greetings and welcome to AfricansArise my name is Ely Wanada thank you for watching and today we’re going to discuss this question: Can you be Black and English or are they mutually exclusive categories? So this video has been prompted by a very interesting conversation that a uk mp a black british mp called david lammy had in recent days with a white woman on a radio show who called in and told him that he couldn’t be English. And i found this a really interesting conversation that speaks to racialized dynamics here in england here in the uk and to some of the psychic elements of both white people here and also black people - particularly black people like david david lammy who have an integrationist outlook when it comes to race and culture and politics so let’s get into it first of all i want to just encourage you guys if you haven’t already thought about it - to become a Patron to support AfricansArise so you know i do these i do these conversations on youtube various different conversations on youtube some of them are deep dive video essays such as the one that i’ve done on blackness anti-blackness in western judeo-christian thought which is going to be premiering next Tuesday on the 13th of April and also i do lots of live streams as you know various different live streams.
The last one i did was was with dr iyelli ichile which was on motherhood and black liberation and i just want to encourage you to, if you like what i’m doing and you’d like to support me - think about becoming a patreon is Patreon. com/AfricansArise you go to the page here you pick which level you want to support and any support you give that would be really really appreciated it and what i want to say as well is that perhaps the most important support that i just want to ask from you guys is to like the videos and share the videos you know if you share the videos the more people get to see the videos and then that helps to kind of you know increase the viewing figures increase the watch time and that helps to get these messages out there and connect i’m so blessed with the amount of people that i’m connecting with from different parts of the african world right now i did i did a wonderful conversation with some brothers some afro-colombiano brothers and other brothers and sisters from across the the latin america just this weekend just gone and that came about from a live stream that we did on my channel here so just want to really encourage you to share the video that’s the key thing share it on facebook share it on youtube share it on twitter and so forth that is the absolute optimal support that everyone can give because it’s free but as i say if you’ve got the means to you and you’d like to become a supporter a patreon financial supporter then please do so without further ado let’s get into the subject matter we’re going to talk about david lammy so david let me he’s the guy on screen here and he’s an mp for tottenham in north london very one of the most black areas of the uk you could say one of the most black boroughs or the sections of a borough in the uk that i think it might be 50% black which is very high for for english standards and let’s go through this and hopefully particularly for you guys who are not in england not in the uk you’ll start you by the end of this video you’ll have a much better idea about some of the dynamics that we have in this country as black people and as white people dealing with blackness in this country so let’s check it out and let’s listen to the first bit and i’ll be going through the video and giving my thoughts periodically but let’s get started you you keep saying that you are african caribbean which is fine but how can you be african caribbean and english i couldn’t be african i’m english but i certainly could not call myself african caribbean you could be irish though you could have irish no i’m not irish you could be you could be no i’m not so i’m going to stop it there first of all you know so you can’t be african caribbean and english and just in case you don’t know for for those of you not in not in this country african caribbean is one of the determinations one of the labels that was put on black people who came from the caribbean uh that to this country particularly from the 1950s and 60s and they got lumped with the label african caribbean and so this woman is saying well david lammy you can’t call yourself african caribbean and english and it’s interesting because lammy at this point doesn’t actually respond head-on to that instead he tries to kind of unsettle this woman her name is jean he tries to unsettle her englishness you know by saying well you could be irish and i think his point there is to try and say that well you could be irish and english and he’s starting on a road that he’s going to really go down later on in this little section uh this the idea that english the english are a mongrel race you know they’re among they’ve always been mixed so why can’t lammy’s point is why can’t he be included in this englishness if everybody else has been included um but she’s not having it and she actually comes back with uh you know she states her credentials you know she she puts her she puts her paper she puts her papers on the line and says actually no you can’t you can’t do i’m not irish listen here’s my proof no i’m not irish no i’m not because i have looked my name right the way back to the middle ages my maiden name and I’m anglo-saxon great but you will never be english you are african caribbean so let’s just uh let’s just stop there so that was it