Racist police harassing, attacking and almost killing innocent young men? Armed officers instigating peaceful protesters until it turns into a riot? A world so systematically racist that nobody from the oppressed race can ever rise up the social stratum?
Yes, this dystopian world is the premise of the BBC’s alternate history series Noughts + Crosses, adapted from the 2001 novel by Malorie Blackman, not a description of modern day America from the point of view of Black Lives Matter. The BBC One show premiered on NBC’s new Peacock Network on September 4 after being released in Britain in March.
In Noughts + Crosses, colonialist Africans, called “Crosses,” rule over native white Britons who are called “Noughts.” The Noughts live as an oppressed race in Great Britain. The Noughts and Crosses are segregated and interracial marriage is illegal. Noughts are treated similar to American blacks in the Deep South prior to the civil rights era. “Blanker” is the fictional replacement for the N-word to demean Noughts.
The premise might be an interesting one if the show were not so blatantly shilling for contemporary BLM/Antifa propaganda from the outset, with many changes from the book. In the opening of the very first episode, an innocent young Nought named Danny (Charlie Jones) is knocked to the ground by a vicious and racist Cross police officer, leaving Danny near death in the hospital.
Officer: Are you taking a tone with me, boy?
Callum: He didn’t mean that, officer.
Officer: Hands on the van.
Jude: No, no. I am sick of this, man. I am so sick of this!
Officer: Hands on the van! Out of my face, blanker!
Jude: There we go, blanker.
Officer: That’s it, in the van!
Danny: Jude! Jude! Jude! Stop it.
Jude: I’m not doing anything.
Danny: Just leave it!
Officer: Out of my way, blanker!
[Onlookers shout angrily.]
Officers: Get back. I told you. Get back.
Callum: We need an ambulance here. Someone call an ambulance.
Wealthy Crosses who hear news of the assault on Danny say things like, “What are the cops meant to do when they’re attacked?” Danny is then secretly killed in the hospital by Jack Dorn (Shaun Dingwall), a radical Nought liberationist militia leader who hopes his death will spark revolution. After Danny dies, protests and riots ensue.
In episode two, a Cross woman says, “I can’t believe they’re still rioting.” Her sister, Persephone “Sephy” (Masali Baduza), replies, “What other option do they have? I mean, the boy died.” Persephone is a sympathetic Cross character who falls in love with Callum (Jack Rowan), a Nought.
Dorn passionately cries out against Crosses who are “more upset about destruction of Cross property than the death of a young Nought man.”
His words mirror that of woke neo-Marxists in the U.S. Leftists routinely criticize Americans upset about the destruction of our cities and towns as caring only about “property.”
But, of course, the Noughts + Crosses template makes no sense when applied to current U.S. riots. Both Antifa and BLM protests are heavily composed of wealthy, white, college-educated rioters. They are not oppressed masses revolting against a segregationist system keeping them down. Furthermore, an overwhelming majority of black American want the same amount or more police in their neighborhoods, not less. This makes no sense if the police really are nothing but brutal racists. Such complications to a woke narrative play no part in this black-and-white show.
In Noughts + Crosses, the protesters are almost always innocents trying to have peaceful vigils when the riot police show up and instigate them. As Persephone says after Crosses have a public march, “When Noughts try to exercise that right, the riot police show up.”
In the U.S., “peaceful protesters” show up with molotov cocktails and fireworks to throw at police. Noughts never bring molotov cocktails to their protests.
By episode five, the British show channels the IRA troubles of the 1970s and ’80s more than American leftist lingo. Dorn convinces Callum’s brother, Jude (Josh Dylan), to plant a bomb at a Cross hospital.
“There was supposed to be a warning,” Jude says when the bomb goes off without a call-in to the hospital beforehand. This mirrors IRA history. The Irish Republican Army would usually call in an advanced warning, but in some famous cases British civilians were killed when no warning was sent.
Cross police then use brutality to try to get information on the culprit and the wrong suspect confesses to the bombing. Dorn, like IRA leaders, is fine with letting an innocent man go to prison instead.
Honestly, for these episodes you can just rent the Irish-directed movie In the Name of the Father, about wrongly-convicted Irish going to prison for IRA terrorism during Catholic/Protestant struggles.
Which leads to the question, why did the BBC feel they needed to adapt a novel about an invented black/white conflict in an imagined Britain instead of real-life conflicts in recent British history that are routed in religion or class? My guess is it is because critical race theory is the latest left-wing fad and every story about strife must be rooted in race.
It is also why they need to recreate the world of the segregationist Deep South or apartheid in South Africa. The past can never be forgiven. It must be constantly replayed or “reimagined.” For all the fine acting in the series, Noughts + Crosses ends up feeling like just more propaganda pumped out by the woke left.