Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Harry Was Not Being Racist, You Idiots!
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.
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.
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
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