that was uh her her defense if you like of her englishness was that she goes back to the middle ages and she she talks about how you know her maiden name she talks about her maiden name goes back to the middle ages now i’m sure this is the same in the rest of the anglophile or western world but the maiden name is the name that a woman has before she gets married now usually this name is taken from the woman’s father so as far as lineage goes, jean’s maiden name tells us about one of her parents only tells us about her mother and then you go back further back it in turn only tells about tells us about jean’s mother’s father so it tells us about one of her parents tells us about one of her grand one of her grandparents and then tells us about one of her eight great-grandparents one of her 16 great-great-grandparents and so on and so on the point just you know for me is that what about all of the other lineages you know the further back you go you’re you’re talking about a shrinking more and more shrinking volume or number of ancestors ancestral lineages ancestral lines so what about all the other ones? what about all the other ancestral lines? what if for example jean’s father was bulgarian? or what if jean’s mother’s mother was a tamil from sri lanka and so on and so forth.
For me this illustrates some of the kind of precarity the precarious nature and the arbitrariness of nationalism just generally if if i’m honest usually the answer is “well both both my parents are english” for example well okay what about their parents or what about their parents what about their parents and parents parents and parents parents parents parents and this this i had a quick look at a couple of you know a couple of couple of things online to see how british people do actually think that they you know or how english people people who consider themselves to be english what makes somebody english and i came across this this this survey that was done this yougov survey that was done in 20 i think it was done in 20 years have a look 2017 yeah yougov is like a surveying company here in the uk it’s not connected to the government by the way but it’s just called yougov and the question as you can see here is what makes a person english according to the english and so they asked a bunch of people to answer the question what makes somebody english and what i found interesting which plays you know which speaks to the point i’m making is this one here so what makes a person english according to english people at this point in time in 2017 81 of the people said being born in england makes somebody english but then obviously what about people who are not born in england? i’ll give you an example the head of state the head of the the uk state is the queen and the queen’s husband is called phillip and philip was not born in this country philip was born in i think it was born in greece so by that criteria he doesn’t fit as being english even though he’s the head of the state then the next thing 80% of the respondents said that having two english parents makes you english but obviously the point there is okay what if those what makes what makes those two english parents what makes them english what if they’re not born in english? again prince philip i’ll go back to philip phillip does not have two english parents his parents are a combination of were a combination of greek danish and german so he fails on that count and you can go on and on and on the next one the next one down here is the you know grew up in england grew up in england 57 well prince philip didn’t grow up in england uh have one english parent well prince philip hasn’t doesn’t have one english parents but according to this survey the majority of respondents would say that prince philip is not english and i would fail on i would fail on most of those i wasn’t born in england and i wasn’t i don’t have two english parents i did grow up in england but anyway the point is just that you know this conversation speaks to me to the arbitrariness of nationality and nationalism another thing i wanted to say is that by jean this woman she goes back to the middle ages because she’s she’s speaking to this idea that there was this time when englishness was created as a as an identity as a thing england was created and it was politically speaking because she’s mentioned anglo-saxons and you know anglo-saxons is a term that was used - is used - to describe those various tribes or peoples who came from germany northern germany and parts of scandinavia they uh you know took the short sea boat journey over to these islands and amongst them that there were some called the angles a tribe called the angles a tribe called the saxons a tribe called the jutes amongst others these are german tribes folks started coming here from around about 400 ce and the word england which is probably from named after the angles that tribe the angles one of the germanic tribes is the term that was used for the kingdom that was created by these german germanic tribes people uh they created this kingdom i think it was in around about the year about a thousand years ago and yeah this kingdom was that was created created from various separate kingdoms which existed that were germanic ones but also some norse ones norwegian scandinavian ones and they put them all together to create this kingdom of england and that kingdom of england actually lasted for about 800 years until it was replaced in 1801 by the united kingdom of great britain and ireland which is now the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland so england doesn’t actually exist in a in a political sense in a lot of ways but that’s what gene is trying to get she’s trying to go back and say look my ancestry goes back to it’s authentic because it goes back to the time when england was created itself in the middle ages so let’s have a look at david lemmy’s uh response to this let’s have a look at the david lemi’s response to this you’ll never be english you are african caribbean but why why would i never be english because you’re african caribbean because i’ll stop there just briefly um so she’s making a point very clearly african caribbean and english are mutually exclusive and this is a very very common attitude lamy at that point he was quite stunned wasn’t he when when when when she said that he to me anyway he appeared to be sort of um stumped he was taken aback and i don’t think it’s because he’s not heard that before but i think probably because he hasn’t heard that for a while before and uh and what’s going on here what’s going on here she’s starting to say it what’s going on here is that the real thing that’s going on here isn’t actually being spoken about directly for gene and david lammy knows this for her african caribbean is a synonym or euphemism for black english is a synonym or a euphemism for white and that’s what’s happening here now what i find interesting is that according to the 2011 uk census it seems that the majority of uh of people in this country may agree with uh with with gene’s point that you know englishness and blackness basically don’t go together or what i should say is that the majority of um black people in this country um certainly seem to agree with that so this is from this is from a study here called uh variations in national identity diversity and integration within the uk by david owen institute for employment research university of warwick and i think this was done in 20 it was there was based on 2011 census figures and what we see here i’ll scroll down and we see something here we see that uh when you look at how people of different uh racialized groups identify themselves you see you see something i’ll make it full screen because it’s really small on my screen i don’t know if you guys can even see that but uh you’ll see here it goes this this page here this is on page eight and it’s uh identification within with each nation by ethnic group and what you see here if i if i make it as large as i can what you see there is that in england this is people in england polled in 2011 the census in 2011.
15:38 - white people white english well scottish and so forth people uh the red is people are those who so this is white english people the the the red are those who identify as english only and the blue are those who identify as british only and you’ll notice that the vast majority of white people in england identify themselves as english only that’s their primary form of identification in 2011. and only what’s that 15 16 of them identify themselves as british only and this apparently when this came out when the the the the details from this census came out a lot of people were quite shocked at that because they were anticipating that britishness was becoming dominant the dominant id uh identification but apparently not and then you look down at the ethnic groups now the the non-white groups you’ll see again blue means british only notice amongst the amongst the the asians uh the majority of them comfortably the majority of all of them consider themselves as british only and only a tiny proportion of them in each group consider themselves as english only uh you know and then look at the black here black african this one here is black african and what i mean it’s about 50 of uh black africans consider themselves to be either english only or british only but of look at that it’s around about 40 percent of black black african people here consider themselves british only and only about what eight seven percent eight percent of them consider themselves to be english only it’s a similar thing with the caribbeans but look here you’re looking at over 50 percent of cara black caribbean’s consider themselves to be british only but then you’ve got quite a large chunk of people 25 percent of black caribbeans consider themselves to be english only so two things i take from this are one uh most most white people consider themselves to be english only who are here in england and two most non-black people do not consider them you know the the large majority of non-black people do not consider themselves to be to be english only they tell itself to be british only uh although african caribbeans are the amongst those non-black non-white people they are the most likely to consider themselves to be english only and i think david lammy and the rest of this in this uh conversation david lammy is reflecting that and i’m gonna i’m gonna kind of i’m gonna demonstrate to you in some of the things that he says how i see him as trying to increase ingratiate himself with englishness as a way of getting away in my opinion getting away from from blackness so anyway let’s go back to this so yeah but the truth is just a little bit of history on this britain uh 400 years ago started going out into the world it colonized and conquered a lot of the world a lot of the world has ended up coming back to the mother country my parents were part of that generation who came from the caribbean when i took a dna test i actually had scotland scott scottish in me probably be caught as a result of that someone somewhere uh