The devastating riots that took place in London have caused a great deal of chaos and upheaval amongst those who live in England. People are unsure of who to blame for these egregious acts of crime and many are in a constant search for answers. During the riots, many stores were looted, as buildings and cars were set on fire. A mass of people engaged in a number of violent acts, particularly against the police. It seems that the riots originated from the downfall in England’s economy which seemed to cause extra pressure and stress on those who were unable to get jobs, and who were suffering financially.

In an interview with David Starkey, he claims that the England riots are due to the “black culture.” He claims that the “white Chavs” are adopting certain behaviors from the black culture, and that this is the reason why these riots took place. As David Starkey claims this, he is basically stating that black culture is a criminal and violent culture, while white culture is a proper and respectable culture. David Starkey basically stated that the “whites are becoming blacks”, which equates the black race with criminal behavior.

David Starkey’s comments are related to Goffman’s ideas on stigma. David Starkey is applying a“discredited stigma” upon black people as a whole and their entire culture. He really believes the negative stereotype about black people which states that all black people are criminal and violent. The unfortunate part about this “discredited stigma” is that it causes black people to be judged in a certain way based on these false preconceived notions because of the color of their skin. Many people like Starkey, judge black people in this light, even if they have never committed a crime. 

When Starkey and others choose to blame the black culture for these violent acts, it demonizes the black culture not allowing it to be celebrated or recognized for its great attributes to society as a whole. These comments that were made by Starkey are ignorant comments that are completely false in every way. I’m not completely certain on who are what is to blame for these violent riots. It may be due to a culture of crime that has formed overtime. However, I know that the black culture is not a criminal culture, and that it is unfair and unjust to blame these riots on the black culture.    

Justine Pierre    


3 responses to “Blog Post #4- ENGLAND RIOTS: WHAT IS THE CAUSE?

  1. I agree with you when you talk about David Starkey’s comments. I feel he used the “black stereotype” to place blame one one culture for the riots in England. I have three older brothers who all live in England and around towns were the rioting was taking place. Not once did any of my brothers mention blacks specifically. Rather when I asked they explained to me the growing frustrations of the up and coming young culture. It is now harder and more expensive to acquire a college education in England and the teens feel hopeless when it comes to the government’s austerity. I believe it is completely wrong and disrespectful to the black culture as a whole to criminalize them by inflicting stereotypes that are untrue.

  2. It’s insane to hear that there are still comments and accusations of the sort being made on T.V. Ignorance is so openly visible but then again everyone does have a right to their opinion though it might make no sense. In terms of the “riot”, I believe nobody is to blame. If we try and find someone to blame then what could positively come out of that “riot” would be lost. If the government chose to evaluate the situation and try to find out the why, instead of increasing their policing, investigations, and want for PUNISHMENT, they could avoid an occurrence of the such from happening again; but of course this will not happen because it would threaten their power and they would have to admit they are wrong.

  3. After watching that debate with Starkey I found it amazing that he was so comfortable saying the things that were coming out of his mouth. How can you blame “black culture” for an event that was most likely going to happen anyway? Better yet how can you comfortable associate looting and rioting with “black culture”? Perfect example of stereotyping. Instead of placing the blame on rising frustrations with the government it was easier just to blame “black culture.”

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