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I have been following the ‘BLM stuff’ with quite a bit of interest recently, but not for the reasons expected! I was one of the few Black police officers to be appointed in 1978. To my horror (even to this day I experience ‘flashbacks’); the racism that I suffered was not mainly from Whites but mostly from my own Black brethren, some of whom I had counted as my ‘friends’. I hasten to add that my true friends – Black and White – always stayed supportive. I briefly mention this because hopefully it is relevant to the wider debate. The issue has more to do with attitudes than it does with colour. Bigots come in all colours!

No one should be surprised – let alone shocked – that ‘Churchill was a racist’. He was born in 1874, less than half a century after the abolition of slavery in the so-called British Empire. He was a product of his time. That has to be true otherwise the BLM machine would have gathered momentum much sooner than it has done.

As a young officer I sometimes used to ‘marvel’ at being spat at and labelled an ‘Uncle Tom’ by the very people that I had sworn an Oath to the Sovereign, to protect. And of course the supreme irony is that I would not have been in a position to do so had Churchill’s ‘attitude’ not prevailed over Hitler’s ‘attitude’.

Another irony, little known as a historical fact, is that ‘black-on-black’ crime was so prevalent, at the time,  that a specialist police unit had to be set up. One of the unit’s first senior officers was himself Black (who later went on to become the nation’s first Black Chief Constable. I tell you this because the street mantra amongst the  Black Youth, at the time, was ‘wheel and deal but never squeal!’ You have to believe me when I say that this was not a comfortable climate for young black police officers!

In a world that seeks to re-write history, and skewer any counter-view to BLM as being ‘racist’,  I must at once say that I have never, and never will condone any aspect of the slave trade. It was tyrannical, abhorrent and of course racist. However, judging someone of Churchill’s stature, by todays standards, in terms of his overall good or bad to the country and the world, is as futile as virtually pitting say Mohammed Ali against say Anthony Joshua. What’s the point, apart from as forming a legitimate facet of a valid intellectual debate. You’ll never come to a definitive  ‘true answer’!

Sometimes the good that men do outweighs the evil that they have done. It is for that very reason that I don’t seek to judge anyone who may have called me a ‘coon’, ‘golly’, ‘sambo’, ‘kaffir’, ‘nigger’, ‘white man’s bitch’, ‘bounty bar’ or ‘Uncle Tom’ during my just under 2  years in the Force. They were products of the times that they lived in. I do pray however that some of them have changed!

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