frankly got their leg over uh uh with one of my ancestors and i’ve got scottish blood running through me uh i said that gently but it could have been horrendous let’s be clear about that um and so and here i am having grown up in this country have been born of this country and actually i’ll stop there now for me i found this a little bit he’s been really lauded for his performance and it is a performance isn’t it he’s been lauded for his performance in this uh in this conversation for you know defending english values and british values and so on but i found it a little bit pathetic and i’ll explain why um i don’t know if you share my impression but when he was talking about colonialism colonization and slavery he didn’t mention slavery by name but you know slavery and um and so forth did you notice how the the woman was like skipping through this stuff like um you know he’s talking about how his you know one of his ancestors would have been raped by one of these slavers and she’s like um you know i found that quite um startling actually for monastery um and then he plays on i’ve got some scottish blood in me yeah you know i’ve got some scottish but notice he didn’t mention any other blood you know you know the majority of the blood if if you can even pass out how much of your blood is from which you know obviously this is kind of you’re talking uh you know it’s kind of metaphorically when you’re talking about this amount of blood or that amount of blood but notice he doesn’t talk about any of his other blood he focuses on the scots scottish blood for me this is a plea for inclusion a plea from inclusion you know you his point lerma’s point seems to be that you you people you english british people came to us not vice versa now we’ve come back to the motherland and you need to accept us um and lamy david lammy is doing something here which a lot of black integrationists do which is we can’t we can’t face we can’t bear to face the terror of our position as black people in this world because it is terror it’s terrible it’s terrifying how we’ve been positioned and how we continue to be positioned um and rather than facing up to the terror and then working through that to then move toward some way of dealing with the terror and dealing with our position in this world we keep seeking ways to avoid it we keep seeking ways to like oh no well no well i mean things are getting better now you know and in this case david lammy’s way of doing it in this particular conversation is he wants to be included in the category of english this is a this is an ontological battle here that we’re that we’re you know observing the field of battle is the psyche not the statute books because uh me i’m by law a british person because i’m a what’s with naturalized naturalized citizen of the united kingdom in northern ireland i’m a british citizen but there’s no law i don’t i’m not aware of any law to determine who is english because as i said the kingdom of england which was a you know a sovereign political state was replaced by the king the united kingdom of great britain which is england wales and scotland and ireland in later northern ireland those are the constituent kind of uh nations of or yeah the constituent nations of the political entity that is the uk united kingdom and so i’m british because i you know i take the particular objective political boxes but englishness is much more open to the nativist white nationalist roots englishness is whiteness hence you know in recent years we’ve had the english defense league come about beca i think it speaks to that nativists nativism you know this is authentic englishness is authentic it’s whiteness and and lamy here is putting himself as he often does in direct confrontation with these so-called nativist types which is what gene is representing here and then the next thing the next point we get to is where you know lamy finally kind of lets loose on the the mongrel nation thing the english among the mongrel nation you know he’s like anyway i’ll play it listen to what he says have been born of this country and actually the truth is it’s a myth that there’s one english ethnicity there’s not because england has always been a country in which um huguenots danes all sorts of people have passed through so when you say you are english i’m not saying that that doesn’t mean something to you and matter hugely because there are there are probably as you put it uh years and years hundreds of years of experience of that but it is to say that uh for me i’ll stop there now he talks there about the huguenots if you don’t know the huguenots were these french people who came who came to this country and i think the 1700s funnily enough i think that nigel farage who used to be the ukip head is a brexit party head i don’t know what the hell he’s i think he’s selling some sort of financial uh products now i see videos from him on youtube adverts but um he is descended from these these french people and he talks about the danes have come over here yeah i talked to i mentioned before how the angles the saxons the jutes the normans who came after those guys and then the you know the vikings you’ve got polish you’ve got italians you’ve got you know lithuanians you’ve got irish all coming in what do all these people have in common i ask you what do they all have in common they all have whiteness in common and this mongrel nation point that david lammy is trying to make flounders on the question of race and race is at the heart of this conversation they’re just dancing around it at the