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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Bruce: There is no funny side of racism


    by Sunny on 8th October, 2009 at 1:46 pm    

    I said earlier that I didn’t think Anton Du-Beke should have been publicly flogged for saying to Laila Rouass that she “looked like a paki” for having a bit of a tan.

    Turns out there are more idiots under that rock:

    The BBC has pledged to stand by the dancer but [Bruce] Forsyth today risked further controversy with an interview on TalkSport when he said: “We used to have a sense of humour about this.

    “You go back 25, 30, 40 years and there has always been a bit of humour about the whole thing. At one time the Americans used to call us limeys’ which doesn’t sound very nice, but we used to laugh about it. Everybody has a nickname.”

    Well yes - now that you say it Brucey - there was a lot of racism and name-calling over a generation ago. Thankfully, some people have realised that it’s derogatory and hurtful and don’t use racial slurs any more.

    Using the ‘it’s only a bit of a laugh’ card has now become common amongst racists. What next? Brucey telling us that ‘nigger’ is just short-hand for ‘negro’ and people should just get over it and use it in everyday language?

    Quick reflex of the tongue is what we’ve got. But when you’re like that you can slip up every now and again. But I’m sure there was nothing vindictive about what he said and it [Du Beke's apology] should be accepted and the page should be closed on it.

    I agree. But the rising number of complaints on Du Beke’s non-apology reflect that fact that a lot of people clearly think it’s a slur. I challenge these people to find one Asian person who think ‘Paki’ was never a form of a slur.

    So frankly - while we should move on - that doesn’t make using the word acceptable, and if you think it’s acceptable then you’re still a racist idiot.



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    61 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Carl — on 8th October, 2009 at 1:57 pm  

      I think any sensible person would refrain even from using the said word as a joke, though I cannot see on what grounds it is NOT a floggable offence, I agree, Sunny, that the ‘joke’ excuse is unbelievably stupid. To promote a bit of thought and sensitivty before one opens ones mouth is surely the best policy, a joke is a joke, but, as you said, when was the said word EVER a joke? The years of sex and dancing has clouded Brucye’s head methinks.

    2. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

      Brucie, let’s not forget comes from the era of working men’s clubs ‘comedy’ championed by the likes of Bernard Manning, Jim Davidson and Stan Boardman, all of whom Brucie has proudly compered for in his prime.

      Every fucker from that generation (with the exception of a few genuinely funny bods like Bob Monkhouse and Les Dawson) wept to their dying day about how alternative comedians went politically correct and killed comedy, blaming Ben Elton for very different reasons than we blame him.

      Bruce is a dinosaur, but as a fan of the Natural History Museum, I kinda see why so many people want to keep him preserved.

      “I challenge these people to find one Asian person who think ‘Paki’ was never a form of a slur.”

      I take your challenge, sir. Where’s Reza?

    3. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2009 at 2:22 pm  

      The English were not subject to discrimination and racism the same way South Asians were in this country. Which is why the English can afford to have a sense of humour about the term “limey”. I think the term “paki” will become meaningless in a few generations before it ever becomes acceptable.

    4. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 2:31 pm  

      Limey came from them eating limes during WWII, right? Oooh, bet that hurt. Ravi, it already has become meaningless. Every Indian/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan here has been called P*ki, hell, I even read Omad Djalili talk about he got called P*ki, but I hope you’re right that it’ll fade away, after all we don’t hear ‘coon’ or ‘wog’ anymore, although as I keep banging on, as long as every newspaper, and forum, keeps reporting the use of the P*ki, (let’s be asterisking it) it will be very much used as a weapon by some.

    5. Sunny — on 8th October, 2009 at 2:32 pm  

      Reza will come along any minute to tell us how Asians themselves are to blame for being called ‘pakis’…

    6. Aviad — on 8th October, 2009 at 2:42 pm  

      Bruce Forsyth is a senile old fool.

      A little more than 40 years ago we still executed people and it was a criminal offence for two men to have sex with one another.

      Fifteen years ago it was a criminal offence to be a homosexual in the armed forces.

