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Stormzy wears Banksy’s stab-proof vest
courtesy of Instagram/@stormzy

Stormzy says the UK is ‘definitely, 100 per cent’ racist

And Boris Johnson has only made it worse (obviously)

Stormzy has pointed to Boris Johnson as a “figurehead” whose actions have made racism more acceptable in Britain, which – the rapper adds – is “definitely, 100 per cent” a racist country.

The comments (which aren’t too surprising, if you’ve been following Stormzy’s political activism and/or the career of the current prime minister) come in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Stormzy goes on to point to some of Boris’s more blatant racist remarks, in order to illustrate his point. 

“If the top person can openly say this racist thing – the ‘piccaninnies’ remarks, ‘watermelon smiles’, comparing Muslim women to a letter box,” he says, “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.”

He also adds how he thinks racism in Britain differs from racism in other countries, more difficult to define and explain, even to the country’s own residents: “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.”

As is the case for many people, this makes Stormzy’s relation to British identity difficult and kind of contradictory. He would have to think hard about accepting an MBE or OBE if offered one, for example. On the one hand, his mum would be proud of the honour, but on the other, he says: “It’s got a very dark history. You know, Britain colonised everywhere. It’s something I’d look into and decide in case of.”

In the meantime, we can all trust in Stormzy to keep bringing hope in a dark political climate, not least through his Bible reading that will close the BBC’s Christmas coverage.