The BBC invited Darcus Howe, a West Indian writer and broadcaster, to speak about the London riots.
They clearly wanted him to condone the violence, to sell out his countrymen.
He did pretty much the opposite.
“Our political leaders have no idea. The police have no idea,” Howe says. “But if you looked at young blacks and young whites with a discerning eye and a careful hearing they have been telling us and we would not listen that what is happening in this country…”
The host cut in to ask if Howe thinks what happened in his community was OK.
“Of course not. What am I going to condone it for? What I am concerned about more than anything else there is a young man called Mark Duggan. He has parents. He has brothers. He has sisters. And a few yards away from where he lives, a police officer blew his head off. Blew his face off.”
The host tries to take him on, but Howe articulately frames the other side, the side that only a few are talking about. He doesn’t support the violence, the looting, the mobs, but he does persuasively argue that the cause of the riots have been present for a long time but the powers that be ignored the problems.
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