Reviewing statements by Kemi Badenoch led me to go deeper into her worldview. A strange world it is. She is clearly a follower of Trump. I discovered she has created a world of alternative facts starting with her CV.
The Spectator reports:
‘Badenoch grew up in Nigeria and, aged 16, won a part-scholarship to Stanford University to study medicine, but the fees were still prohibitive.’ Note 1
This would appear to be an outright lie. Firstly, one wonders if she could get into Stanford for anything at 16 why she would not be accepted at Oxford or Cambridge at 18? Is Stanford in the minor leagues? If finance is the issue why not at least try Harvard with its needs blind admission policy?
More to the point: US Medical schools are GRADUATE SCHOOLS!!!
‘Before applying to any medical school, international students should make sure they have completed a four-year bachelors degree, with all of the prerequisite classes needed for the particular medical schools being applied to.’ Note 2
Why would she lie about this? I suspect because many of her Nigerian parliamentary peers have an Oxbridge background or in at least one case Eton and Oxbridge and her sense of inferiority is niggling her. One wonders where The Spectator’s fact checkers were sleeping that day.
Is it not unseemly for a Government Minister to lie about her CV?
Badenoch’s grasp of history is weak or shall we say non-existent. Alt-right gossip appears to her to be the same as history. Badenoch responding to Corbyn on Black History Month said:
‘Does the right hon. Gentleman not feel that turning the curriculum into a list of all the things that Britain has done wrong to people of a certain race would distort the history of our nation and not give a true picture of the activities not only of this country but of people who share my skin colour, which were not always as wholesome as people on his side want to make out?’ Note 3
Here Badenoch is rehearsing the old lie that Africans were the initiators of the transatlantic slave trade. A lie that has been debunked a hundred times. We know full well that many Jews collaborated with the Nazi’s. Some felt that they had no choice, others that they obtained a better deal for certain groups of Jews. The Nazis were expert at setting one group of Jews against another. Even during the Inquisition there were communities of Jews in Spain that used the Inquisition to eliminate hated rivals. Now will Badenoch get up in the Commons and say that these disreputable behaviours of certain Jewish communities under dreadful circumstances in some way exculpates the Nazis/ the Spanish Inquisition? If she is willing to do so I believe her speech will be a sell out performance, not necessarily for any reason she wishes. To be frank, the only white people who try to blame the slave trade on Africans or the Holocaust on Jews have been die hard white racists.
Then she is reported by the Daily Mail:
‘She disapproves, for example, ‘of people saying colonialism ruined my life, even though they were born 100 years after it happened’. And ‘this self-flagellation about empire is, for me, often just a lack of knowledge about what else was going on in the world at that time’. Note 4
This is just appalling Trump level disinformation. It is simply not possible to be born 100 years after the end of colonialism. British colonialism generally ended in 1960’s so you will need to have been born after 2060 as an African to be born 100 years after colonialism.
Apart from that this is a classic right wing trope used against African Americans where the phrase at least has the dates right. The majority of African Americans were born 100 years after the abolition of US slavery in 1865. She has imported this wholesale into the UK context! Even in the American context this is an outright lie. What African Americans claim is that the social and political institutions that arose out of slavery continue after formal abolition to this day and affect them. The idea that they are claiming that the effects of ancient slavery still affect them even though the present day society is free of racism is almost too absurd to discuss.
If anyone thinks calling Badenoch out for racism is extreme and unfair consider her willingness to accuse others of racism.
‘Ms Badenoch said that she felt let down by “liberal teachers” who encouraged her as a teenager to seek a career in nursing.
“I would call that racism,” she said. “In their minds, they were probably trying to help me because they thought ‘Oh, this poor black person, she seems to be doing OK at school, let’s get her on the nursing track. She won’t fail at that. But if we give her anything difficult to do, she will fail’.” Note 5
There are many things we might say about teachers with low expectations for their students but ‘racist’? I don’t think so. Frankly, on her own figures they are acting on the average data available to them and her only criticism, and it is correct, is that the average does not represent all students. Calling this ‘racism’ at an individual level (she refers to their minds and not to the institution) is appalling.
To sum up: we have an Equalities Minister who is Black/Nigerian but does not know that British colonialism in Nigeria was roughly 1906 -1960 and thinks it ended over 100 years ago, who thinks anyone will believe that Stanford admission criteria is less onerous than Oxbridge, who believes that Africans were in part at least if not completely responsible for the slave trade, who thinks low expectations is a virulent form of racism and who has a low opinion of David Cameron who is responsible for the Conservative Party’s new initiatives of identifying possible future Black Prime Ministers, and even accuses her greatest benefactor of racism. What can one say except after due consideration … she is a little bit stupid!