Akala talks knife crime

Friday 8th March 2019 | Jake

As the mainstream media’s crusade against knife crime hots up, a few people managed to keep their heads in the storm of hysteria, misinformation and impending doom. One such cool-headed commentator was Akala, who regularly manages to speak with a sense and measured perspective that many others appear impossible of managing. In an interview with Channel 4, Akala spoke on the causes, solutions and moral panic surrounding the problem of knife crime.

Many in the media argue knife crime is committed by gangs, most of which are predominantly black. Akala was having none of it: “There are 1.2 million black people in London, in a bad year 50 of them will kill someone, that’s less than 0.004% of that population”. Noting these numbers, Akala explained there was evidently no “common denominator” between blackness and knife crime.

Railing against “facile explanations” of knife crime, the author of Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire cited research from sociologists such as Andrew Davies and Dr Baz Dreisinger to argue race has little relation to knife crime. Poverty, lack of education and domestic abuse were the stronger social indicators of knife crime. Akala called on the government to avoid sensationalism and tackle the root causes of the crime, also pleading with authorities to star “believing that the young people dying are important and valuable.”