      Less than ten years ago it was a criminal offence to teach kids that homosexuals could have a loving relationship.

      It is good to know that he still relishes those days.

    7. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

      Limey came from them eating limes during WWII, right? Oooh, bet that hurt. Ravi, it already has become meaningless.

      It is absurd to compare l*mey with p*ki or nig*er. As if to say minorities who suffered racism and abuse should have a sense of humour like the English have.

      Every Indian/Bangladeshi/Sri Lankan here has been called P*ki, hell, I even read Omad Djalili talk about he got called P*ki, but I hope you’re right that it’ll fade away, after all we don’t hear ‘coon’ or ‘wog’ anymore, although as I keep banging on, as long as every newspaper, and forum, keeps reporting the use of the P*ki, (let’s be asterisking it) it will be very much used as a weapon by some.

      The term “wog” was used by the Anglo-Saxon community in Australia to refer to Greek and Italian immigrants during the 60s. These immigrants today still find that term offensive, but the second generation made it far less derogatory. Of course, they probably got help from the Chinese immigrants that came in the 90s.

      I really hate the fact that in this day and age, racists still have a word that Asians are supposed to be offended. And if you are not offended, then that offends other Asians. I guess we can offend white people by calling them “r*cists”. Yes, I look like a P*ki, and you look like someone who votes for the B*P . Do you reckon we would be even?

    8. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

      I think Asians (at least us liberal folk anyhoo) should be quite proud of ourselves that we still don’t bandy about ‘honky’ or in, lesser cases ‘gora’ (which while meaning white, still holds the same connotations as calling a black person ‘blacky’). So well done us

    9. Binky — on 8th October, 2009 at 3:58 pm  

      AN ANTHEM FOR UNITED NATIONS
      RACIAL HATRED DAY

      TO BE SUNG TO THE BEETHOVEN
      ‘CLOCKWORK ORANGE’ EUROPEAN UNION
      CHORALE:

      All hold hands in joyful union
      hymies, huns and spicks and frogs
      ragheads, pakis, kurds and dagoes
      hindus, japs and golliwogs

      [FEEL FREE TO ADD MORE VERSES]

      and composed by a person who has a ‘wheat complexion’ and is not a member of a rat-eater caste

    10. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 4:08 pm  

      “Hindus?”

      Prat.

    11. Don — on 8th October, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

      Limey came from them eating limes during WWII, right?

      No, 18th century navy. Warded off the scurvy.

      Good point in #2. I could be wrong but the comics with real talent (I’d add Tommy Cooper and Frankie Howard) never used that stuff even when it was ‘acceptable’.

      Concious decision or did it just never cross their minds?

    12. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 5:15 pm  

      Don, I think there’s always kinda been two kinds of comedy, and you only need to look at your own social circle to see it at play. There’s the self-deprecatory comic A who makes satirical observations about how ridiculous everything is and how silly it all makes him look, then there’s the comic B who hones in on one (usually weak, usually female) person and takes the piss out of them.

      They both get laughs, but you’ll leave thinking a) I must invite person A for dinner, and b) Why do I hang out with that tosser person B again?

      The likes of Binky will think quite the opposite

    13. Biffo — on 8th October, 2009 at 5:37 pm  

      Is a ‘gora’ invariably white?

    14. Biffo — on 8th October, 2009 at 5:39 pm  

      Let’s imagine for a moment that every South Asian coming to Britain had been a Kerala or Tamil Christian and that there had been widespread intermarriage.

      Would things have turned out differently?

      Canada has Tamil criminal gangs and lethal Sikh criminality. Britain doesn’t seem to have either. Why?

    15. Anton Vowl — on 8th October, 2009 at 5:41 pm  

      Brucie’s backtracked a bit now, albeit still moaning about ‘political correctness’. I imagine the Beeb have threatened him with those wig-free photos they keep in the safe.

      Ironically enough, his early TV career was as the non-racist option for viewers - he spent several years up against the Black and White Minstrel Show.

