You Cannot Define Black Culture

Dear Ms Birbalsingh,

London is a vibrant, multicultural city that holds many diverse cultures in it. Unfortunately, these cultures clashed in the London riots. Instead of using this as an opportunity to ask why, you used this space to blame black culture as the main cause for the riots. You cannot define black culture and I will explore why.

What colour was Mark Duggan? He was black. Mark Duggan had history with the police and committed petty crimes. You know, the stereotypical young black male living in London. So once the news hit British citizens, the vast majority believed that the death was ‘justified’. However, after further investigations, Mark Duggan did not fire any shots, as the weapon was in the back seat. Time and time again, British police have committed crimes and escaped penalty, and this case is just another number added to the statistic.

The police, to some: defenders of peace, but to black people? Their worst enemy. 333 black people have died in police custody without any convictions or suspensions since 1998. This shows that the Metropolitan police have a poor history and even their inspection board (IPCC) are corrupt in covering up the police brutalities. This fact is shocking and also harms your argument, as you say “the police did not kill this man in cold blood” and “the police defended themselves”. Police brutality isn’t the only problem. Did you know that a black person is 17.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than a white person?

Black people’s relationship with the police isn’t the only problem they’re facing. They have been at the bottom of the social ladder for hundreds of years, and in some parts of the UK, still are. Haringey, Tottenham has the fourth highest level of child poverty in London and an unemployment rate of 8.8%, which is double the national average. Therefore with the problems that Tottenham were facing, they had a right to feel irritated and angry. Also the richest 10% in the UK are 100 times better off than the poorest, this means that the rich is getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Crime, ill-health, imprisonment and mental illness have also increased due to poor social mobility. Finally, recent austerity cuts by the government sparked even more anger and unrest, which was capped of by the death of Mark Duggan which was the main reason for the London Riots, not black people.

Black people only count for 3% of the population in the UK, a huge minority. Throughout history, we have seen how media and propaganda have unfairly targeted minorities. But yet you say “black youths have once again set London alight”. Strong comments like this, from people with power, is the reason why racism is still so profound in our society. Is every black person violent? No, so where is the idea of black culture being violent sprouting from? Was Martin Luther King violent? No. But yet he was able to inspire and change American culture for the better. However history and society have based black people as a violent race because of a minority of blacks, which is wrong. The media are also part of the problem. Their bias and unfair pictures also captured black people in a bad light.

Martin Luther King dreamed of a world in which men and women were “judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin”. Unfortunately in this day and age, due to people’s mindsets just like yours, King’s dream still hasn’t come to fruition.


3 Responses to “You Cannot Define Black Culture”

  • jobrien Says:

    Gabriel,

    Can you have a look at the following things:

    1) how you start the beginning of each paragraph (they must ‘flow’ from one to another)

    2) you need a final sentence or two to finish off the piece conclusively

    3) check punctuation and expression throughout. Think about how we discussed your work on the controlled assessment

    Mr O’B

  • jobrien Says:

    Hi Gabriel,

    1) Try and write a more exciting opening. It’s clear, but it’s not stylistic. Have a look at the Guardian opinion pieces.

    2) I think you need to break up the work a bit. In the second paragraph, for example, you should have three separate paragraphs:

    – one for the specifics of the Mark Duggan case

    – another for the argument re: police deaths in custody

    – a final one for the argument regarding stop and search

    3) There are some minor mistakes you need to fix. Read through the piece and you will find them.

    This is 36/40 (A2)

  • jobrien Says:

    Current grade: A2 (36/40)

    1) Try and write a more exciting opening. It’s clear, but it’s not stylistic. Have a look at the Guardian opinion pieces.

    2) I think you need to break up the work a bit. In the second paragraph, for example, you should have three separate paragraphs:

    – one for the specifics of the Mark Duggan case

    – another for the argument re: police deaths in custody

    – a final one for the argument regarding stop and search

    3) There are some minor mistakes you need to fix. Read through the piece and you will find them.