The BBC has apologized for suggesting that an elderly man who was being interviewed on the London riots was actually a participant in the violence that has rocked the city.
Darcus Howe, a 68-year-old radical West Indian writer and journalist from Brixton, was being interviewed by BBC presenter Fiona Armstrong on his thoughts on the rioting in London.
“Our political leaders have no idea, the police have no idea,” Howe said, of the level of frustration and discontent among the youth in England.
“I don’t call it rioting, I call it an insurrection of the masses of the people,” he added. “It is happening in Syria, it is happening in Clapham, it is happening in Liverpool, it is happening in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and that is the nature of the historical moment.”
After his comment, Armstrong asked Howe if he condoned the rioting over the course of an exchange in which she cut him off several times.
“Of course not! What am I going to condone it for?” Howe replied. Later, after she accused him of taking part in riots in the past, he said, “Have some respect for an old West Indian negro instead of accusing me of being a rioter.”
Late yesterday, BBC apologized saying the question was “poorly-phrased” and they would apologize “for any offense that this interview has caused.”