    16. Reza — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:20 pm  

      @Sunny
      “Reza will come along any minute to tell us how Asians themselves are to blame for being called ‘pakis’…”

      No not at all Sunnyboy, I appreciate that the subtleties of my world-view does go over your head, but I’m utterly opposed to racism. So opposed, that I can actually see the insidious racism within multiculturalism as well as the anti-whitey racism so beloved by ethnic lefties such as your good self, together with your european-hating white liberal chums.

      So like you I abhor the term paki, nigger, chink, wop, dago etc. But unlike you, I also abhor the term chav.

      I won’t explain why, it’s bound to go over your head.

      And believe or not, I even experienced some of the above terms growing up in the north of England. Quite unlucky for a guy pretending to have been born in Iran.

    17. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:30 pm  

      “pretending to have been born in Iran”

      Aw. I thought you waz the real deal

      Boo :-(

    18. Reza — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:32 pm  

      A general point.

      I must admit that I feel uneasy about certain words being okay for certain groups to use; for example some black people calling each other ‘nigger’ but then being outraged when it is used by other groups.

      I understand that when a group takes a ‘hate-term’ for themselves, they can neutralize it somewhat. For example the term ‘queer’ is not as offensive as it once was because gay men took ownership of it.

      But I’m not sure I like the idea of accepting that only one ‘group’ has the right to use certain words.

      It’s a bit like a language ‘apartheid’. Isn’t it? Either a word is unacceptable or it isn’t.

      (I know Sunny, it’s complicated, just get your irrelevant personal attack out of the way and let’s see if anyone else wants to discuss this point).

    19. Reza — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:36 pm  

      @kismet

      “Aw. I thought you waz the real deal”

      You’re joking right?

      Of course I was f*cking born in Iran.

    20. Ravi Naik — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:43 pm  

      And believe or not, I even experienced some of the above terms growing up in the north of England. Quite unlucky for a guy pretending to have been born in Iran.

      I have absolutely no doubt that your parents are Iranian. You’ve given us several obscured references of your culture of origin, and I would be very surprised if any white BNP sympathiser was capable of posing as such.

    21. persephone — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:51 pm  

      If all it takes is for a woman who is/looks asian to get a tan to be called a p*ki in jest then I suppose Brucie would not mind his puerto rican wife Wilnelia to be called as such? How would he take it? Does he have some racial nicknames for her he uess in jest….

    22. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 6:54 pm  

      Yay, Reza. I thought my stupidity had got the better of me there for a second. Phew.

    23. Rumbold — on 8th October, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

      To compare ‘limey’ with ‘Paki’ is absurd. One only has to look at the context it which it is/was used. How many English children/families had ‘limey’ graffited on their homes/businesses or were chased by a mob who wanted to beat up a ‘limey’? How many feared to go certain places because they were ‘limeys’?

    24. Amrit — on 8th October, 2009 at 7:12 pm  

      I - surprisingly - wasn’t that shocked when BF came out with this crap. Has anyone else noticed that almost all of our ‘national treasures’ of a certain age invariably spout shit at some point or another?

      ‘But when you’re like that’ - he said - like what? Racist?

      As to Reza’s point:

      It’s a bit like a language ‘apartheid’. Isn’t it? Either a word is unacceptable or it isn’t.

      I would say that no, that is a ridiculous thing to say, as language shifts and changes in response to context.

      See, for example, the n-word. For some people, it is a term to denote black people who let down the rest of the black community (see Chris Rock), for others it is simply a racist term and for some, when they use it amongst themselves, it’s not about neutralizing it. It’s an act of defiance - they are reclaiming the word and using it as a source of power against non-blacks, and whites in particular.

      I’m not sure I agree with the effectiveness of that, but I don’t think it’s my business to tell people how to speak, or make assumptions about the way they do speak. Sources of power are incredibly difficult to come by, which is why some may choose this ‘reclaiming’ of the word as a way to assert their presence and agency.