moment african caribbean for people like jean is not just another nation coming that’s coming here to you know to blend into the english part african caribbean is black and you know lamy wants to claim english heritage which is fine he claimed it all he wants but you know uh one thing i think one thing you know i know i sort of noticed is that he’s not trying he’s not calling himself black english he’s not trying to say oh yeah i’m black english he’s like no i’m english i’m english but anyway back to back to lemmy the fact that i was born here and the fact that my sensibilities are english mean that i want to claim that heritage as well now i’m very comfortable saying i’m british black british of course i am and i’m very very proud no one could say i wasn’t because i talk about it all the time about my caribbean roots and i know the caribbean very well but it’s just sorry what you’re british but you’re not english well that’s that’s the point i think you’re making and i’m disagreeing with that notice there of all the identities that he was like oh i gladly identify myself with you know caribbean and gladly you know identifies himself as black british notice there’s no african there the only person who’s actually mentioned african i believe throughout this whole conversation is gene because she’s a lot more she’s like no i want to bring out this race factor i want to bring up the blackness thing you know and africa is black in the psychic because certainly in the psyche of you know the non-black psyche africa is black um and so i find that interesting that he you know he wants to claim these identities but not african i’d love to hear i’d love to see a you know a conversation that would involve him you know speaking about his identity his connection with with african and then anyway we get to a point now where um where gene finally lets lets it out of the bag you know the race thing out of the bag well that’s that’s the point i think you’re making and i’m disagreeing with that tell me what do you think what do you think if i was if i was born in the caribbean as a white person i certainly wouldn’t call myself when i’m afraid have you ever been to the caribbean gene i haven’t known well then you probably don’t realize that in countries like barbados there are significant white caribbean populations who have been there for hundreds of years and they are significantly more caribbean than i am they’re still white caribbeans david they are white caribbeans they are not african caribbeans they are white caribbeans you know he’s kind of trying to unsettle you know oh caribbean is just a term like english you know and anyone can be caribbean as long as you’re you know as long as you you’re born there grow up there whatever you identify with it but they’re still white they’re still white as long as they’re white they’re still white you know um and then and then we get to the bit which which we get to the stage which is what has made this video become viral because jean kind of responds you know she’s like well the whole world is polluting everybody the way it’s going what’s that phrase polluting it is why is it polluting because you are what you are you are where you gene i can tell that you are more senior than i am in age so i want to be polite no don’t do that well that’s how i was brought up that you polite to your seniors sorry to cut off there but um he uh it’s all out the bag now isn’t it pollution what we see in here from gene is that it’s a rear guard action to prevent englishness dissolving into a multicultural nothingness you know pollution defilement this is what’s going on here she she’s wanting that racial purity fear of a black planet as a um what they call public enemy the hip-hop group public enemy said 30 plus years ago now um but it’s couched in this idea that everyone should just be kept separate you know but it’s fear of blackness that’s what’s going on here you know and interestingly many many black folks that i know in country circles would agree with her you know and i mean it’s a little bit more uh anyways i’ll come back to that point i’ll come back to that point but let’s have a listen to david lammy’s response here because he’s going to go on a kind of we are the world thing here to kind of um emotionally justify and encourage his integrationist kind of world view saying is the word pollution where’s that word pollution come from it’s a very negative way to to but it’s negative it’s a negative way to describe the fact that people meet one another they fall in love they have kids they move borders or sometimes through war sometimes through economic reasons and they become what they become when they are of that country and just as you can be in america and you can be african-american uh uh or you can be italian-american or you can be irish-american uh how is it that here in england you can only claim that englishness effectively gene if you were white so that was the end of that um and yes very interesting you know he makes this humanistic plea of you know we’re all just we fall in love and we just integrate i should point out and i don’t mean this to like you know disparage lammy but i should point out that he is married to a white woman and so he’s when he’s talking about his children his kids they are mixed race children you know um so this is very personal for him this is very emotional for him he’s kind of um you know finally you know he pinpoint right then there you know he pinpoints what gene is saying here is that you can’t be english if you’re unless you are