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From The Telegraph:

White actor who identifies as black criticised for winning place on scheme for Bame candidates

BAME stands for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic.

Britain long lagged America in affirmative schemes. My impression is that Prime Minister May has been pushing more quotas.

One thing the Brits might not understand is that affirmative action programs for blacks don’t descend into farcical questions of who is black very often in the U.S. because, contrary to everything you read in the papers, American whites have a high moral standard of not horning in on black privileges. American whites are much more likely to try to appropriate privileges reserved for American Indians (e.g., Senator Warren) than for African-Americans.

Will this prove true as well in Britain? I don’t know.

Martin Evans, crime correspondent, 4 NOVEMBER 2018 • 6:17PM

A white theatre director, who describes himself as an “African born again”, has come under fire, after securing public funding intended to help ethnic minorities develop their stage careers.

Anthony Lennon, 53, who was born in London and whose parents are Irish, won a place on a two year Arts Council funded scheme, after a leading black theatre company accepted his claim to be of “mixed heritage”.

He was one of four “theatre practitioners of colour”, to be awarded part of a £400,000 talent development grant.

But Mr Lennon has been accused of being a “racial imposter” after it emerged that despite changing his name to Taharka Ekundayo at one point, he is unquestionably white.

The company involved, Talawa, which is one of the country’s leading black theatre groups, last night defended its position, insisting Mr Lennon was an “exceptional” person for the role.

In a statement, a Talawa spokesman said: “As an artist of mixed heritage he is not only eligible for the position, but his experience, work and achievements make him an exceptional person for the role.”

But Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, said allowing people to self-identify on matters of race, inevitably meant members of the black Asian and ethnic minority (Bame) community lost out.

Mr Lennon was born in Paddington, west London in 1965 to Irish parents who emigrated to Britain in the 1950s,

His father, Patrick, was born in Waterford, while his mother Josephine O’Brien was raised in Tralee.

He had two brothers and despite their White Irish heritage they all had dark complexions and curly hair.

Writing about his experiences as a child, in the racially tense London of the late 1960s, Mr Lennon claimed he was regularly subjected to misdirected racist abuse, and as a result began to identify with black culture.

The brother of Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel claims that Rahm was subjected as a child to “misdirected racist abuse,” so I guess that makes it okay that Rahm has pushed for 30 years a policy of Population Transfers of Troublesome-Americans out of Chicago’s housing projects and to less vibrant places like Dubuque.

After launching his career as an actor, Mr Lennon said he struggled to get parts for white characters and had more success landing black roles.

In the book, Photo ID, he argued: “Everybody on the planet is African. It’s your choice as to whether you accept it.”

He later wrote: “Some people call themselves a born-again Christian. Some people call me a born-again African. I prefer to call myself an African born again.”

He has also talked about going through the “struggles of a black actor”.

But he has at times also acknowledged his true ethnic heritage, telling a BBC documentary in 1990: “My parents are white, and so are their parents, and so are their parents, and so are their parents.”

There is no suggestion Mr Lennon tried to mislead anyone is applying for a place on the Arts Council funded two year Artistic Director Leadership Programme.

 
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  1. Racial identification in Britain is quite different than in the US because the British do not have a One Drop Rule and do not classify Hispanics as a separate and distinct race.

  2. I can see how he got away with it. There’s a non-trivial fraction of very light skinned American blacks that have a similar phenotype.

    • Replies: @WowJustWow
    He looks a bit like Pete Postlethwaite, whose presence in The Usual Suspects was the biggest red flag that Kevin Spacey was making things up. The cops should have asked, "If the lawyer's name is Kobayashi, why is he played by a white guy in your flashbacks? What is this, Breakfast at Tiffany's?"

    I always thought he looked more Native American though.

    Ah, the plot thickens, according to Wikipedia: "Despite portraying Irish characters on multiple occasions, it had been claimed that Postlethwaite was not of Irish descent." No further details.
  3. Irish are white?

    • LOL: Coemgen
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    This guy is no doubt one of the so-called Black Irish.
  4. His father, Patrick, was born in Waterford, while his mother Josephine O’Brien was raised in Tralee.