      To deal with the P-word - the issue at hand - I don’t really know of any serious attempts by Asians to reclaim it. It’s a uniform attack on people of many cultures, whereas the n-word issue tends to revolve around the use of the word against specifically African-Americans. I’m not saying the n-word isn’t used against other people, but generally, other black peoples have no needto reclaim it.

      So like you I abhor the term paki, nigger, chink, wop, dago etc. But unlike you, I also abhor the term chav.

      Oh dear, Reza, you seem to have got a bit confused. Whilst I am aching - aching - to meet these ‘ethnic lefty anti-white racists’ that torment you so, Sunny isn’t one of them, and he’s never said anything about ‘chavs’ to the best of my knowledge either.

      Furthermore, ‘chav’ isn’t a racial term, it’s a class term. The media sort of got hold of the term and white middle-class journalists began using it against white working-class people.

      However, for the rest of the world, ‘chav’ generally denoted a yobbish person, of whatever class or race. This usage has stuck just as stubbornly as the media usage, with no elaboration of how they differ. Hopefully that explains some things for your benefit.

      Finally - if I or anyone else wanted to call BNP thugs and morons ‘chavs’ for some bizarre reason - applying the 2nd usage - you can always cry racism and harp on it, obsessively, in every other post - as you currently do…

      Don’t expect Picklers not to point and laugh, though.

    25. Reza — on 8th October, 2009 at 7:46 pm  

      Amrit

      “… the n-word. For some people, it is a term to denote black people who let down the rest of the black community (see Chris Rock), for others it is simply a racist term and for some, when they use it amongst themselves, it’s not about neutralizing it. It’s an act of defiance – they are reclaiming the word and using it as a source of power against non-blacks, and whites in particular.”

      I agree with all your points but do you see how you go on to contradict yourself?

      “… but I don’t think it’s my business to tell people how to speak, or make assumptions about the way they do speak.”

      I get the impression that the consensus here is that it is a civilized society’s “business to tell people how to speak”.

      The terms paki, nigger etc. are intolerable. Aren’t they?

      Or are they only intolerable for use by people outside those ‘groups’?

      I’m not certain what the answer is, but it tolerating words for one group but not another leaves me feeling rather uneasy. Can you understand this point?

      “Furthermore, ‘chav’ isn’t a racial term, it’s a class term.”

      I disagree. As long as it is used to conjure up the image of a white working class person then it is a racist term.

    26. Amrit — on 8th October, 2009 at 7:55 pm  

      I disagree. As long as it is used to conjure up the image of a white working class person then it is a racist term.

      Kindly cite examples of where ‘chav’ was actually used in a racist sense.

      No, I’m not contradicting myself - not sure why you think I am.

      There’s a difference between ‘telling people how to speak’ and not tolerating racism. That’s what you’re trying to edge towards, so I’ll put it out there.

      The terms paki, nigger etc. are intolerable. Aren’t they?

      Or are they only intolerable for use by people outside those ‘groups’?

      I’m not going to answer for black people, but I certainly abhor both words.

      tolerating words for one group but not another leaves me feeling rather uneasy

      Why?

    27. Raven — on 8th October, 2009 at 9:24 pm  

      Newsnight is covering this tonight. As they say:

      “Is the “N” word or the “P” word ever acceptable? Carol Thatcher was banished for saying one thing, but Anton keeps on dancing after uttering another thing.

      Brucie says it was a bit of fun…We will be debating the limits on Newsnight.”

      I very much agree with Sunny’s approach. It’s the tightrope that each non-white person has to walk each day - you have to decide what you can let go, and what you’re going to make a stand on. Context is all.

    28. Shamit — on 8th October, 2009 at 9:38 pm  

      Sunny:

      “So frankly – while we should move on – that doesn’t make using the word acceptable, and if you think it’s acceptable then you’re still a racist idiot.”

      That sums it up well - I would say.

      Ravi, Rumbold and Amrit - Excellent points.

      One has to wonder why some people don’t get the simplest of things. Well that happens to many but thankfully not while they are claiming intellectual superiority.

