October is Black History month in England (Who Knew?); but all is not right in the island nation recovering from a summer of riots and strict government austerity measures. According to London’s Voice magazine, government cut backs have severely scaled back many of the standard activities and programs across the nation during Black history month. African Drum ensembles and plays are being replaced with simple reading programs. Month long activities are being scaled back to Saturday afternoon programs in public libraries.
These cuts first made headlines last year as “Africa Day” in London was completely defunded in favor of, believe it or not, “USA Day”, a celebration of the United States intended to attract American tourists to the city for the annual London NFL game. However, in the aftermath of a summer full of riots, many of which at least started within mostly poor and minority areas in major cities across the U.K., the idea of cutting funding that engages and acknowledges the nation’s diverse past, present and future, seems like a particularly foolish idea. But, maybe London’s conservative Mayor Boris Johnson got something out of his slash and burn anti-multiculturalism tactics – the NFL wants to add more U.K. games in the coming year. I guess to the British figure it’s more fun to ship some Blacks over from the U.S. that you can send home after 3 hours than acknowledge the needs and culture of Black folks who already live there.
This article originally appeared on Politic365.com.