David Starkey faces backlash over ‘so many damn blacks’ comment

David Starkey is facing a backlash after he said slavery was not genocide because there are "so many damn blacks" still around.

The historian made the comments during an online interview with Brexit campaigner Darren Grimes for YouTube channel Reasoned UK.

Former Chancellor Sajid Javid has criticised him over his remarks.

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David Starkey
Dr David Starkey makes a speech during the Brighton College National Education Conference in Brighton, East Sussex.
Dr. David Starkey, from London, is made a CBE by The Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Photo call for historian David Starkey unveiling a rare portrait of Mary Queen of Scots as it goes on public display for the first time at Hever Castle, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent.
The Duchess of Cornwall and Dr David Starkey view the "love letter" sent by Katherine Parr to Sir Thomas Seymour and Katherine Parr's Prayer Book, in the library of Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire as part of the Queen Katherine Parr Quincentenary Festival.
Dr David Starkey makes a speech during the Brighton College National Education Conference in Brighton, East Sussex.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Dr David Starkey, the historian and broadcaster, before she re-launched the Monarchy website at Buckingham Palace central London, this afternoon.
Dr David Starkey photographed as he made an appearance at Waterstone's Christmas Extravaganza in the Gower Street branch, London, England.
Television historian Dr David Starkey (R) and partner James Brown at Buckingham after collecting his CBE from Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales chats to Natasha Kaplinsky and David Starkey during a reception for the Royal Television Society at Clarence House in London on May 22, 2007.

Mr Javid said: "We are the most successful multi-racial democracy in the world and have much to be proud of.

"But David Starkey's racist comments ('so many damn blacks') are a reminder of the appalling views that still exist."

Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University said they would be considering Starkey's position as an honorary fellow as a result of his comments.

In a statement, the college said they will "not tolerate racism", adding that his comments are "indefensible".

Starkey has also resigned from the board of the Mary Rose Trust, which oversees the Tudor Mary Rose ship, according to the organisation.

The trust said in a statement that they were "appalled" by his comments, adding: "Mary Rose Trust is a charity that exists for the benefit of everyone and we have zero tolerance for such comments."

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust's chief executive Olivia Marks-Woldman also criticised his comments.

She said: "To suggest a genocide did not take place because some of those who were persecuted survived is dangerous, damaging and completely reprehensible.

"His words are abhorrent and as a historian with a considerable platform and following, David Starkey's irresponsible and racist views should be widely condemned."

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He made the comments during an interview with Darren Grimes (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

During the interview, Starkey said:" Slavery was not genocide otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?

"An awful lot of them survived and again there's no point in arguing against globalisation or western civilisation. They are all products of it, we are all products of it.

"The honest teaching of the British Empire is to say quite simply, it is the first key stage of our globalisation.

"It is probably the most important moment in human history and it is still with us."

Grimes later released a statement about his interview, saying he "wasn't engaged enough" in the conversation.

He added: "It goes without saying that Reasoned UK does not support or condone Dr David Starkey's words.

"I am very new to being the interviewer rather than the interviewee and I should have robustly questioned Dr Starkey about his comments.

"However, whether it's on the BBC, ITV, Sky News or on YouTube, no interviewer is responsible for the views expressed by their guests."

Starkey has been contacted for comment.

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