    29. falcao — on 8th October, 2009 at 10:04 pm  

      This is unbelievable how can bruce Forsyth say such a ridiculous thing time does not stand still this is not 1970. Does he think if somebody called alesha dixon something that sounds like tigger or if someone called the other judges something sounding like donkey is that ok? because i would find that disgusting and offensive!

    30. Kismet Hardy — on 8th October, 2009 at 11:13 pm  

      So anyway, while misreading a post filed under ‘casual relationships’ on Gumtree, I ended up with my testicles being shaved with a cheese grater at the hands of an ex-army colonel. The pain, let me assure you, was excruciating. And as I left, stepping over a single mother who’d been run over by a truck and dragged along for a hundred yards under the wheel, I whispered in her ear: ‘tolerating pain for one group but not another leaves me feeling rather uneasy’.

      Later that evening, I bumped into a weeping Kerry Katona and Katie Price suckling on Julie Burchill’s teat whilst Just Jack consoled them with verses from Follow the Drinking Gourd…

    31. Refresh — on 9th October, 2009 at 12:09 am  

      Unbelievable! Finally something from Reza I agree with.

      ‘I also abhor the term chav.’

      Am I the only one who thinks Reza is the Iranian equivalent of the Coopers from Goodness Gracious Me?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h-t8vVi0zc

    32. damon — on 9th October, 2009 at 3:29 am  

      I was disappointed to hear Forsyth talking like an uncomprehending fool. Who next to blow years of earnt admiration and respect? Rolf Harris? (I hope not).

    33. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 7:14 am  

      Watch Rolf. Always watch Rolf. It’s been almost three decades since the release of Two Little Boys. One day, one of those boys will finally tell their side of the story. Watch.

    34. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 8:47 am  

      Amrit

      I asked:

      “The terms paki, nigger etc. are intolerable. Aren’t they?

      Or are they only intolerable for use by people outside those ‘groups’?”

      You answered:

      “I’m not going to answer for black people but I certainly abhor both words.”

      “Not going to answer for black people” eh? Yet you appear to have no qualms answering for ‘white’ people; clearly you don’t think they should use those words.

      But okay, let’s give your so-called “black people” a special pass. First we’ll need to define ‘black’ won’t we, because obviously it’s important to know who should and who should not use certain words?

      Now I’ve known ethnic Tamils who are very black-skinned but should they be allowed to use the N word? Probably not, but as ethnic south Asians I suppose it would be okay for them to use the P word.

      What about ethnic Nigerians? Can they use the N word? But wait, don’t ethnic Nigerians sometimes insult ethnic Caribbeans with terms such as “slave”? So perhaps them using that word shouldn’t be tolerated either.

      Which leaves ethnic Caribbeans and ‘African-Americans’. At last, 2 ‘groups’ that should have permission to use the N word with gay abandon without offending anyone.

      But there is a fly in that ointment. One of my kids’ mates is half ethnic Caribbean and is as light skinned as an ethnic north European. So I’m not certain we shouldn’t be outraged if he used the N word.

      Look, freedom of speech means just that. Anyone is allowed to use whatever words they wish to use. However, as a society, we can decide which words we will or won’t tolerate. And public institutions such as the BBC ought to reflect that decision and ban the use of racist hate-terms among their staff and on our airwaves.

      But making special allowances for certain defined ‘groups’ is simply racism. Don’t you see that?

      And justifying racism always ends up looking stupid, whether its supporters are self-confirmed racists such as the BNP or people like you and some of the other ‘Picklers’ here, who haven’t appreciated just how racist they really are.

    35. coruja — on 9th October, 2009 at 10:48 am  

      Well, “25,30,40″ year time span kind of negated the argument. But time had stood still for Bruce, away in his mansion, playing golf and turning up on variety and other types of entertainment shows he has always done. May be he would find the funny side of someone pointing out his missus does looks like a Paki. Oh how they would laugh.

