I just thought I'd say a few words about Darcus Howe, Black rights campaigner, who recently passed away. I met Mr Howe once, during the early 1980's, at a Rock Against Racism gig. He was one of the most powerful and thought provoking characters I've ever met and I liked him. Unlike many people involved in the fight to end racism, he told it how it was and didn't shy away from a row, characteristics which greatly endeared him to me. He told me "It's not just black people who get a bad deal in the UK, the white working class are despised and hated by those in power. They have conspired for centuries to keep them down, however the difference is a white working class man can go to University, learn to speak properly, buy a suit and he can become a member of the establishment. If a black man does those things, the police will accuse him of being a drug dealer and simply want to take him down". We also discussed Bernard Manning and surprisingly he told me that Manning's racist humour didn't bother him, because that was how white people talked. He said that ultimately racism would end when black people stopped putting up with it. At the time Aparthied was a hot issue. Howe stated that it would only end in blood, when the local populace rose up and overthrew the colonialist masters. I am happy that Mandela chose another path, but I was glad I met the man and it was one of the most enlightening meetings I've ever had.I'm not altogether sure what he made of a bunch of teenage punk rockers playing at a Rock against Racism gig. he reminded me a bit of a few of my mates grumpy Dad's. I asked him after the show if he enjoyed the band and he said he prefered calypso, but keep practising. Pretty much what my own Dad said.
Darcus Howe RIP