A piece of “performance art” released by the taxpayer-funded Scottish National Portrait Gallery describes white people as “inbred spawn soon to die out.”
The spoken word video, performed by Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers and published on YouTube last week, features Aloysius Massaquoi racially insulting some of Scotland’s most iconic figures, including King James III and architect Sir William Bruce.
Set to ominous background music, Massaquoi states, “Gold. Edged and decorated. A coat framed with gold surrounding white skin,
wrapped around your body fat and muscles and bones like a magic cloak. The signs of power. The signs of wealth. Insignia. Details that seem small and inconsequential but they are proof of status. Your status. White. Powerful. Rich.”
“Am I meant to admire the brushwork and the colours and the historical context, without considering how you came to be here? And people who look like me aren’t? Am I meant to just accept that this is how things work out,” questions Massaquoi as he throws air punches at the paintings.
“I am here, too, now. And you are dead. Dead, random white dude. What’s so special about you?” he goes on to ask.
“The signs of wealth, the insignia of status, they are a gravestone that a dog pisses against, shifting, cracked in clay. They are a long line of in-bred spawn, soon to die out themselves,” states Massaquoi.
“Perhaps someone could inform this idiot these men are framed in gold because they’re highly distinguished and achieved real accomplishments in their lives beyond rapping?” writes Chris Menahan.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery YouTube account responded to the backlash by disabling likes and comments on the video.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is primarily funded by the Scottish government using taxpayer money. The gallery’s 2011 refurbishment was also largely funded by the Scottish government and in turn taxpayers.
Not that this should even have to be explained, but the reason there are no portraits of black men hanging in the gallery is that the black population of Scotland is infintessimel even now, never mind hundreds of years ago.
According to official government statistics, Caribbean or Black individuals make up just 0.1% of the population of Scotland.
The notion that it’s racist to showcase the accomplishments of some of Scotland’s most iconic historical figures because they were white is patently absurd and is itself racist.
This would be just as ludicrous as getting outraged at South Africans for celebrating Nelson Mandela because Mandela is black and South African is a majority black country. It’s completely ridiculous.
But with the BBC and others now inserting black people into historical events such as the signing of the Magna Carta and the Norman invasion of Britain, who knows where this idiocy will end?