      I grew up with Bruce on the telly, but of course Bruce never did. I grew up in the 80’s when casual racism was common on TV (Jim Davidson and jokes about his black friend ‘Chalky’ for example) and it was also a time when casual racism was common on the streets and school playgrounds. One reflects the other. I suppose we’re on our way back to those times. It certainly feels like it.

    36. Leon — on 9th October, 2009 at 11:29 am  

      There’s a simple test Brucie. Walk down Southall, go up to five random Asian people (of varying ages) and say ‘Good morning Paki!’

      Observe the reaction and let that help you decide whether the term causes offence or not.

    37. damon — on 9th October, 2009 at 11:40 am  

      No way that we’re going back to those times, we’re only talking about it more.
      I have heard people complaining on the radio about how was it that black was associated with negative things.
      Black mark, black spot, black listed etc … which just goes to show how touchy a subject this can be.

      I was almost going to get offended on behalf of Irish people once for the use of the term ”taking the Mick” because I’d thought it was a derogatory term for an Irishman (but its got nothing to do with the Irish ”Mick” though apparently.)

      Is this the kind of thing that leads to tv viewing apartheid in the States?
      I’ve always wondered if those very white saturday evening primetime shows were a turn off for ethnic minority people. And whether it was embarassing to see black contestants making a ‘Rusty Lee’ (or Ainsley Harriott) of themselves in front of millions of viewers.

    38. Amrit — on 9th October, 2009 at 11:51 am  

      And justifying racism always ends up looking stupid, whether its supporters are self-confirmed racists such as the BNP or people like you and some of the other ‘Picklers’ here, who haven’t appreciated just how racist they really are.

      Good advice, Reza. You’d be well-advised to take it.

      With regards to the n-word: why don’t you journey over to America, or the Caribbean, and raise the issue with them? As I said, it has little to do with me, as I never have used the term to anyone, and never will.

      Yet you appear to have no qualms answering for ‘white’ people; clearly you don’t think they should use those words.

      Now this is utter sophistry. I don’t think ANYONE should use those words. Don’t you dare try and put words in my mouth.

      And public institutions such as the BBC ought to reflect that decision and ban the use of racist hate-terms among their staff and on our airwaves.

      Well, quite.

      I note you still haven’t provided me with examples of anti-white working-class racism.

      (Btw, can somebody please delete the previous 2 posts? Not sure what happened - my computer’s behaving VERY strangely!)

    39. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 12:30 pm  

      @Amrit

      Sorry if I put words in your mouth. Are we agreed then that the N word is unacceptable in this country WHOEVER utters it? For example, the BBC should no more broadcast a white person using it than they should a black person?

      “I note you still haven’t provided me with examples of anti-white working-class racism.”

      Refresh gave me a typical example with this ‘amusing’ link to the BBC’s ‘Goodness Gracious Me’.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h-t8vVi0zc

      Look at how the white bar staff are represented. Those characters are as grotesque, unrepresentative and insulting to white working class people as a Pakistani wife-beating minicab driver would be to ethnic Pakistanis. But I couldn’t imagine the BBC allowing an amusing sketch with that subject matter.

      Absolutely vile and offensive ‘whitey-bashing’. In all my life in this wonderful country, I have NEVER been asked to leave a pub because of my ethnic ancestry.

    40. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 12:58 pm  

      THE UNNOFFICIAL NEW GEN MANIFESTO

      We the undersigned call upon words that should be asterisked because they cause offence

      As well as the obvious P*ki, N*gger, C**n etc, we hereby demand the starry treatment to the following:

      CH*V (because it ‘conjures up the image of a white working class person’
      RUDEB*Y (because it conjures up the image of a Asian working class person pretending to be a black working class person)
      W*GGER (because it conjures up the image of a white middle class person pretending to be a black working class person)
      WH*TE (because it conjures up the image of a white person)
      OL*VE (because it conjures up the image of a Mediterranean person)
      R*D (because it conjures up the image of the ruddy cheeks of the cider drinkers of middle England, who are usually WH*TE)

      For the full list of words we demand are asterisked, please log onto the Unofficial New Gen M*nifesto webshite.

