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'Bwoy dem' and the new spotlight on black terror suspects

WORRYING: The recent terror raids could put the spotlight on the area’s black community

AS IF the cops never had enough excuses to pull over black men, women and children and to feel up our crotches – real acts of terror, would-be acts of terror and alleged acts of terror involving black people are making it easier for 'bwoy dem' to feel no way.

Last week’s police showdown in Harlesden/Willesden way in north west London, where bwoy dem shot up a woman, is a worrying case in point, because Harlesden is a black neighbourhood, and Willesden used to be, too, before gentrification.

The police say their armed raid was to “foil an active terror plot” which they suspect that those arrested were involved in.

I don’t need to tell you that the last thing we need in black neighbourhoods is more gunmen. Whether they be police or thieves. We don’t bizness. It’s already coming like it’s the wild west out ’ere. We don’t need no more gun talk. And yet, which one of us would argue with bwoy dem when they say they need those armed officers on our streets to protect us from the terrorists who want to blow all of us up.

When the police say that they are armed to the teeth to “foil an active terror plot” most of us say, ‘Bring it on. Bring in the cavalry. Bring in the tanks and the heavy cannon’, even though those people under arrest are clearly innocent until proven otherwise.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Police at the scene in Harlesden Road

You see, when push comes to shove, acts of terrorism or even acts of would-be terrorism or suspected acts of terrorism can’t beg no friend, because it could be me, it could be you or it could be any one of we who falls victim to indiscriminate acts of terror.

So there is no outcry that a woman has been shot. The first woman to have been shot by British police in 10 years. There is no outcry as there might otherwise be.

Although she is innocent of anything until the due process of the law. But, because she is connected to the police operation to “foil an active terror plot” there seems to be a collective acceptance that as the police are going about their duty in trying to “foil an active terror plot” that, unfortunately, they have to go heavily armed and, unfortunately, there may be innocent casualties.

Bwoy dem don’t even have to beg forgiveness when they’re coming down heavy where terror suspects are concerned, because the black community will be the first ones to cry: 'Lock ’em up, star. Shoot dem down. Buss up dem head-top. We nuh watch face!' True, true.

Like I say, this latest incident, coming just a few weeks after the Westminster attack where a black man was involved, is more than likely going to focus bwoy dem’s attention on the black community.

WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS: The north London house where a woman in her twenties was shot by police in a terror raid


Of course, we have always been subject to the special attention of bwoy dem. So this is nothing new. But not on this level.

I’m not trying to underline a stereotype, but I wouldn’t be bu'ning no ishen in the ’hood over the next few months and perhaps years, if I were you. If I were you, for the next 12 months (minimum) I would only lick a chalice round my white spar’s yard. Ah so it go. With so much bwoy dem in our community looking for a terrorist, the white man’s yard will be the only safe place for some time to come. And that’s not the only problem.

You remember how the capital turned into the wild west – particularly in the black areas – after the failed London bombings of July 21, 2005? Well, that manhunt resulted in the death of a totally innocent Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes. Let’s not forget that as we go about our daily business in black neighbourhoods swarming with armed police officers looking for terrorists.

And that is why at times like this we expect our local politicians to protect us. The local MPs needs to be making sure that black lives matter, even when bwoy dem are looking for terrorists in our ’hoods, because we may soon experience what Asian Britons have experienced over the past decade or two in their communities, where they have felt under suspicion because of ‘Islamist terrorism’ that has nothing to do with them, but they are lumbered with the stigma because several of the home-grown terrorists, alleged terrorists, would-be terrorists, are deemed to come from those communities.

MENTOR: Peter Tosh (photo credit: Dre1ne)

The African-Caribbean communities of Britain have – in the main – managed to avoid that stigma, but for how much longer? Who knows.

But, you can see us being next on Donald Trump’s banned list to go to the States, can’t you? Especially if you’ve got an African-sounding name. I bet the US president is itching to put us on that list, not least because of the support that black Britons gave president Barack Obama when he got elected. Remember how we were talking about Obama in 2008 as ‘our’ president?

Well, I suppose we’ve only got ourselves to blame now that things ah come up to bump. And that’s what I don’t get about ‘black’ terrorists. When you done know already how bwoy dem treat us and you done know already how a lot of people regard it as harassment, and you done know already what kind of other pressures we’re under in our ’hoods, and you done know already that man and man are going to have to move outta the area to bu'n spliff as a consequence of your terror, attempted terror, would-be terrorism or alleged terrorist activities, why on earth would you lumber us with all that burden? Why on earth would you give bwoy dem the excuse? No, real talk.

It’s like back when my mentor in life, the late, great Peter Tosh, used to let me know in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t ’fraid to bu'n spliff inna Buckingham Palace, let alone in the Customs Hall at the airport. I laughed along with him (after all, he was the ‘bush doctor’) until I got pulled up at Heathrow Airport with my dreadlocks owing and the customs guy said:

“Come on, where is it? We caught Peter Tosh with spliff last week. Come on, where is the good stuff? We’re going to search you until we find it.”

At which point they proceeded to feel up my crotch and subject me to an uncomfortable and unpleasant internal examination.

I won’t go into the details, but let me just say it involved rubber gloves.

Dotun Adebayo is Britain’s most listened-to black radio talk show host. He presents Up All Night on BBC Radio 5 live Thursdays through Sundays on 909/693 MW, The Sunday Night Special on BBC 94.9FM and Reggae Time on BBC London 94.9FM on Saturday evenings. Tune in if you’re ranking!

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