Two Eyes Blind
IN THIS PHOTO: Stormzy/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Why Amanda Platell’s Remarks Regarding Stormzy Are Flawed
THERE has been a bit of a storm brewing regarding…
IN THIS PHOTO: Amanda Platell/PHOTO CREDIT: Dave Thompson (2013)
Amanda Platell’s article about Stormzy. I was going to mention racism and race-based judgement in the title but felt, for legal reasons, it was best to avoid that terminology. If you have not read the feature already, then you should give it a read. I am not prone to reading Daily Mail’s online opinions – I would sooner have my pubic hairs waxed off! – but this piece got my goat and sparked something. Criticising the website for displaying something factually-flawed and ignorant would be like slagging off a Donald Trump for being an egomaniacal A-Hole: we know what we are in for and are not foolish enough to believe things will change. The site/paper is famed for its sheer stupidity, panic and hate-spreading agendas (maybe this is more libellous than anything else I will write!). I associate the readership of the Daily Mail with Tory-voting middle-classes that want everything the way it is: keep out those nasty foreign people and praise everything P.M. Theresa May says. They are in their own little bubble and, so long as the world is in their image and beneficial to them – everyone else is an enemy and worthless. There are exceptions to the rule but, for the most part, their readership is as slack-jawed and pointless as you’ll get.
The latest much-rake from Amanda Platell is aimed at Stormzy and his comments at this year’s Brit Awards. Despite the fact he was the best thing about the night – aside from some near-the-post saves and dives from host Jack Whitehall – he spoke truth and articulated the feelings of many of us in the U.K. I am not accusing Platell of racism although I am pretty sure, were a white artist like Ed Sheeran to make such remarks – she would not take to her laptop and accuse him of being a tax-dodging, over-privilege hypocrite. The article started by laying out some of the facts – looking at his family and what he achieved at the Brit Awards:
“Mum emigrated from Ghana to Britain in the hope of giving herself and her family a better life. And she succeeded. On Wednesday her son — now known as grime rapper Stormzy — won two top gongs, for best British male solo artist and best album at the Brit Awards for pop music”.
Despite the fact her grammar and punctuation are flawed: she went on to state some ignorant and strange opinions:
“If ever there were proof that whatever your background, this is a country that provides opportunities, Stormzy is it. He is a formidable talent. Accepting his awards he thanked God, his family — and then proceeded to attack the Tory Government”.
It is true Stormzy has overcome the odds and made a great life for himself: that final insinuation he should be thankful for the Tory government and has no real right to attack anyone is laughable. As I said earlier in the article: if this were a white Pop artist making saying the same things as Stormzy did – attacking the government and calling them out regards the Grenfell Tower fire – would they be subjected to the same scrutiny and judgement?! Stormzy’s wealth and success have not been easy and he has not been handed anything in life – working tirelessly to get his music to the people and not stopping there. Platell’s comments and thoughts did not end there…
“What was most shocking about this was its bile and ignorance.
The PM has never called anyone ‘savages’ let alone the victims and survivors of Grenfell. Her government has committed £58 million to helping victims of the Grenfell tragedy and more will follow. And yet Stormzy’s message was that, as some vile form of retribution for Grenfell, Theresa May’s house should be burnt down to see how she likes it”.
Stormzy’s point is that May’s government have reacted too late and handled the entire situation with serious apathy and lacking care. Maybe his wording – calling her a ‘savage’ – could be better articulated and phrased. His points regarding the Government and their mishandling of the tragedy are right-on!
IN THIS PHOTO: Prime Minister Theresa May/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
The fact she has pledged that money comes AFTER the fact and is a result of huge backlash and condemnation. An artist like Stormzy has experienced life on estates and knows the type of existence the survivors has led. He knows the kind of folk who live at Grenfell and is entitled to react violently to the Tories and their ignorance. Platell, as I will show, goes on to look at Stormzy’s wealth and opinion he is hypocritical to stick his nose in the Grenfell case when he lives in luxurious surroundings. Musicians are not on this planet to simply parrot their songs and go home at the end of the day. They are entitled to their opinions and are allowed to say what they want to – so long as it is legal. If we suppressed the free thought of musicians and criticised them every time they attacked the government; we would not have any form of expression and many people would riot. I am sure Amanda Platell has thrown criticism at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and taken shots at him! What is the difference between a rich person like her attacking Labour and a musician like Stormzy attacking the Tory party?! Platell mentioned Stormzy’s education – he excelled and did well at school – before he started rolling with drug addicts and falling into bad crowds.
PHOTO CREDIT: Press Association
His tale is an inspiring one for anyone who has been in a bad situation and yearned to make something of their life. Although Platell does highlight the good work Stormzy does – in the smarmiest and least sincere manner possible – but...her piece is filled with anger and falsehoods. Before I get to the crux and conclusion – here is another snippet that enraged the senses:
“For all his life Stormzy has happily benefited from the health care, housing and education opportunities the government, whether Tory or Labour, has provided.
Today, as he relaxes in his £2 million flat, employing accountants who specialise in ‘ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ and ‘overseas companies and non-domiciled individuals’, is it asking too much that he show a scintilla of gratitude to the country that offered his mother and him so much? Instead of trashing it”.
