Wednesday, 8 July 2020

David Starkey's 'apology' not accepted

The London Socialist Historians Group, which organises the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in central London has said that David Starkey’s apology for comments he made about slavery and Black Lives Matter doesn’t go far enough
The comments were made in a  widely publicised YouTube interview on Thursday July 2nd when Starkey made a number of bigoted comments about the Black Lives Matters movement. The interviewer Darren Grimes has since apologised himself for not picking up Starkey up at the time.
The historians say that while Starkey has apologised ‘unreservedly’ for his most recent outburst his record of making racist comments stretches back a good number of years. The BBC received many complaints when Starkey offered a qualified defence of Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech on Newsnight in 2011.
Moreover he needs to accept that simply rubbishing the idea of black Tudor history is not appropriate. In the interview he suggested that Dr Miranda Kaufman’s book on the Black Tudors consisted of chapters that were half in italics because there was little historical evidence. In fact the first paragraph of each chapter is italicised and the remainder is copiously footnoted
London Socialist Historians convenor Dr Keith Flett said, David Starkey’s apology mostly about the impact on himself. The media need to stop using him as a ‘go to’ historian on matters about which he has no specialist knowledge. He needs to acknowledge that it is not what his remarks have ‘cost’ him but their impact in reinforcing racist ideas. A period of silence from Dr Starkey while he returns to the archives to review the evidence for black Tudor history would be very welcome.
For more please contact Keith Flett at the address above.