own (I hope!)

    When the word is flung at me on a mainstream site, I currently counter with some variation of the comment below, which is cobbled together mostly from a post I saw a few months ago here on Amren and posts I’ve seen recently on Bob Whitaker’s site:

    Words like “racist,” “Nazi,” “bigot,” are terms used by anti-Whites to make Whites tuck our tails between our legs and work for our own genocide.

    So called “anti-racists” are really anti-Whites, who have replaced traditional White culture with an incongruous “culture” of gangsta rap and smiley faces, and who want to replace Whites with non-Whites.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

    It’s strong in a spot or two (“genocide”, and “replace Whites with non-Whites”), but if challenged, both of those phrases can be defended with arguments that air even more information.

  • RegvlvsSeradly

    The worst part about this, every last one of them knows that David Starkey was right.

  • Anonymous

    “The worst part about this, every last one of them knows that David Starkey was right”.

    For me, that brings to mind a quote I read recently. The quote is by Adolph Hitler. . . it has the air of being spoken in a facetious manner, perhaps, “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it”.

    Adolph Hitler’s legacy was not that of a dead end trail but instead the road of a prophet?

  • Fr. John

    ““The problem lies in the BBC’s representation of Starkey’s views as those of a ‘historian’, which implies that they have some basis in research and evidence: but as even the most basic grasp of cultural history would show, Starkey’s views as presented on Newsnight have no basis in either.”

    Au Contraire! As Starkey was a student of the Tudors, he is EMINENTLY qualified to speak on this matter. I read somewhere, (I believe it was shortly before she died) when Elizabeth Regina was walking the streets of London, she was heard to remark, ‘There are too many of these Black foreigners in our land.”

    And that was in 1600!

  • eurobeing

    “Look mommy the Emporer has no clothes” so it was stated in that fairy tale that anyone who could not see the Emporer’s fine embroidery was not fit to sit in their position.

    Isn’t this the same thing Dr. Starkey points out this fact and he is derided as unfit to state an opinion on the matter.

    Also I saw the part of the debate in question and he was far superior in intellect and in his grasp of humanity and history than the other two people he was debating with. One thing Dr. Starkey noted was the contageous aspect of black ghetto culture and the fact that it has infected young whites in their behavior and rectitude.

  • Jeddermann.

    “These ‘historians’ can’t understand history when it’s happening right in front of their faces”

    This is very true. The historian usually tries to find a trend from “history” that occurred in the past, whatever the past is. These historians as the comment has said cannot however see the trend and the “history” as it is occurring before their eyes.

    What is NOW is oblivious to them, while the “long ago” is not. Trends from the past should be obvious to those that seek out the trends in the past, but this seems to be not true at all.

    And ONE little statement that is factual and your whole career is ruined for EVER? I guess so.

  • Bud

    How many of these “historians”, even the black ones, live among blacks? The vast majority are typical leftist hypocrites who live a segregated lifestyle while lecturing others on tolerance.

  • Jason Robertson

    A PS for any Americans interested in “Dear Old London Town”, the following sites are worth checking out:

    http://www.migrationwatchuk.org

    http://www.londonstreetgangs.com

    http://www.barnabasfund.org

    YOUTUBE.SAGA.ODE TO A DYING PEOPLE.”THE FALLEN” riot video version – (Google by this title – no longer available through the GyvelY74 music web code)

    Re-read Oswald Spengler, Hour of Decision (NY 1934) esp. ch.19 on

    “the ‘happy ending’ of an empty existence, the boredom of which has brought in black dancing to perform the Dead March for a great Culture… What if, one day, class war and race war joined forces to make an end of the white world?… It would make no difference if the voice of Moscow ceased to dictate. It has done its work, and the work goes forward of itself.”

    Suggestions as to what we can do are most welcome.

  • jack in Chicago

    “A RACIST is someone who is winning an article with a liberal or now with a libertarian”

    Everyone reading Amren must do combat training on what they will do when they are smeared with the “You’re a RACIST” smear.

    Like all forms of combat, one must train under fire.

    Take a part time job as a substitute school teacher in an urban public school – deal with the students, faculty, parents, administrators. It’s 100% sure that you will be called “You’re RACIST”.

    If you are young enough, do this combat training with some boxing – get hit in the face a few times and learn that it isn’t the end of the world and you will not just back down and whine and moan.

    Our side needs to toughen up.

