James O'Brien's powerful monologue on the state of racism in the UK

23 December 2019, 15:33 | Updated: 23 December 2019, 15:41

James O'Brien asked if the Prime Minister can call people "piccaninnies" with "watermelon smiles," what the "correct and proper condemnation" was for when a footballer "doing monkey chants."

"If the Prime Minister can call them 'piccaninnies with watermelon smiles' how would you construct a correct and proper condemnation of a footballer doing monkey chants?" James asked listeners.

"That that's the problem? And because that's a really difficult question to answer, and because the answer would involve condemning Boris Johnson, most of the right wing media isn't prepared to do it.

"So instead, they'll invite you to speculate on why Stormzy isn't more grateful for the fact that he's allowed to live in the country he was born in."

James O'Brien asked why the media treat Boris Johnson differently to Stormzy
James O'Brien asked why the media treat Boris Johnson differently to Stormzy. Picture: LBC/PA

The comments refer to Boris Johnson's column piece in the Telegraph in 2002, where he described people in Commonwealth countries as "flag-waving piccaninnies" that will "break out in watermelon smiles" as Tony Blair - then Prime Minister and referred to as the "big white chief" - lands in the Congo.

It follows Downing Street demanding the Premier League "get a grip" on hate crime in football culture after calls for a Government inquiry.

James added: "How can you tell that bloke in the football doing monkey chants at a black player that he's banging out of order if he responds by saying the Prime Minister calls women bank robbers and letterboxes?"

Last night a football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea was briefly paused after player Antonio Rudiger reported that he was racially abused by fans.

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