Kemi Badenoch blasts museum over plague study on race and BBC for coverage

Kemi Badenoch has criticised a museum over a study suggesting black women were more likely to die of the plague in medieval London.

The women and equalities minister warned the research by the Museum of London could “whip up tensions around history and racism”.

She claimed it was “unreliable” and highlighted the sample size of 145 individuals from three cemeteries, of which 49 died from the Black Death.

The senior Conservative MP also hit out at the BBC over what she branded an “inaccurate and alarmist” headline.

Ms Badenoch said: “This study is unreliable and the headline inaccurate and alarmist.

“The 675-year-old remains of 49 people who died of the Black Death were analysed and nine were found to be ‘probably’ black.

“The Black Death killed over half of London. Making it a racism issue is nonsensical.

“Too many organisations (and news outlets) use misleading race statistics to alarm ethnic minorities and whip up tensions around history and racism.

“This undermines social cohesion in our country. I’ve written to the Museum of London expressing my concerns.”

The study, which examined data on bone and dental changes, found there were significantly higher proportions of people of colour and those of Black African descent in plague burials compared to non-plague burials.

It concluded that higher death rates among racial minorities were a result of the “devastating effects” of “premodern structural racism” in the medieval world.

The outbreak of the Black Plague in the 14th century is believed to have claimed the lives of 35,000 Londoners.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are satisfied that our headline and the story itself are a fair reflection of the study in question.”

The Museum of London was contacted for comment.

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Source: Read Full Article