A Black British academic ruffled some feathers when he deemed whiteness “a psychosis” and took Britain to task for its oppressive history.
Birmingham City University professor of black studies Dr. Kehinde Andrews made the comments on Sunday during a “Good Morning Britain” panel discussion about the use of “Empire” when referring to Britain and its territories. The talk was prompted by commentary from British Labour Party candidate Lisa Nandy, who argued the “Order of the British Empire” should be changed to the “Order of British Excellence,” per The Guardian.
Andrews was the only Black person on the panel aside from break dancer Jonzi D, who has recently refused to accept an honor designating him as a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Andrews made the comment after the white panelists tried to convince him and the other Black panelist that the British Empire “wasn’t all bad.”
“The way we remember this history is so bad, that we actually think we can find comfort in this system which killed tens of millions, probably hundreds of millions of people, rape, murder, torture, famine,” Andrews said.
“Whiteness is a psychosis — you can’t have a reasonable explanation.”
Andrews’ bold statement unleashed a downpour of white tears from co-panelists Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, who accused him of being a racist. Their critiques didn’t deter him.
“Whiteness is not just for white people. There are black people, Asian people, who also purport the psychosis of whiteness,” Andrews continued.
“It’s about the idea,” he added. “It’s about the fact that in the 21st century, 60% of British people believe that empire was a force for good. That’s like saying the Nazis built motorways, so we should celebrate them. It’s literally an irrational view.”
When an obviously incensed Morgan asked Andrews if he was, “comparing the British empire to Nazi Germany” the professor clarified his point.
“You’re right, there is no comparison,” Andrews responded. “The British Empire did far more harm to the world for a far more sustained period of time.”
Reid and Morgan were not the only ones upset by Andrews’ comments. Twitter was flooded with people who missed his point.
However, there were plenty of people who agreed with Andrews’ argument.
Andrews was unbothered by the backlash and reiterated his point on his Twitter page.
“‘The British Empire lasted far longer, did more damage and in many ways, paved the way for the Nazi’s and their genocidal ideology,” he wrote. “We do no favours to the victims of the Holocaust by pretending otherwise. If we forget the past we are likely to repeat it.”
Watch the full segment below: