Friday, 25 November 2016

Anti-Racism Musician Denies "House Negro" Charge

An anti-racism campaigner shouted: “Here comes the house negro” when a black PCSO tried to stop a fellow-musician busking in the street.

Alavi Dowie, 49, of 19 Singleton Court, Chapel Street, Blackpool admits using the words, but insists there was no racist intent, merely a reflection of his own heritage.

He has pleaded not guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court to racially aggravated threatening behaviour in Camden High Street on July 14.

Dowie organised the Music Against Hate Crime programme at the Z-Arts Centre, Hulme last year after he was called a “black b******” when busking in Blackpool.

The court heard the PCSO was on duty near Camden Underground Station last summer, looking for a homeless man she assisted earlier.

The officer approached the white female busker, who was entertaining a crowd of people in a prohibited area.

As she did Dowie shouted: “Here comes the house negro,” continuing to repeat the statement despite being asked to stop.

As the officer spoke to the busker Dowie continued repeating the words and the police were called and he was arrested.

The court heard the PCSO was “distressed” by the defendant’s behaviour, which she took as racial abuse against herself, with onlookers said to be “shocked.”

When quizzed by police Dowie put an alternative spin on the words, claiming he asked: “Why are you behaving like a house negro?”

In court he explained: “Society may wish to obliterate history, but that is my history. Slavery.

“I can ask if of the police because they are in a position of power and are policing me in a certain way.”

The trial was adjourned until next year.

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