Is MP David Lammy a Fool?

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

MP, David Lammy obviously has not heeded the advice of Abraham Lincoln. His pontification, this week, regarding Stacey Dooley visiting Uganda, do him no favours. She is representing Comic Relief in an advocacy role, in defence of the poorest of the poor. His gripe with the Strictly Come Dancing champion, is that she is playing the role of the “White Saviour.” This, he objects to because he and his fellow “no white saviours” legionnaires have declared her actions as racist.

Look in the Mirror

Mr Lammy would do well to look in the mirror. He is judging the actions of Ms Dooley purely based on her colour. She is white. Therefore, she cannot be right? In so doing, Mr Lammy is making a racist judgement of Ms Dooley. He fails to concede that a person who does not share his mahogany skin tone can do the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do. It would surprise no one if the Honourable MP for Tottenham retorted that “I am Black. How can I be racist?” He is living proof that people of colour can be as racist as people of any other colour.

When Mr Lammy does look in the mirror, he will see a man languishing with the morays of a bygone age. An age that believed that we should treat every other group of people as suspicious and mal-intentioned – merely because they have a different skin colour. His education in the fight for equality is sadly deficient. He seems to have no recollection of “The Dream”. This is a cardinal element in the folklore and canon of the fight for human rights and racial equality. It is the corner stone in the articulation of our aspiration to a fairer world. Yet, Mr Lammy demonstrates monumental ignorance of it. What a waste of his Harvard education. And he calls Ms Dooley uneducated? Comedy Central beckons?

On 19 June 1963, with throngs around the globe huddled around transistor radios. They sat spellbound as Martin Luther King Jnr’s voice boomed across the planet – “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Men and women of every colour and race jumped to their feet and cheered him to the rafters!

Now fast forward to February 2019. Mr Lammy points a finger of judgement at Ms Dooley – because of the views she holds? No. Because of her deeds? No. He does so merely because her skin is white.

Stacey Dooley in Uganda. (Credit: Instagram)

Do the right thing

Comic Relief has a positive and proven track record of intervening to break the poverty cycle in Uganda. Every year thousands of volunteers file through Entebbe airport. “We are here to learn, to serve and to make a difference if we can.” The vast majority of these young and not so young people are, what Mr Lammy would characterise as white. Do they get everything right? No, they don’t. Should we therefore conclude that because we can’t get everything right every time, we should therefore do nothing? Should we conclude that only people of colour can show compassion to people of colour? Is this the absurd universe that Mr Lammy would like to see?

Regardless of Mr Lammy’s idiotic pontifications uttered from his pompous platform of privilege, people of every skin colour will continue to do the right thing. They will do so because it is the right thing to do. Together we will continue to fight the evil of poverty, child abuse and child trafficking – because it is the right thing to do! If we do not, the consequences are unthinkable. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Does Mr Lammy honestly believe that a starving child should only be fed and loved by people of his own skin colour? If he does, then he is a fool. Does Mr Lammy honestly believe that an abused child can only be hugged and kissed by someone of her own colour? If he does, then he is a fool. Does Mr Lammy honestly believe that a child’s school fees and medical treatment must only be sponsored by someone of her own colour? If he does, then he is a fool.

David Lammy MP. (Credit: Flickr)

So, what can Mr Lammy do?

Mr Lammy is incensed. A young woman, of Caucasian extraction, has given up her time and talent to travel half way around the world to help someone less privileged. She asks for nothing in return! The unmitigated gall of the woman! So, what can Mr Lammy do?

Mr Lammy, I would like you to do 3 things:

1. If you are so unhappy with the contribution to Africa, made by someone whose skin colour is white, then please, get up and go there yourself! Go there! See the need. Go there and determine to make a difference! Ooopps! I do beg your pardon. Comic Relief did ask you to go to Uganda? You refused because you “didn’t want to be part of their PR machine”? Mr Lammy, your compassion for Africa moves me to tears.

2. Use your elevated role as MP to advocate for more economic justice and an end to human trafficking and poverty – not only in Africa but for all disadvantaged people. Unless you think an African child’s tears are of more value than a non-African child’s tears?

3. Mr Lammy, Africa does not need another racist. Grow up or shut up!

References:

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt.” – Attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Attributed to Edmund Burke.

About the author:

Mark Montgomery.

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