  • Tuesday

    The Marxist academics are part of the “Looting Class”. They are funded by the State. The State hires them to oversee their human petri-dish experiments carried out upon productive society. Unlike medical experiments, no informed consent was given by the unsuspecting populace to be experimented on in this fashion.

    It is no surprise to see Social Science academics reaching out to their fellow Looters, ie. welfare parasites.

    The Working Man of the West is going to have to take matters into his own hands. The good news is, since we know how everything works, it’s easy to sabotage the machinery of the Looting Class. It is quite clear by now the looters above & below will stop at nothing. The war is here. the war is now. Whether you asked for it or not.

    Hi-ho. Get to work.

  • Jack

    “…he belittled and derided them.”

    When you’re faced with people worth nothing but scorn what are you supposed to do?

    “His crass generalisations about black culture and white culture as oppositional, monolithic entities demonstrate a failure to grasp the subtleties of race and class that would disgrace a first-year history undergraduate.’

    Not everything is that complex you morons.

  • Laager

    So what if David Starkey’s formal label is “Historian”?

    The fact of the matter is that he was making a truthful contemporary comment

    History really had nothing to do with it

    Any TV viewer with one fully functional eye had to agree with his comments

    These learned historians should really climb out of their ivory towers and get down and dirty into the streets to experience the real world

    How sad that they get paid to influence the next generation of young people with their biased opinions – based on what “historical” facts?

    Thank heavens there is at least one David Starkey who is prepared to tell it like it is

    Lets hope that more will be inspired by him to step out of the herd to support him

  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    The leftists face a dilemma.

    David Starkey is an intellectual and major player in the British news establishment. He’s an outspoken gay rights advocate who lives openly with his male partner, James Brown.

    On the surface he appears to be ‘one of them.’

    Then he has the nerve to suggest that the black gang culture is having a negative impact on Britain’s youth.

  • Anonymous

    Here is a sample of black behavior all over the world. A black man, maybe a visitor, maybe American military went after an elderly Korean man.

    Foreigner on Korean bus verbally abuses elderly couple–all over a misunderstanding

    “A video is circulating on the Korean Internet of a black gentleman yelling at and threatening an elderly Korean couple.His violent behavior was the result of him misunderstanding the elderly man’s comment to him.

    The elderly man reportedly said “니가 여기 앉아” (a sign of consideration) (“You can sit here” = Niga Yuh gi anja”), but not knowing Korean, the man in question interpreted “니가” as the N-word which led to his violent outburst.

    Apparently our culprit learned “개새끼야” but couldn’t be bothered to learn simple pronouns. Definitely North American, but if his hair is any indication he’s definitely not a soldier.”

    Thank goodness for that.

    Update: Another account I found holds that “as far as I know, the old Korean man just told him to keep it down because he was talking so loud on the phone. It infuriated the black man, and then started swearing. Later, the old Korean man said “니가(n***a)” which in kIorean means “you,” and the black man who doesn’t speak Korean thought he was insulting him and started beating him up.”

  • CDE

    Judging from all the politically correct indignation, he must have been right and really touched a nerve.

    “In addition to noting that a historian should argue from evidence rather than assumption…”

    Anyone who’s taken a college history course in the last 30 years knows this is laughable.

  • margaret

    32 — Tuesday wrote at 11:54 AM on August 29:

    “The Marxist academics are part of the “Looting Class”. They are funded by the State. The State hires them to oversee their human petri-dish experiments carried out upon productive society. Unlike medical experiments, no informed consent was given by the unsuspecting populace to be experimented on in this fashion.

    It is no surprise to see Social Science academics reaching out to their fellow Looters, ie. welfare parasites.”

    The Working Man of the West is going to have to take matters into his own hands. The good news is, since we know how everything works, it’s easy to sabotage the machinery of the Looting Class. It is quite clear by now the looters above & below will stop at nothing. The war is here. the war is now. Whether you asked for it or not.

    Hi-ho. Get to work.”

    Love your post.

    Bertrand Russell was an aristoractic communist parasite, but he said one great thing.

    “There are 2 kinds of work. The first is difficult,unpleasant and ill paid. The second is easy, pleasant and highly paid.

    The first type of work consists of manipulating matter to produce useful things. The second type consists of telling other people what to do.”

    All thru college I had to listen to those almost all women profs going on and on and on about how evil America and White people are. Didn’t matter what the course was, from statistics to biology, they managed to turn the class into a vote Democrat hate America hate Whites sermon.

    Yet from age 18 on they had been sucking off the goverment as much as some third generation welfare mama.