The Reason Eric Clapton Felt Ashamed Of Himself Once
The Yardbirds and Cream guitarist, the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Eric Clapton may be one of the musicians in the rock and roll history that has a career that is filled with countless iconic moments and legendary accomplishments which made him one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.
Just like his musical career that spans over nearly six decades, his personal life over the years also includes a number of groundbreaking incidents and statements which drew major attention both from media and fans especially about his worldviews back then as well as his love life which included a love triangle with his best friend, the Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison.
However, the brilliant guitarist managed to hit the headlines back in 1976 when he publicly revealed a racist thought of his by stating England is for white people only while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. His racist actions reflected on his art as well when he fired the audience who were foreigners one time all of which Eric Clapton feels deeply regretful and ashamed of today. Let’s take a further look into his controversial actions and his reaction reflecting on them as a person who isn’t racist anymore.
Eric Clapton Once Said, ‘Keep Britain White’
The unfortunate incident happened at a 1976 concert in Birmingham, England, when Eric Clapton aggressively opened up about the increasing immigration to his country while he was quite clearly under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Visibly intoxicated, Clapton showed his support for the controversial political candidate Enoch Powell during the concert, and that’s when things took a turn for the musician since he said one of the most shameful statements that can be said about immigrants.
Not only Eric Clapton used a slogan of the far-right National Front during his incredibly racist speech in which he stated that all immigrant should be sent back so that Britain can be stopped from being a ‘black colony,’ but he also openly stated that he’s actually a racist while thinking every immigrant should leave the country.
Here is what Clapton said:
“I think Enoch’s right, I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man.”
After his unexpected outburst in the middle of a concert, Clapton managed to carry his racist attitude further by asking the audience if there are any foreigners in order to ask them to leave, not only the concert but also the country since they aren’t wanted there, according to the young Eric Clapton.
Here is what Eric Clapton said:
“Do we have any foreigners in the audience tonight? If so, please put up your hands. So where are you? Well, wherever you are, I think you should all just leave. Not just leave the hall, leave our country. I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country.”
Eric Clapton Regrets His Racist Actions
Luckily, Eric Clapton isn’t the same person he was back then today and has reflected on the regretful actions of himself multiple times during interviews, revealing that he’s deeply ashamed of his offensive statements and publicly apologized for his actions several times over the years while stating that the person he was back in the day is unrecognizable to him today.
Furthermore, Clapton managed to own up to his racist comments once and stated that his actions as a racist person weren’t reasonable considering the fact that he had countless black friends, he previously dated black woman, and rooted for back music in his career which doesn’t add up to his actions during that period of time.
Here is what Eric Clapton said:
“I was so ashamed of who I was, a kind of semi-racist, which didn’t make sense. Half of my friends were black, I dated a black woman and I championed black music.”
Despite making his own bed by making offensive and controversial statements on a very sensitive subject in the middle of a live performance, his fans are glad that Eric Clapton isn’t the same person he used to be. He condemns his previous actions which most likely caused pain to his immigrant fans who deeply loved him. Regardless of his past, it’s amazing to see the present Eric Clapton who supports the black community rather than seeing the legendary guitarist as a racist performer who outcasts and divides his fans.