white and that troubles him that troubles him um this is as i said this is speaking to her fear of a black planet frances cress welsing you know wrote in her book the the isis papers that her her understanding that what drives white what drives white supremacy white racism is this fear of genetic annihilation and this is what this is what has driven all of the violence that the white european people have done throughout history are throughout the world it’s a fear of being destroyed by the overwhelming majority of the world which is not white which is not racialized as white and you know just in conclusion i i think as i said i think this was a plea from from lammy for inclusion he wants to be included in englishness he wants to claim it as his own basically gene is saying no englishness is our own leave it alone you stick to your own kind um the sub the the central point running through this was a desire to to get away from black to get away from africa african both lammy and the caller gene shared this uh lambie doesn’t want to be trapped in blackness you know and uh and what’s interesting i’ve got i’ve got a video a series of videos on my channel from it’s a documentary that was recorded that was from bbc from 20 years ago now nearly but i uploaded it in about 2010 so it’s been up for a while as well but watch it it’s called “motherland a genetic journey” and in it there’s a woman who who really embodies this mentality that i’m talking about trying to get away from blackness really wants to get away from from africanness and just like david lammy there was saying i’ve got some scottish blood in me you know this woman is like yeah well i think we’ll be majority of our blood will be will be european and if you look at her she’s like as dark as me as black as me you know and but watch it i’ll put a link in the description watch it because it gives really speaks to the this mentality this mindset this psychic mindset which is to get away from blackness to get away from africa that is quite prevalent amongst a lot of black people here in this country gene on the other hand she needs blackness to be positioned outside of englishness because englishness is a code word for whiteness and you know i’ll finish by saying this that as long as black people exist in this country as a as an easily identifiable entity we will never be allowed into englishness because to do so would destroy englishness and i would you know some people would suggest i think there’s a merit in this some people would suggest that this understanding is what prompts a lot of black people here in this country to um to date and marry and have children with people who are not black a desire to want to dilute out the blackness dilute out the africa so that their children and their grandchildren will be able to blend in and just be part of the uh part of the english furniture and you know i can’t make a video without sort of quickly touching on afro-pessimism afro-pssimists would look at this and say look yeah we’ve been trying to tell you that black people are the quintessential other on whom all other groups depend on for their own identities to make sense you know and this conversation between david lammy and this caller might actually be a good practical demonstration of this dynamic in action all right so i want to thank you thank you once again for for watching hope you found this to be a useful and informative uh conversation what i want to do again is just to encourage you if you if you if you can to become an africans arise patreon go to go to forward slash patreon.
com arise and support whichever level you feel that you can support and that would be great hugely appreciated and as i said please do share this video share the video like the video let me know your comments in the video description and uh that will be that’ll be amazing and as i just want to give a little quick plug that next week i’m gonna upload my video on uh on anti-blackness in judeo-christian thought and this video just i’ll just give you a quick reason why i’ve done this video i’ve done this video because many of our people many of our people argue that anti-blackness was invented you know after the trans-atlantic slave trade um because you know to justify the transatlantic slave trade what i’m going to do in in in this in this video what i’m going to do is i’m going to argue that i’m going to demonstrate that quite clearly anti-blackness goes way way back anti-blackness goes back to uh the ancient greeks the the romans to an extent the early christians all of these people all of these people uh you know though that’s where the foundations of anti-blackness really are and it’s a myth as david lowe you might say but it’s a myth to say that anti-blackness was event was something that sort of came about in the 1900s or 1800s or whatever no no it goes way way way further than back than that and what the the significance of that is that um it also means that it also means that anti-blackness is something that is very very deep-rooted and cannot just be cannot just be uh you know uh can’t just be removed by you know i don’t know doing like a proletarian revolution or whatever anything like that no antibacters will not go away so easily you can do your proletarian revolution you can do your class you know your working class revolution yet by all means but it is not it is not going to remove the anti-blackness from the world all right take care guys make sure you go to that video there and like it and press reminder peace outty and i will speak to you soon.