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The riots, the rappers and the Anglo-Jamaican tragedy

Did hip-hop culture play a part in last week's riots? And do you have to come from the inner city to discuss its problems?

By David Goodhart   August 2011

Liberal Britain has declared, with relief, that the riots—whatever the hell they were about—were not about race. It is true that after starting black in Tottenham they became whiter as they moved around and then out of London. But the “original sin” of post-war English immigration—the rejection of the West Indians who arrived here, keen to fit in, in the 1950s and 1960s—still lingers like a bad dream over these events. Let me explain, but first a brief recap.

Some Prospect readers thought that in my first blog on the riots I overplayed the “post-political” style of the rioters and…

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