(AllHipHop News) British-American actor Delroy Lindo’s experiences of racism in the country of his birth were every bit as bad as what happens in his adoptive U.S. homeland.
The “Gone in 60 Seconds” star, 67, was born in south London to Jamaican parents, but moved to the U.S., via Canada as a teenager.
With America’s problems with racism hitting the headlines following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Delroy tells The Guardian that Brits shouldn’t ignore their own issues with racism.
Discussing the Windrush scandal, which resulted in many black Britons being wrongly threatened with deportation, or in some cases detained and removed from the country, he says the U.K.’s problems are different to America’s – but no less “virulent and violent.”
“It felt very, very British,” he says of the scandal. “It was disgusting and enraging. For me, it went right to the center of the British relationship with people of color and the historical violations that have been visited on them.
“They manifest slightly differently but British racism is every bit as virulent and violent as American racism. Even with second and third-generation black people who were born British citizens, there is still this element of, ‘You don’t belong here’ and ‘You are an immigrant.'”
Delroy, who stars in CBS All Access show “The Good Fight,” also believes he wouldn’t have been able to make it as an actor in Britain, saying, “Everything I have achieved in my life has come as a result of leaving England. I could never in a trillion years have had this career in England. Never.”
However, despite his criticisms, he’s still up for working in the U.K. – as he feels a duty to tell stories about the experiences of black Britons, focusing on the Windrush generation his mother was a part of – who emigrated to Britain from the Caribbean in the post-war period.
“There are many components of the black British experience that have not been explored,” he adds. “Is that an accurate thing for me to say? I’m curious to unpack those stories. I have an intense interest in the Windrush period because my mom was part of that.”