Stormzy Didn’t Say ‘100% Of Britain’ Is Racist
After calling out Britain’s systemic problem with racism, Stormzy has hit out at the media’s misrepresentation of his words.
The Croydon-born rapper’s quotes made headlines yesterday, December 21, following an interview with Italian outlet La Repubblica.
UNILAD‘s original headline on the initial coverage read: ‘Stormzy Says UK Is ‘100%’ Racist And Boris Johnson Is Fuelling It’. Following the artist’s response to the media’s use of his comments, we have since amended it and are offering this article as a means of further clarifying the story.
While discussing his newly released album Heavy is the Head with the newspaper, the 26-year-old – real name Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr. – was asked if Britain is a racist country.
His response was as follows:
Definitely, 100%. It’s like: ‘Oh no, we’re not racist’. But there’s a lot of racism in the country.
The difficult thing with the UK is, as you said, in Italy it’s a clear problem, whereas trying to explain that Britain is a racist country [to a British person] is the most difficult thing ever. They think, ‘No, it’s not. Stormzy you’re successful. Look at London, there’s loads of black people…’ It’s a more difficult case to fight.
His response clearly indicates that he ‘definitely’ believes there is a widespread problem with racism in the UK – however, it does not equate to him claiming that 100% of the population of the UK is racist.
However, the headlines that emerged from the quotes – regardless of whether the copy within the story clarified them or not – insensitively implied that Stormzy made a sweeping accusation against all Britons – which isn’t the case.
The Crown and Blinded By Your Grace singer took aim at ITV News’ coverage specifically, retweeting their link and writing: ‘ITV you lot can suck my dick for this.’
Stormzy later tweeted in reference to the media’s take on his quotes:
All you publications and media outlets that are intentionally spinning my words for some click bait can suck my dick and please don’t try beg it in the future.
The unfortunate aspect of the fallout is that Stormzy’s original sentiments, which are eloquent and entirely justified, are being lost amidst a sea of backlash.
In the same interview, the rapper commented on Boris Johnson – describing him as a ‘figurehead’ whose widely-reported attitudes make it more publicly acceptable to be racist.
If the top person can openly say this racist thing – the ‘piccaninnies’ remarks, ‘watermelon smiles’, comparing Muslim women to a letter box – if that is our figurehead, the top man, the leader we have to follow, and he openly says these things, he encourages hate among others.
[…] Before, people had to hide their racism. If you felt something bad about about black people, about Muslims, you had to shut up. Now these people have the confidence to come out in public to say everything. This is scary to me, that scares the shit out of me.
Stormzy is known for using his platform to speak out against Johnson and the Conservatives. Just days ago, while performing Vossi Bop with Harry Styles at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, he encouraged the audience to chant the lyrics: ‘F*ck the government and f*ck Boris’.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]