An anti-racism campaigner shouted: “Here comes the house negro,” when a black PCSO tried to stop a fellow-musician busking outside a London tube station.
Elavi Dowie, 49, of Singleton Court, Chapel Street, Blackpool was convicted of using racially-aggravated threatening behaviour in Camden High Street on July 14, last year.
His claim there was no racist intent and he was merely reflecting his own heritage was rejected at North London’s Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.
Dowie organised the Music Against Hate Crime programme at the Z-Arts Centre, Hulme, Manchester last year, after he was called a “black b******” when busking in Blackpool and attacked.
The dad-of-two was set upon by a group, who threw kicks and punches and ripped-off his shirt.
The court heard PCSO Cynthia Zimani was on duty 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 in front of Camden Underground Station.
As she did Dowie shouted: “Here comes the house negro,” continuing to repeat the statement despite being asked to stop.
He is well-known in the area and a regular street-performer of his brand of reggae and hip-hop.
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?”
He also told police: “When some black people are put into power positions they abuse that power over other black people.”
In court he explained: “Society may wish to obliterate history, but that is my history. Slavery.
“I can ask it of the police because they are in a position of power and are policing me in a certain way.
“Her position can further alienate or subjugate black people in society. I thought she’d understand that.
“I picked the words to illustrate the context. In no way did I show any hostility based on somebody’s race.”
District Judge Susan Williams conditionally discharged Dowie for nine months and ordered him to pay a £20 victim surcharge.
“You were repeatedly asked to stop and there was alarm and distress,” she told him. “You would not have used the words: ‘House negro’ if she was not of Afro/Caribbean origin.
“It was abusive and intended to be abusive. You are liking her to people in days of slavery, who abused their power over other slaves.”
Dowie is receiving Employment Support Allowance and told the court he has another four months of therapy to complete.
“I was the victim of a racially-motivated attack in Blackpool so stopped working and started to deal with the effects of it.”
There was some good news for Dowie when the judge wiped out £2,245 in Camden busking fines because he had spent two separate days in court fighting the case.
“I think this was a misjudgement on your part and you made a point in an abusive way,” she told him. “I hope you will reflect on inappropriate language in the future.
“You are sensitive to words being loaded with offensive meaning.”
Afterwards Dowie said: “I will reflect on the error and won’t make that mistake again.”