Historian David Starkey loses two university positions after saying slavery didn’t constitute genocide

David Starkey, the historian, has lost his positions at two universities and his links to a publisher after saying that slavery was not genocide because “so many damn blacks” were still around.

The 75-year-old academic who is a visiting professor at the university, made the comments during an online interview with Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes for YouTube channel Reasoned UK.

While speaking about the Black Lives Matter protests, the 75-year-old, who specialises in Tudor history, told Mr Grimes: “Slavery was not genocide otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or Britain would there? An awful lot of them survived…”

“And again there is no point in arguing against globalisation or Western civilisation – they are all products of it. We are all products of it.”

He described BLM as “wholly and entirely a product of white colonisation” and its activists “not culturally black Africans”.

Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University and Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent terminated Dr Starkey’s honorary fellowship and visiting professorship respectively, following the racist remarks he made in an interview with Grimes.

A Fitzwilliam College statement on Friday said: “The Master has accepted Dr David Starkey’s resignation of his honorary fellowship with immediate effect.

“Fitzwilliam prides itself in leading the way in Cambridge in opening access to higher education for under-represented groups.

“Our student and academic bodies are diverse and welcoming to all. We do not tolerate racism.”

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, vice-chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, has apologised to staff and students who have been offended and upset by the “appalling” comments.

He said: “Widely reported comments by historian David Starkey during a recent online interview are, in our view, completely unacceptable and do not reflect the values of our university and community.

“We have therefore terminated, with immediate effect, Dr Starkey’s visiting professorship.

“I would like to say sorry to colleagues and students who will have been offended and upset by such comments of this appalling nature, and in particular in these challenging and difficult times for us all.”

 

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