      Please join the campaign, because tolerating pain for one group but not another leaves us feeling rather uneasy.

    41. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 1:05 pm  

      So Brucie has to add: “Whilst I accept we live in a world of extraordinary political correctness, we should keep things in perspective.”

      Can someone please point out to these dinosaurs that “correctness” is a good word?

      But then it’s not just the dinosaurs, is it? Pick up The Sun and there’s regular rants against human-rights campaigners and do-gooders messing their shit up.

      The people who’ll be voting in their droves next election actually believe words like “correct”. “rights” and “good” are negative.

      Now there’s a funny joke…

    42. coruja — on 9th October, 2009 at 2:34 pm  

      “I have NEVER been asked to leave a pub because of my ethnic ancestry.” Reza, you haven’t been out drinking in Barking then?

      Seriously, what are you trying to say? That ‘black’ people should not be allowed use the word ‘nigger’ because anyone not ‘black’ can’t freely do so without causing almightly fuss? And that by allowing this to happen we all racists?

      This is a variation of the complaint “if they are using it amongst themselves, why can’t we”.

      Everyone is free to express themselves in whichever way they like, the intresting thing is how their words are perceived by the people listening in or being addressed. Mostly it is about power.

      A far better mind than mine has written a decent book about it, you should try reading it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nigger-Strange-Career-Troublesome-Word/dp/0375713719/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255095184&sr=8-1

    43. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 3:36 pm  

      coruja:
      “Reza, you haven’t been out drinking in Barking then?”

      Honestly, I’ve been out in far worse places than Barking! Seriously, I accept that this can and does happen, but I’m certain that in this day and age it is a rare exception. Therefore the context of my statement, my criticism of the example of ‘whitey-bashing’ in the Goodness Gracious Me link stands.

      “Seriously, what are you trying to say? That ‘black’ people should not be allowed use the word ‘nigger’ because anyone not ‘black’ can’t freely do so without causing almightly fuss?”

      Anyone can use whatever word they want to use. However, I don’t think that it is appropriate or, as I demonstrated, even practicable, to define the acceptability of the usage of racist terms based upon our perception of the race of the user.

      A practical example of what I mean. If I heard one of my employees saying ‘paki’ or ‘nigger’, then my disciplinary response would be the same, regardless of what I considered the race of that employee to be.

      Otherwise, I’d be treading a dangerous road; of grouping people into artificial social constructs such as race, in order to treat them differently. That’s exactly what the BNP are proposing. And that’s clearly racist.

      Can anyone understand this point?

    44. Refresh — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:04 pm  

      Reza

      ‘Therefore the context of my statement, my criticism of the example of ‘whitey-bashing’ in the Goodness Gracious Me link stands.’

      I think you missed the punchline in that clip. Its making fun of the Coopers and their lack of self-awareness.

      Here is a better one to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZkyYkKKnns&NR=1

    45. Refresh — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:22 pm  

      Reza, as for you having been in far worse places than Barking let me relate an experience which I’ve done my best to rationalise, for the greater good.

      After a heavy session of canvassing the team ended up at the village working men’s club. A few tables away, a glass falls and smashes. Some heavy looking guys stare at our mix of faces (all white and one brown). One demands the brown member of the team clears it up, even to the extent of bringing over a sweeping brush.

      There is now silence in the bar. Fully aware of what was going on, and what could happen, I ignored the poor red-faced thug and continued speaking to my colleagues.

      The red-faced thug continued his aggression, and I carried on talking - with everyone watching intently.

      Finally someone from my team told the red-faced thug, that the smashed glass had nothing to do with me.

      I judged that if I had responded as I could (perhaps should) have done, there would have been more than one smashed glass on the floor. That was 1982, a few years before you landed.

    46. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:35 pm  

      Refresh

      Firstly, the two dodgiest places I’ve ever drunk were Sheerness in Kent and Billingham in Teeside. (Can anyone beat that!) And yes, I did get a couple of odd looks, but no direct racism.

      As for your tale, it vindicates to me that we’ve come a long way. The vast majority of people here now understand (whatever their personal prejudices) that overt racism is not acceptable.

