Friday, 23 March 2007


Writer and lecturer Neil Davenport poses the question of: "Are the commemorations of the abolition of the slave trade helping to foster fatalism amongst young black Britons?" in his article titled "Chaining black youth to the victim culture".

The following is an extract from the article:

Nearly everyone today is encouraged to identify themselves as victims of some sort. But black youth are encouraged by anti-racists to identify themselves as perma-victims, both then (slavery) and now (all-pervasive racism). The upshot is that some black teenagers develop a fatalistic approach to their chances in study and their chances in the world beyond. ‘As a black person I don’t think I’ll ever be allowed to get on’, is a common refrain amongst some of my students. This worrying development hasn’t gone unnoticed. During the spate of shootings involving teenagers in south London last month, one veteran black community leader told BBC London News that ‘it must be acknowledged that black people don’t have it as bad now as it was in the past’.

The lecturer also writes (in regards to the commemoration events that are being held this weekend in aid of the British 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the slave trade act):

The cruellest irony of this weekend’s commemorations is that it is young black people who will lose out. Aside from fostering dodgy notions that black people are objectively driven by the hand of history, by what happened to their ancestors hundreds of years ago, a process is underway whereby the perma-victim label becomes corrosively internalised.

To read the entire article please click here.

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