    He had two brothers and despite their White Irish heritage they all had dark complexions and curly hair.

    Writing about his experiences as a child, in the racially tense London of the late 1960s, Mr Lennon claimed he was regularly subjected to misdirected racist abuse, and as a result began to identify with black culture.

    Honestly, I can’t tell. Maybe he and his brothers need a DNA test. Maybe dad needs to have a talk with mom.

    • Replies: @attilathehen
    He looks a little odd. We need to see pictures of his family. DNA tests only go so far. He might actually have gypsy blood. Also, is he married to a negress?
    , @slumber_j

    Maybe he and his brothers need a DNA test. Maybe dad needs to have a talk with mom.
     
    Once they've straightened it all out, he can enlighten us in the ensuing memoir: How the Irish Became Black Again.
  5. It really is a bit much if ugly white men are going to claim to be black. The implication is surely both racist and lookist.

    • Replies: @anon
    This reminds me of something I've thought of before, but have so far been totally unable to phrase politely. Here's the impolite version:

    How do you tell the difference between someone who's mixed-race and someone who's just weird-looking?

    Imagine someone otherwise white-looking, but with slanty eyes. (Like I said: impolite.) Such eyes are normal among Asians, so if he's half-white, half-Asian, then that explains it. But such eyes are not normal among whites, so if he's not got any Asian ancestry then he's just funny-looking for some reason.

    This has implications in our modern diverse societies, as we see with this actor-bloke: not actually mixed-race at all, just a funny-looking white man. But if you're white and your funny-lookedness happens to coincide with what would be normal for a black man, you're potentially in the money.

    There are even implications that progressives might want to consider: if you look black, but you aren't black, are you still a victim? If the shopkeep follows you around the store, and you complain, are you highlighting the struggle that blacks go through, or are you selfishly appropriating their pain?
  6. Born in 65 and he remembers racist abuse in the late 60′s? Yeah right.

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
    Yep, I smelled a rat at that statement as well. I was born in '66 & about the only thing I remember from the 60's is mastering my trike. Scammers like this yahoo think if they frame their "suffering" long enough in the past, most younger people won't be bothered to question it. Which, of course, he is right about.
  7. @istevefan

    His father, Patrick, was born in Waterford, while his mother Josephine O'Brien was raised in Tralee.

    He had two brothers and despite their White Irish heritage they all had dark complexions and curly hair.

    Writing about his experiences as a child, in the racially tense London of the late 1960s, Mr Lennon claimed he was regularly subjected to misdirected racist abuse, and as a result began to identify with black culture.
     

    Honestly, I can't tell. Maybe he and his brothers need a DNA test. Maybe dad needs to have a talk with mom.

    He looks a little odd. We need to see pictures of his family. DNA tests only go so far. He might actually have gypsy blood. Also, is he married to a negress?

  8. “Britain long lagged America in affirmative schemes.”

    Wait, wut?

    Why does Britain have affirmative action schemes at all?

    Oh, I know: reparations for the brutal conditions on King Arthur’s cotton plantations in Sussex–no, wait…

    Compensation for the systemic racism of Golliwog dolls–no, can’t be…

    Er, pathological America-envy? By process of elimination, that’s all that’s left.

    Hey Brits, just because we declared independence two centuries ago doesn’t mean you have to follow us around all the time now.

    Go on. You and us were a thing once, but that’s over.

    Live your own lives from now on.

    Seriously.

  9. That he is a theater director is what makes me appreciate the humor, but I wonder if he could have any Traveler blood? Waterford to Tralee would seem an unusual connection to me, and I think that would elevate the joke further because of the rootlessness of Travelers.

  10. Anthony Lennon, 53, who was born in London and whose parents are Irish, won a place on a two year Arts Council funded scheme, after a leading black theatre company accepted his claim to be of “mixed heritage”.

    He was one of four “theatre practitioners of colour”, to be awarded part of a £400,000 talent development grant.

    But Mr Lennon has been accused of being a “racial imposter” after it emerged that despite changing his name to Taharka Ekundayo at one point, he is unquestionably white.

    I’m black, and I’m proud!

  11. What, you’ve never heard of black Irish?

  12. “BAME stands for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic.”

    Make it Black, Latino, Asian, and Minority Ethnic, and you have BLAME (whitey). One thing Britain needs more more of are Mexican immigrants. If Soros is reading this, it would be a great puncuation mark on his legacy to finance the logistics behind that.

    “American whites have a high moral standard of not horning in on black privileges”

    Ok this has to be sarcasm, right? Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King, Barack Obama, Marshall Mathers, etc, etc.

  13. But Mr Lennon has been accused of being a “racial imposter”

    I think “denounced as a racial imposter” would sound better.

  14. American whites have a high moral standard of not horning in on black privileges.

    Nah, whites just don’t want to be black.

  15. He does look like he could be a light skinned African or Middle Easterner.

  16. ” . . . American whites have a high moral standard of not horning in on black privileges. ”

    Ohh brother,

    Laughing.

    The numbers on affirmative action, and every other redress proposal makes this comments null and void. Not to mention that “black privilege” is pretty interesting.

  17. anon[315] • Disclaimer says:

    Is this what 19th c. writers meant by “black Irish”? I wonder what this fella looked like with hair.

    One thing the Brits might not understand is that affirmative action programs for blacks don’t descend into farcical questions of who is black very often in the U.S. because, contrary to everything you read in the papers, American whites have a high moral standard of not horning in on black privileges. [...]

    Will this prove true as well in Britain?

    It didn’t in Australia, as Andrew Bolt could tell you (although possibly not in print).

  18. “Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King”

    Hardly in the same category. Dolezal is a white person who claimed to be black despite having no black ancestry. King is unquestionably part black.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
    most blacks ridicule him and call him talcum x.
    , @Nicholas Stix
    "King is unquestionably part black."

    That's news to me, and... news to him.
    , @Anonymous

    unquestionably
     
    Not as I understand it. Three of his four biological grandparents, and all four of his four legal grandparents, are -unquestionably- unmixed white. The only question is whether there was a babydaddy thing resulting in one of his four grandparents being black.
  19. @Anonymous
    I can see how he got away with it. There's a non-trivial fraction of very light skinned American blacks that have a similar phenotype.

    He looks a bit like Pete Postlethwaite, whose presence in The Usual Suspects was the biggest red flag that Kevin Spacey was making things up. The cops should have asked, “If the lawyer’s name is Kobayashi, why is he played by a white guy in your flashbacks? What is this, Breakfast at Tiffany’s?”

    I always thought he looked more Native American though.

    Ah, the plot thickens, according to Wikipedia: “Despite portraying Irish characters on multiple occasions, it had been claimed that Postlethwaite was not of Irish descent.” No further details.

    • Replies: @Pheasant
    You have to admit that Postlethwaite was unquestionably one of the most distinctive looking men ever ( I mean out of men who had no deformities etc). I once had the weirdest experience of sitting in a bar with his doppelganger. It was after Postlethwaite had died but if it had been before I honestly would have asked for an autograph. Knowing that he was dead and here was this man who was his exact double sitting in front of me was one of the strangest experiences I have ever had.

    I think his ancestry was Welsh.
  20. American whites are much more likely to try to appropriate privileges reserved for American Indians (e.g., Senator Warren) than for African-Americans.

    Also, there are no professional, college, or high-school teams named for blacks. There was a baseball team once called the Pittsburg(h) Zulus, but I’ve never been able to find out what race they were.

    Coachella Valley still has (a wussed-down) Arab mascot, and since Somalia is in the Arab League, Arabs must be black. But CV’s doesn’t look very:

    • Replies: @Luke
    pittstategorillas.com
  21. @Reg Cæsar

    American whites are much more likely to try to appropriate privileges reserved for American Indians (e.g., Senator Warren) than for African-Americans.
     
    Also, there are no professional, college, or high-school teams named for blacks. There was a baseball team once called the Pittsburg(h) Zulus, but I've never been able to find out what race they were.

