Chain The Dogma August 9, 2011
Controversial BBC interview with Darcus Howe on the London riots
Darcus Howe, a political activist, broadcaster and columnist and long time London resident was interviewed on BBC today for his thoughts on the three days of riots that have occurred there so far. The Canadian political activism website rabble.ca posted a video of the interview, with a message to pass it on because it is unlikely the BBC will want to replay it. I am not familiar with Howe so I checked out Wikipedia and found that this BBC interview had already been referenced there. Here is that Wikipedia excerpt and the video.
Controversial BBC Interview
Howe was interviewed live on BBC television on 9 August 2011 during the 2011 London riots. The interview was noted for the hostile tone taken by the BBC presenter Fiona Armstrong conducting the interview. Shortly after Howe began lamenting that "young blacks and young whites..... have been telling us, and we wouldn't listen....." the presenter interrupted him to ask him if he condoned violence. While denying condoning violence, his attempt to decry the killing of Mark Duggan (widely seen as the spark for the unrest) was again interrupted by the presenter who insisted that "we have to wait for the official inquiry..... We don't know what happened to Mr. Duggan.".
Howe attempted to put the unrest in context:
"I don't call it rioting, I call it an insurrection of the masses of the people. It is happening in Syria, it is happening in Clapham, it's happening in Liverpool, it's happening in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and that is the nature of the historical moment....."
At that point the presenter again interrupted, taunting Howe: "You are not a stranger to riots yourself, are you? You have taken part in them yourself." In fact Howe had never been convicted of rioting, and pleaded with the presenter before being finally cut off:
"I have never taken part in a single riot. I've been on demonstrations that ended up in a conflict. And have some respect for an old West Indian negro, and stop accusing me of being a rioter. Because I...you don't want to get abusive. You sound idiotic. Have some respect..."