Akala – In my opinion

The propaganda of 'British values' is a distortion of history

Manners, aristocracy, freedom: all things we tend to think of as inherent British values. But, says rapper Akala, we are taught a distorted version of history which erases serious political struggle. That, he argues, is what really bought us the fragile freedoms we have today


Fantastic message. As a lecturer, we are constantly being told to ‘promote British values’ but these values bear little resemblance to not just the black struggle but the struggle of all people in Britain who are working hard to create a fair and equal society. I have to attend yet another session about Equality and Diversity but not once do these sessions look at how hard people, of all creeds, colours and religions, have had to work hard to be part of a Britain that only wants to focus on their difference and to highlight these differences, all in the name of E & D.

Akala’s message is contradictory. He says that the one system “reinforces race and class” where as the other “fights it”. He claims to be of the latter group, but simultaneously reinforces the idea of “them” and “us” in his racialised identify politics which seek to divide the world into black and white. He talks one way but acts quite another.

I disagree Obert

Obert’s problem is a misunderstanding of what racial (and class) equality is. It of course is rooted in the idea that we are all the same on an intrinsic level, but does not imply that all people in how society is currently structured are treated equally or have the same sociological experiences. It in fact implies the opposite when considering the broad range of inequalities we continue to observe in modern societies.

To understand racism (classism, sexism, homphobia etc) is to understand that there are people (typically those with economic and political power) who benefit greatly from dividing the world along arbitrary lines of race, nation, etc and will fight keep this understanding of the world imbedded within society so they may continue to benefit from it. Therefore, to fight racism we must understand that gains made have been thanks to the toils of working people and in spite of those in power who would try and claim progress in their name when they can no longer prevent it. When we understand that, we can understand who and what the real obstacles to progress are and how to dismantle them rather than defending the people who keep obstacles in place merely because that would “divide” us from them. We are already divided from them by the divisions they have implemented and continue to maintain.

Big up Akala.

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