    Coachella Valley still has (a wussed-down) Arab mascot, and since Somalia is in the Arab League, Arabs must be black. But CV's doesn't look very:

    https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/652*373/arab+mascot+new+old+logo.jpg

    pittstategorillas.com

  22. @prosa123
    "Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King"

    Hardly in the same category. Dolezal is a white person who claimed to be black despite having no black ancestry. King is unquestionably part black.

    most blacks ridicule him and call him talcum x.

  23. @WowJustWow
    He looks a bit like Pete Postlethwaite, whose presence in The Usual Suspects was the biggest red flag that Kevin Spacey was making things up. The cops should have asked, "If the lawyer's name is Kobayashi, why is he played by a white guy in your flashbacks? What is this, Breakfast at Tiffany's?"

    I always thought he looked more Native American though.

    Ah, the plot thickens, according to Wikipedia: "Despite portraying Irish characters on multiple occasions, it had been claimed that Postlethwaite was not of Irish descent." No further details.

    You have to admit that Postlethwaite was unquestionably one of the most distinctive looking men ever ( I mean out of men who had no deformities etc). I once had the weirdest experience of sitting in a bar with his doppelganger. It was after Postlethwaite had died but if it had been before I honestly would have asked for an autograph. Knowing that he was dead and here was this man who was his exact double sitting in front of me was one of the strangest experiences I have ever had.

    I think his ancestry was Welsh.

    • Replies: @TelfoedJohn
    There’s a good postlethwaite-alike in a recent Jordan Peterson video (guy with flat cap): https://youtu.be/MRjp1-DgMuA
  24. Francis Tanaguchi, the memorable biggest pain in the ass of Wambaugh’s “The Choirboys”, was repelled by sushi and most things Japanese and self-identified as Mexican, and that was back in the ‘70s.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Francis Tanaguchi, the memorable biggest pain in the ass of Wambaugh’s “The Choirboys”, was repelled by sushi and most things Japanese and self-identified as Mexican, and that was back in the ‘70s.
     
    Whereas Hell to Eternity, a true story, is just about the polar opposite. Chicano turns Nisei.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053901/

    https://www.bear-family.com/media/image/thumbnail/4000127818973_285x255.jpg
  25. “. . . public funding intended to help ethnic minorities develop their stage careers.”

    Two really bad ideas rolled into one.

  26. This sort of thing has been happening in Australia during the past 8 or so years … white jews getting in on the quotas and awards and grants meant for Aborigines … claiming (as they do in the US regarding their ‘Indian’ blood) to be tribal.

    The Aussies have gone along with it … and the Aborigines have been stuck sucking the short end of the lollipop.

    What a surprise …

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Jews in the US are claiming to be Indian?

    Jews in Australia are claiming to be Aboriginie?

    Any examples?
  27. @Cortes
    Francis Tanaguchi, the memorable biggest pain in the ass of Wambaugh’s “The Choirboys”, was repelled by sushi and most things Japanese and self-identified as Mexican, and that was back in the ‘70s.

    Francis Tanaguchi, the memorable biggest pain in the ass of Wambaugh’s “The Choirboys”, was repelled by sushi and most things Japanese and self-identified as Mexican, and that was back in the ‘70s.

    Whereas Hell to Eternity, a true story, is just about the polar opposite. Chicano turns Nisei.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053901/

  28. Ancestry.com could clear this up with 99.9% certainty, in about four weeks (including postage time) at a cost of about $100. So much for race being a social construct.

  29. @Dtbb
    Born in 65 and he remembers racist abuse in the late 60's? Yeah right.

    Yep, I smelled a rat at that statement as well. I was born in ’66 & about the only thing I remember from the 60′s is mastering my trike. Scammers like this yahoo think if they frame their “suffering” long enough in the past, most younger people won’t be bothered to question it. Which, of course, he is right about.

  30. anon[315] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme
    It really is a bit much if ugly white men are going to claim to be black. The implication is surely both racist and lookist.

    This reminds me of something I’ve thought of before, but have so far been totally unable to phrase politely. Here’s the impolite version:

    How do you tell the difference between someone who’s mixed-race and someone who’s just weird-looking?

