James O’Brien: Age makes Lady Hussey’s behaviour ‘explainable’ not ‘excusable’

1 December 2022, 13:04 | Updated: 1 December 2022, 13:10

James O'Brien fumes at attempts to excuse Lady Hussey

James O'Brien fumes at the “baked-in bigotries of Britain” and the attempts to justify Lady Susan Hussey's questioning of Ngozi Fulani, challenging people who use her age as an excuse.

James O’Brien refused to hold back in this blistering monologue, condemning people attempting to justify the actions of a Royal Household aide towards a black charity boss.

Lady Susan Hussey, Prince William’s godmother, caused serious controversy yesterday by approaching Sistah Space CEO Ngozi Fulani at an event, moving her hair to see her name badge, and repeatedly asking her where she was “really” from.

“I wish there was a word I could think of to describe people who have dedicated epic amounts of time to describing Meghan Markle as a liar”, James began.

“I wish there was a word other than 'racist' to describe people who deny racism”, he said in response to the “horrible story”.

“The Palace deserves some credit for behaving correctly…you don't have a debate about whether or not this is appropriate or inappropriate, acceptable or unacceptable- it is just unacceptable.”

READ MORE: Prince William's godmother quits and apologises after race row erupts at Queen Consort’s Palace reception

He went on: “I’ll go out on a limb and say no one ever asked Prince Philip where he came from six, seven or eight times.
Possibly they knew he was Greek, but I bet no one ever asked the Queen about what her ancestors’ heritage is because it certainly isn’t English.”

James made a clear distinction: “You can explain the inexcusable…but you do not excuse the inexcusable.”

This conversation is not about “white people who think they know what it's like to be on the receiving end of quiet racism”, he said with certainty in his voice.

“There is an impartation of second-class citizenship”, he declared.

“Lady Susan Hussey didn't know she was behaving disgracefully, which is why I say I have a modicum of sympathy for her”, he added.

James said: “If somebody has successfully explained to her why this was utterly appalling behaviour she will be utterly devastated.”

‘What's the official age at which you're allowed to be racist?’

On a personal note, he added: “No one ever says to me when I tell them I'm from Kidderminster ‘Where are you really from?’ waiting for me eventually to get to County Wexford.

“Why does that never happen to me with my Irish surname and my white skin?"

James condemned the “baked-in bigotries of Britain” and highlighted that we have been “gaslit” to the point of “people of colour in the cabinet claiming that white privilege doesn’t exist".

READ MORE: Charity boss tells LBC of 'race interrogation' ordeal by Prince William's godmother at Buckingham Palace reception

For those using Lady Hussey’s age as an excuse for the questions, which Ngozi Fulani told LBC felt like an interrogation, James asked: “What's the official age at which you're allowed to be racist, for everyone tweeting she’s 83?”

“Is there an age, do you get a little badge? When you’ve passed your 70th birthday, you can go up to black women and move their hair, touch their hair so that you can read their name badge - and then not believe them when they tell you they’re from London.”

“Look at this country”, James said, before pausing for thought.

“Look at the problems that this country has. They are not caused by black people and they are not actually caused by racists. They are caused by inequality”, he added.

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