Kemi Badenoch was knocked out of the Conservative race for the next Prime Minister yesterday, however, her achievement should be acknowledged as a win for Black people in the UK.
Kemi Badenoch has been eliminated from the Tory leadership race, leaving Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, and Liz Truss contesting for a place to replace Boris Johnson.
The results for the fourth ballot, the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee, reveal that Sunak secured the most votes amongst the MPs with 118 backers. Mordaunt came in second place with 92 votes, with Truss coming in close with 86 votes. Kemi Badenoch was knocked out of the contest, with only 58 of her colleagues backing her political campaign.
Who is Kemi Badenoch?
Kemi Badenoch, of Nigerian descent, was once the Minister of Equalities before she resigned from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.
According to Social Change UK, a youth-led group focused on educating and campaigning for important social issues and injustices in the UK, Badenoch has a stained history: “Despite labelling herself the ‘only change candidate left in the race’, her policies and ideology consistently place her on the far right of the political spectrum, with several scandals marring her career including racism, homophobia and transphobia.”
Badenoch has never been far from controversy during her time as Minister for Equalities, and especially during the Black Lives Matter protests when she took a different stance against the ideologies portrayed of black victimhood and white oppression. Her right-leaning political stance has not won her any favours with black people.
What is true Representation?
Many claimed that her ideologies are incompatible with being black and that she has in a way ‘betrayed her blackness.’ I believe that having such a harsh response to opposing views toward black people who don’t fit within the mainstream narrative is counter-productive to the representation we are trying so hard to promote. And what does ‘betray her blackness’ mean anyway?
Diversity in politics is important because representation matters; a variety of views and opinions is equally vital because everyone has a chance to be heard and represented – even if we don’t all disagree.
As black people, we should be free to take any political stance we choose without fearing that our identity would be questioned.
If we are truly fighting for representation, especially for ethnic minorities, we should seriously consider this because we are becoming very divided as a community.
Regardless of my thoughts on her political stance, having seen a black woman and a fellow Nigerian reach this far in a political race to become the next MP is a win for black people in the UK.