    Imagine someone otherwise white-looking, but with slanty eyes. (Like I said: impolite.) Such eyes are normal among Asians, so if he’s half-white, half-Asian, then that explains it. But such eyes are not normal among whites, so if he’s not got any Asian ancestry then he’s just funny-looking for some reason.

    This has implications in our modern diverse societies, as we see with this actor-bloke: not actually mixed-race at all, just a funny-looking white man. But if you’re white and your funny-lookedness happens to coincide with what would be normal for a black man, you’re potentially in the money.

    There are even implications that progressives might want to consider: if you look black, but you aren’t black, are you still a victim? If the shopkeep follows you around the store, and you complain, are you highlighting the struggle that blacks go through, or are you selfishly appropriating their pain?

  31. If you had the luck of the Irish, you’d wish you were African instead.- if the Pogues were doing that song today.

    • Replies: @Matra
    You mean John Lennon? Or did the Pogues do it as well?
  32. actually more white folk should tick the black “box”; how the hell will they ever know?? (i.e. Senator Liz Warren.) the US govenment bans genetic discrimination… so is the government going to order DNA tests to check your race? but that would be discrimination & DNA doesn’t prove race!… Double Duh-oh!

  33. @prosa123
    "Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King"

    Hardly in the same category. Dolezal is a white person who claimed to be black despite having no black ancestry. King is unquestionably part black.

    “King is unquestionably part black.”

    That’s news to me, and… news to him.

  34. It does look as if someone in his recent ancestry crossed the Limpopo.

  35. @AndrewR
    Irish are white?

    This guy is no doubt one of the so-called Black Irish.

  36. @istevefan

    His father, Patrick, was born in Waterford, while his mother Josephine O'Brien was raised in Tralee.

    He had two brothers and despite their White Irish heritage they all had dark complexions and curly hair.

    Writing about his experiences as a child, in the racially tense London of the late 1960s, Mr Lennon claimed he was regularly subjected to misdirected racist abuse, and as a result began to identify with black culture.
     

    Honestly, I can't tell. Maybe he and his brothers need a DNA test. Maybe dad needs to have a talk with mom.

    Maybe he and his brothers need a DNA test. Maybe dad needs to have a talk with mom.

    Once they’ve straightened it all out, he can enlighten us in the ensuing memoir: How the Irish Became Black Again.

  37. But Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, said allowing people to self-identify on matters of race, inevitably meant members of the black Asian and ethnic minority (Bame) community lost out.

    At least Trevor Phillips understands the concept of zero-sum game, unlike the Harvard admissions committee.

  38. @prosa123
    "Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King"

    Hardly in the same category. Dolezal is a white person who claimed to be black despite having no black ancestry. King is unquestionably part black.

    unquestionably

    Not as I understand it. Three of his four biological grandparents, and all four of his four legal grandparents, are -unquestionably- unmixed white. The only question is whether there was a babydaddy thing resulting in one of his four grandparents being black.

  39. @Anthony Aaron
    This sort of thing has been happening in Australia during the past 8 or so years … white jews getting in on the quotas and awards and grants meant for Aborigines … claiming (as they do in the US regarding their 'Indian' blood) to be tribal.

    The Aussies have gone along with it … and the Aborigines have been stuck sucking the short end of the lollipop.

    What a surprise …

    Jews in the US are claiming to be Indian?

    Jews in Australia are claiming to be Aboriginie?

    Any examples?

  40. @Pheasant
    You have to admit that Postlethwaite was unquestionably one of the most distinctive looking men ever ( I mean out of men who had no deformities etc). I once had the weirdest experience of sitting in a bar with his doppelganger. It was after Postlethwaite had died but if it had been before I honestly would have asked for an autograph. Knowing that he was dead and here was this man who was his exact double sitting in front of me was one of the strangest experiences I have ever had.

    I think his ancestry was Welsh.

    There’s a good postlethwaite-alike in a recent Jordan Peterson video (guy with flat cap):

  41. @Redneck farmer
    If you had the luck of the Irish, you'd wish you were African instead.- if the Pogues were doing that song today.

    You mean John Lennon? Or did the Pogues do it as well?

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