It is laughable to think the fact Stormzy has made a life for himself should preclude him from highlight how the Government handled the Grenfell tragedy. So, in essence; if you benefit from free healthcare and do well; you manage to live somewhere safe and forge a career – you should keep your mouth shut, be thankful and say ‘thanks’ to our leaders?! I am in a semi-okay place in life and I appreciate what I have been provided: I am never going to remain silent and think the Government have done the best for me and this country. The U.K. is wealthy and well-off but being let down by our Prime Minister and the way she orchestrates business.
IN THIS PHOTO: Grenfell Tower/PHOTO CREDIT: Rick Findler/PA Wire
Millions of us were outraged and upset by what we saw at Grenfell. A lot of us voiced our disgust and levelled that at the Government – Amanda Platell and her Daily Mail cronies did not write a piece eviscerating the British public and their opinions. I bet there are a few Daily Mail readers who have even stronger views on the matter than Stormzy himself. Isn’t it ironic Platell should judge Stormzy so harshly and overlook a proportion of her readership?! Her attitude and piece display a general ignorance, mainly in the gutter press, that suggests musicians who have made money should count their lucky stars and be grateful for what they have. Stormzy is not, as she pictures, a lounging star who has millions and lazes around in his mansion all day. His family struggled to get to this country and had to overcome incredible odds. It was unlikely Stormzy would be noticed and make a life for himself in Britain. The fact he has risen to the position he is (is) down to endless graft and raw talent. The music he makes reflects the realities of the nation and highlights issues that need addressing and improving. A lot of what he says is for people like Grenfell’s residents: the befallen and struggling who are trying to make a good life for themselves and do not hurt anyone.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
The fire that claimed seventy-one in June 2017 cannot be ignored and diminished. I understand there have been some negative reactions that have made the press. Yesterday; it was reported council workers who are monitoring the aftermath of Grenfell are being attacked and (having their meetings) hijacked by protestors – a natural reaction but something that doesn’t help people trying to change things. It is all well and good having the Tories saying they are committed to funding renovation and improvement following the fire. They are implementing changes so that safety measures are in place for all high-rises; better checks conducted and homeless residents rehomed and looked after. The fact there was nothing done BEFORE the fire took hold – knowing Grenfell was unsafe and prone to fire – and the hours afterwards cannot be forgotten. If there has been an instant reaction and a proactive approach right after the tragedy – many would have commended Theresa May and her staff. All of this rhetoric and promise has come after a severe backlash and protest from the public. I was aggrieved at Amanda Platell and her piece because it suggested Stormzy has been handed a lot and has a lot of money in the bank. Maybe he should be more grateful he is wealthy and should recognise the fact the Tories are committed to helping those who have suffered a considerable loss. All of this is crap, of course. It was uneasy reading the words that were aimed at a young black artist who has overcome a lot and entitled to speak for people who do not have a platform like his.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
I feel Stormzy was right and, although his words were furious and accusatory; Platell’s insinuations and words display huge ignorance against people like Stormzy – voicing anger many of us in this country feel. There is some good news in all of this. If you have missed the latest update - Stormzy’s recent Tweet, calling for people to sign a petition that appointed additional panel members to an independent public enquiry, has surpassed the target 100,000 signatures - it is all detailed here:
“Stormzy has tweeted "job done" after a petition calling on Theresa May to take action to build public trust in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry reached the milestone of 100,000 signatures.
The grime and hip hop star called on his more than one million Twitter followers to sign the petition demanding Mrs May use her powers to appoint additional panel members to the independent public inquiry.
Within a few hours of his tweet, the petition had registered more than 100,000 signatures - the number required for the petition to be considered for debate by MPs.
It was started by Adel Chaoui, Karim Mussilhy and Sandra Ruiz, who were bereaved in the tragedy, and want a more diverse make-up to the inquiry.
In a joint statement, they said: "This week the public have shown they've not forgotten about Grenfell.
"Just as they supported us in the immediate aftermath of the fire, when local and national government response was lacking, they've backed us again - and demanded the voices of the survivors and bereaved are heard".
It is very obvious people have signed this petition because they feel the same way as Stormzy. Many of the people who signed the petition are in the same situation as Stormzy: they might be better off and have a bit of money in the bank. Many would have struggled oppression and faced obstacles building a life for themselves in this country. The fact a proportion of those signees have made a life for themselves and build a sense of comfort means they are prone to the same criticism Amanda Platell levied at Stormzy. Should they be criticised and judged for having angry reactions about the Government and their handling of Grenfell?! Of course not! Stormzy is not the kind of man who will be affected by the article and feel the need to be a bit more passive and calm. The fact he has helped bring change and open discussion is a good thing; he has made a success of his life because of the music he makes: songs aimed at the affected and the lesser-off. The fact he is more productive and universal than our Government – who have no idea about Grime and what the genre stands for – speaks volumes. Amanda Platell’s opinions might have slipped many by but highlight the feelings of some rather foolish and ignorant members of the press. Stormzy has whipped up support and togetherness; he has got people motivated and reflecting the opinions many of us have. He has done more good in the past few weeks than the likes of Amanda Platell have achieved in years. That, when you think about it…
PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash
IS the greatest irony of all.