David Starkey loses honorary fellowship from Fitzwilliam College over slavery comments
He claimed that slavery was not genocide because there were ‘so many damned blacks’
Fitzwilliam College has “accepted Dr David Starkey’s resignation of his Honorary Fellowship with immediate effect.” today following comments that the historian made during an online interview this week.
The historian and academic came under fire after he said: “Slavery was not genocide otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?”
The comments were made during an interview with conservative commentator and Brexit supporter Darren Grimes, in a YouTube video entitled “Dr David Starkey: Black Lives Matter Aims To Delegitimate British History”.
Update on Dr David Starkey: pic.twitter.com/etcJSIz7Kx
— Fitzwilliam College (@FitzwilliamColl) July 3, 2020
The announcement of Starkey’s resignation was made on Twitter this afternoon by Fitzwilliam College, despite the fact that they had originally stated in a tweet yesterday that “the matter of Dr Starkey’s Honorary Fellowship” was to be discussed in a meeting next Wednesday by the college’s Governing Body.
The college went on to state: “Fitzwilliam prides itself in leading the way in Cambridge in opening access to higher education for underrepresented groups. Our student and academic bodies are diverse and welcoming to all.
“We do not tolerate racism.”
The college also pointed out that although Starkey had not been employed by the college in any teaching capacity: “Honorary Fellows have the same responsibility as all members of our college to uphold our values.”
Interviewer Darren Grimes took to Twitter yesterday to distance himself from Starkey’s comments, saying: “I reject in the strongest possible terms what Dr Starkey said in that clip and so very wish I’d caught it at the time. I am still learning the ropes, I will be much more alert to challenging this kind of thing in future.”
Featured image credit: Reasoned UK