An activist appointed by Sadiq Khan to review London’s statues has been labelled “racist” after he accused Diane Abbott of being “disloyal to her own community” and David Lammy of being a “poor example of Africans”.
Toyin Agbetu, who was recently appointed to the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, made a series of disparaging racial remarks about senior black Labour politicians in a blog online, The Telegraph can disclose.
The remarks have led Shaun Bailey, the black Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, to urge Sadiq Khan to immediately remove the commissioner due to his “racist past”.
It comes after the Mayor faced intense criticism over the composition of the commission to review London’s landmarks, with historians claiming it lacked expertise and excluded conservative opinions.
In a blog post condemning Ms Abbott’s decision to run for the Labour leadership in 2010, Mr Agbetu said the Hackney MP had been “disloyal to her own community and, worst yet, with minimal coercion, willingly betrayed herself” by engaging in frontline politics.
He added that Labour would not win black votes by “elevating a woman who – to be frank – the African community is embarrassed about”.
Mr Agbetu directed similar criticism at Mr Lammy, the shadow justice secretary, Baroness Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, and Baroness Amos, who has served as British High Commissioner to Australia.
“Lammy, Amos and Scotland are all poor examples of Africans whose quest for influence and status has dwarfed their duty to human rights, social justice for African people and opposition to imperialism,” he said.
He added: “Many Africans in positions of status cling to their scraps of celebrity as if they are owed it by virtue of their ethnicity.”
None of those named are in fact Africans. Respectively, either birth or parents are from Jamaica, Guyana, Dominica, Guyana.
These are not places in Africa.
We can call them Caribbeans, possibly Afro-Caribbeans, we can say that they’re of a certain race perhaps – although race, obviously, doesn’t exist it’s merely a social construct – we can even say “British” as that’s what they are.
But African is one thing they’re not.
Sure, the bloke’s one of the more pernicious of the race baiters but still, the distinction does need to be made. After all, one group is victim of the original wipipo sin, the slave trade, the other isn’t. And if the difference isn’t a difference then what’s all the fuss about there then?