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Renowned cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, acclaimed for his performance at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, sparked a heated debate on GB News after expressing discomfort with the song “Rule Britannia!” in what some perceive as a woke critique against Britain.

During the discussion, Kanneh-Mason shared his perspective, noting that the song may make many people, himself included, feel uncomfortable despite the positive sentiments it evokes for some. He emphasized the need to understand the discomfort experienced by individuals and dispelled misconceptions about his stance on the matter.

However, guest Belinda de Lucy on GB News took a confrontational stance, derisively labeling Kanneh-Mason a “fragile petal” and implying that he needed a safe room without directly addressing the points he raised. She pivoted to blame her own generation for fostering a victim mentality in youngsters.

De Lucy then delved into a historical interpretation of the song, asserting that some of its lyrics celebrate Alfred the Great defending the Anglo-Saxons and Britons from Viking enslavement. She passionately argued that English and British people were also enslaved and colonized, emphasizing that Kanneh-Mason, an Englishman, had done himself a disservice.

Guest Mike Buckley intervened, offering a more understanding perspective on Kanneh-Mason’s comments, deeming them “completely understandable.” This prompted host Patrick Christys to seek clarification. Buckley pointed out that the song, written in 1740, coincided with a period when Black people were being enslaved, and suggested that we should refrain from dictating how others should feel about the matter.

A separate guest raised the question of whether Kanneh-Mason was aware that Britain abolished slavery in 1806, to which Buckley defended the cellist’s intelligence, emphasizing that he did not perceive him as an idiot. The exchange highlighted the complex interplay of historical interpretations and contemporary sentiments, prompting a broader conversation on perceptions of traditional symbols and the need for nuanced understanding.

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