The vindictive, cowardly racism that black Britons face on the streets is rooted in empire, the hip-hop artist and writer Akala insists in his book Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire.
The argument that racism is shaped by imperial oppression, and by class relations – that it doesn’t just appear out of nowhere in people’s heads – runs through the book. And so
does the theme that struggles against empire are a key part of the path to a better world.
“As much as a tendency to dominate, divide and brutalise has been a seeming constant for the past few millennia at least, so too has the tendency of sharing and co-operation, of rebellion against dominant powers and attempts to create a more just order”, Akala writes (p. 148).
“The degree to which humans have secured a more just world has been born out of the struggles against empires as much as anything else.”
Akala recounts the British empire’s crimes – from slavery, through colonialism in Africa to selling weapons to Saudi Arabia for the genocidal onslaught in Yemen right now – and Read the rest of this entry »