Professor who claimed British Empire was 'worse than the Nazis'

Controversial black studies professor who claimed British Empire was ‘worse than the Nazis’ once said UK was ‘built on racism’, ‘whiteness is a psychosis’ and compared Churchill to Hitler

  • Professor Kehinde Andrews regularly appears on TV to air his divisive views 
  • Says UK wealth is based on ‘exploiting Africa and the underdeveloped world’  
  • He is best known for repeatedly comparing Britain’s war hero to Adolf Hitler  

Professor Kehinde Andrews is a controversial academic who is regularly wheeled out on TV debates to air his divisive views – including that Britain is ‘built on racism’ and that ‘everyone involved in it probably has a really racist past’.

The professor of black studies at Birmingham City University has branded ‘whiteness’ a ‘psychosis’, called for the overthrow of ‘genocidal’ capitalism and repeatedly compared Sir Winston Churchill to Adolf Hitler.

Professor Andrews believes that Britain’s prosperity is ‘largely produced off the economic system that extracts wealth by exploiting Africa and the underdeveloped world’.

Nonetheless, the 38-year-old, who lives in Birmingham with his wife, Nicole, a lecturer in Health and Social Care at Newman University, accepts that as an employee of a public university his ‘primary income’ comes from the state.

Kehinde Andrews has branded ‘whiteness’ a ‘psychosis’, called for the overthrow of ‘genocidal’ capitalism and repeatedly compared Sir Winston Churchill to Adolf Hitler

In yesterday’s online discussion held by Churchill College, Cambridge, Professor Andrews called the British Empire ‘worse than the Nazis’ and suggested WWII ‘would have ended the same day’ with or without Churchill’s leadership.

This is despite historians crediting Churchill’s leadership with overcoming Britain’s policy of appeasement towards Hitler and helping to persuade the USA to join the war.

The academic made headlines in 2018 when he claimed on Good Morning Britain that Churchill was a ‘clear racist’ in a heated debate in which Piers Morgan asked him: ‘Why do you live in a country that you loathe?’

He also compared the UK’s war-time Prime Minister to Nazi leader Hitler for his treatment of Indians when the country endured a famine in 1943.

The academic has written several books over the past five years including ‘Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century’ and ‘Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement’.

He has also written for publications on both sides of the Atlantic including the Guardian, Washington Post and New Statesman.

He has said the decision to build tributes like the Bomber Command Memorial was like ‘justifying terrorism’.

In August 2019 he appeared on GMB to argue that author Enid Blyton was not ‘worthy’ of the honour of a commemorative coin because ‘she was racist her books were racist’.

Last year, Professor Andrews criticised the singing of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory at the Last Night of the Proms.

He said: ‘Some of those songs, particularly those two, are racist propaganda. They celebrate the British Empire which killed tens of millions of people.’

Writing in the New Statesman about 2018’s Black History Month, he said: ‘If schools want to genuinely engage with black history then they can embed it into their teaching.

‘For example, rather than teaching the industrial revolution as a triumph of British engineering alone, teachers should link it to the enslavement and colonisation of Africa, which was essential to British history.

‘There is also nothing wrong with teaching the history of the rest of the world, which was just as pivotal to the development of Britain.’

Kehinde Andrews earned a PhD in sociology and cultural studies from the University of Birmingham in 2011 and is now a professor of black studies in the school of social sciences at Birmingham City University.  

Professor Andrews was one of the key speakers last night at a debate about ‘The Racial Consequences of Mr Churchill’, held at Churchill College, Cambridge, as part of a year-long ‘inclusivity’ review.

During the discussion, he said: ‘The British Empire was far worse than the Nazis. They lasted longer and killed many more people.’

The British Empire was branded ‘far worse than the Nazis’ during a controversial debate about Sir Winston Churchill’s (pictured) legacy last night

On Churchill, he added: ‘There is no debate. His white supremacy is pretty much on record and the question here is why does Churchill still hold the level of popularity that he does? It’s almost like he’s been beatified – a saintly figure beyond reproach.’ Professor Andrews has previously accused Britain of being ‘built on racism’ and called RAF airmen who bombed Nazi Germany war criminals.

Last night he also belittled the former PM’s contribution to the country. He said: ‘Was it Churchill out there fighting the war? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. I’m pretty sure he was at home.

‘I’m pretty sure that if Churchill wasn’t in the war it would have ended the same way.’

The comments at the debate held at the college, named in honour of Churchill, were condemned as ‘execrable’ by the former leader’s grandson, Sir Nicholas Soames. The former Tory MP said: ‘I think Sir Winston’s reputation will withstand, with some ease, this sort of rant.

‘I do think it’s terribly disappointing that views like this are advanced at Churchill College.

‘While there is every justification for historians examining the Churchill story, it’s extraordinary that it should be seen in this way by a very limited audience.

‘I’m afraid to say I have nothing but contempt for what these people have said.’

The online discussion – held by Churchill College, Cambridge (pictured) – on ‘The Racial Consequences of Mr Churchill’ looked at his ‘backward’ views on empire and race and was held as part of a year-long ‘inclusivity’ review

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at Kent University, also criticised the comments, saying: ‘The use of the Nazi metaphor is particularly squalid because [it suggests] what is seen as a moment of human evil that was quite unique in character is not as bad as what Britain had done in the past. It is a way of demeaning Britain’s past.

‘It is almost like you’ve got to come for Churchill because if you can destroy his reputation then the whole of Britain’s past can be undermined.’

The college’s website says Churchill ‘must not be mythologised as a man without significant flaws’ as ‘on race he was backward even in his day’. 

Professor Priya Gopal, a fellow at the college, was chairman at yesterday’s meeting.

She accused Britain of a ‘national silence’, saying the debate was ‘precisely to bring a long-overdue balance to a heavily skewed national story that has preferred untrammelled glorification to a balanced assessment in the round’. She added: ‘Historians and scholars who don’t think history should be treated as a comfort blanket or a warm bath with candles have to constantly negotiate weaponised fragility and, quite frankly, a degree of cowardice.’ 

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