Caller fears Black History Month will segregate people and 'makes racism worse'

4 October 2020, 12:25

By Seán Hickey

This caller worried that the more we 'put people into compartments,' the greater the risk is that the UK becomes more racist.

Stewart phoned in to Natasha Devon and as the conversation revolved around Black History Month, and argued that October doesn't need to be dedicated to this cause.

He made the case that "for the whole month of November" we remember veterans of all races and backgrounds and this, in his view, was a strong enough message.

Natasha wondered if commemorating veterans was enough. "When we talk about history...when you see the media reporting on it, don't you think it's very whitewashed." The caller didn't think so.

"They are remembered and they are respected," he insisted, going on to note the British education system also contributes to a strong knowledge of black history.

"If we keep going down this route, we are going to make racism worse," Stewart feared.

The caller argued that nobody ever considered Lewis Hamilton's race before he became an activist
The caller argued that nobody ever considered Lewis Hamilton's race before he became an activist. Picture: PA

The caller took the example of Lewis Hamilton, who has been prominent in the Black Lives Matter movement. "We never saw Lewis Hamilton as black," he noted, "we see him as a damn good driver."

Natasha argued that ignoring Mr Hamilton's race "erase a part of his identity," Stewart disagreed yet again.

"We're trying to put people into compartments, we must look at people as people."

Natasha drew similarities with her experience as a woman. "Being a woman is part of who I am and if you erase that...you're not seeing me as a full person," she argued.

"If you are a black person in Britain you will have different experiences...than a white person in Britain and therefore to erase someone's colour is to erase their identity."