Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Harry Was Not Being Racist, You Idiots!

I'm usually the first to join in when the Royal Family are in the dock. With the exception of the Queen, I think they are a pretty useless, parasitic crowd and if Harry came from a council estate he'd be called a 'yob' with some justification. However, the outrage expressed over the 'little paki' comment is nothing short of absurd. I saw the footage and the term was spoken with affection with no suggestion of a sneer or hatred. I fully concur with the evidence adduced today in The Guardian by soldiers and others, that this was merely part of the harmless laddish banter in which many male groups indulge.

Ever since I can remember I have been part of groups of boys, youths and then men, who allocate nick-names-sometimes insulting or insensitive ones- as sign of affectionate 'group membership', rather than anything vicious. For example I have a close mate who had a cancerous testicle removed: he was soon dubbed 'One Bollock' and he fully shared in our delight at the nick-name. Childish? maybe, but Harry racist? I don't think so.

I wouldn't disagree with much of this (although I think I would take exception to the head of the family not being equally parasitic as the rest of the in-breds). But as someone who lives in a highly multi-cultural area I would say you need to give some thought to the terms you use and how you use them.

Calling people from the sub-continent Pakis is regarded by THEM as highly offensive, and you have to be sensitive to how they interpret the language. Whatever your 'one bollock' mate might have felt, I can tell you referring to Pakis in parts of Smethwick is highly provocative, and very dangerous.

This kid has form, dressing as a Nazi for fancy dress and referring to Pakis.... and presumably you thing the dehumanising 'raghead' as a way of describing Arabs was ok too.
You could say he has form but it's the form of young, not very bright idiot. 'Raghead' was a bit more close to the mark I agree.

But my objection was to the way the media jumped all over him when his offence did not justify it.
PS Have to sasy Villa are doing amazingly well Bob this season. You must be delighted. I only wish Shrewsbury Town could mount a promotion challenge to raise my spirits, but they always seem to disappoint.
Champions League, here we come Bill.

I agree the media overreacted. But my 20-year old son, who most certainly ain't prudish, couldn't believe the 'raghead' comment... and now people are defending Charles because he used to call an asian bloke 'sooty'.

Of course that was racist terminology, but 40-50 years ago, it was a very different world. As I said over at Paul Linford's place, my brother had a black kid in his grammar school class nearly 50 years ago and he was 'affectionately' called Sambo. What Sambo's thoughts were on this is not recorded but if you tried that in an inner city school tomorrow, you'd better be fast on your feet.
Interesting re your brother. I went to the grammar school in Shrewsbury and we had a single black kid in our year.

He was treated as a rare and exotic rarity and was extremely popular, being a very funny person, good at sports and academically.

There was outrage when, in the 6th form, out of the blue, someone delivered a stream of racist abuse at him. They seem like innocent times compared to today though.

Re Villa, you'll be playing the Champions league for sure but beware your manager isn't poached either by a big club on hard times or by a national team looking to the next World Cup
Sorry, Skipper, but at the risk of being idiotic I simply don't agree. The "Bernard Manning defence" ("It's only a joke mate. Have you not got a sense of humour?") is the refuge of the bully; of all those who fling around with abandon these abusive epithets: "wog", "coon", "nigger", "paki", "yid", and so on. Often those on the recieving end will appear to take the joke, and will put a brave face on it (who wants to be accused of not having a sense of humor?) but inwardly who knows how they really feel? I know people take the piss out of each other; but I just think "paki" like "nigger" clearly cross the line. Interesting also isn't it that in these list of epithets there is none to describe the white Englishman ("limey", "whitey", or "Brit" don't really cut it in the abuse stakes).
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