I’ve talked a bit before about Darnell in the Big Brother UK house. Darnell, a Black songwriter with albinism, spoke up for Mikey (who is blind) when a group of housemates were patronising and fawning over him. The housemates Darnell who told off are allies of Luke, who fancies himself a master strategist.
So Luke nominated Darnell in the next nominations session, and here’s how that went down.
[Big Brother asks Luke to make his second nomination, and explain the reason for his nomination.]
“I – I really am intimidated by him. By the way he speaks, y’know, and this, this [makes stereotypical gang signs], ‘You’re gonna get it man’, and ‘this and that’, ‘that’s what I’m talkin bout’, ‘yeah I’m gonna get him down, I’m gonna get ‘im’.
“Right, ok, “Maybe it’s a cultural thing, maybe it’s a gang thing, but guess what Darnell? It ain’t a gang in here. It ain’t a culture. You’re not on the streets now, you’re in the Big Brother house. You can’t act the way you act on the streets inside this house, in my opinion.”
If Darnell has been intimidating or threatening in the house, we haven’t seen it. There are news stories about him having become involved with “gangs” while living in the USA, but by all reports this was greatly exaggerated – his “drug” involvement seems to have been limited to marijuana. He seems to have well and truly turned over a new leaf, doing youth work after returning to the UK. He is exuberant, but kind and thoughtful compared to most of the other right gits in the house.
We have seen Alexandra peremptorily kicked out for alluding to her gang connections and making veiled threats. Maybe Luke is looking to capitalise on anti-Alexandra sentiment by accusing Darnell of similar behaviour? Or perhaps he really does just find an energetic Black man threatening.
There doesn’t seem to be any buzz on the blogs about this yet. But I can’t be the only one seeing the racism here.