      I doubt that the situation you described would happen very often today. Yes it might. Some people are filled with hate and will always be looking for a fight.

      Now please, watch the Goodness Gracious Me clip and think about it. Wasn’t that a despicable, unrepresentative and unfair representation of white working class people?

      (Honestly, appreciating my point on this won’t mean you’re betraying your left wing, multiculturalist ideologies!)

    47. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:38 pm  

      Just an addition to the above point about racism in pubs. Has anyone ever gone to a ‘West Indian’ bar late at night? I wandered into one in South London, around 10 years ago, and experienced more prejudice and agressive hostility than at any other time in my life. It was terrifying.

    48. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:41 pm  

      Goodness Gracious Me is caricature. Just as League of Gentlemen is caricature.

      The thing about caricature, or any effective satire, is that every character is open to mockery, especially the protagonists, without one particular target being victimised.

    49. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:46 pm  

      Reza, I’ve been to rough west Indian bars, I’ve been to rough Asian haunts, I’ve been to rough white pubs. I’ve been to rough gay clubs.

      I sport a ridiculous mohican and look like I sell or am on drugs, so I seem to get away with it. But those brief periods in my life where I went through my smart, normal looking Asian man phases, the only place where I thought I’d stepped into The Slaughtered Lamb a la American Warewolf in London, was in dangerously white places.

      But so what? My experiences are different from yours. That doesn’t change the fact that most Asian people who step into a pub in Middle England, especially in the small villages on a Saturday night, won’t feel like lepers about to be lynched

    50. Refresh — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:49 pm  

      Reza, yes I have. Never had any problems.

      Except once where someone’s partner decided they liked me. I had rather she hadn’t or at least kept it to herself.

      Tell me why they were agressive or hostile to you?

    51. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:53 pm  

      “The thing about caricature, or any effective satire, is that every character is open to mockery, especially the protagonists, without one particular target being victimised.”

      I was waiting for that comment. But a caricature has to be rooted in reality. Or else it isn’t funny. The GGM caricature of white working class people wasn’t rooted in reality. Yet you laughed. Because ‘whitey-bashing’ remains acceptable in multicultural Britain.

      In the same way people once laughed at that offensive and unrepresentative caricature Jim Davidson used to do. Remember Chalky?

      We don’t think that’s funny anymore. Because we’ve learned that anti-Black racism is not acceptable.

      Perhaps one day we’ll learn that anti-white racism isn’t acceptable either.

      I’m astonished that not a single person either cares about or can see this point. Because I know for a fact that this type of thing does upset some ‘white’ people. And I can understand that. Why can’t you?

    52. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 4:57 pm  

      Refresh

      “Tell me why they were agressive or hostile to you?”

      I have no doubt whatsoever that it was because I wasn’t black.

      Look, I wasn’t being disparaging about any particular group. I have been to other ‘mainly’ black pubs with no problems. I was just pointing out that being a racist arsehole is not a ‘white’ monopoly.

    53. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 5:02 pm  

      Reza. Goodness Gracious Me mocked themselves first and foremost as well as white people as well as black people. But the ultimate target was themselves.

      Jim. Davidson. Just. Mocked. Black. People.

    54. coruja — on 9th October, 2009 at 5:07 pm  

      @ Reza, I think I get the point that you are labouring on. Yes race is an artifical construct, however this doesn’t make racism go away because people have been and continue to be treated differently because of their ‘race’. But you arguing that we should not allow certain words to be used, by the very people against whom those words have been historically used against, because it somehow confers them a benefit is specious.

      As to why ‘black’ people call each other nigger/paki, is a matter that needs to be addressed separately. It isn’t pleasant and people hearing it will be offended, people of any ethnicity. You could take up the argument with them. That argument is different to the one you would take up with a ‘white’ person calling a ‘black’ person a nigger/paki/coon/sambo/wog &etc.

      The fact you take these situations in to a workplace again makes them different as it now falls under employment law. However, you continue to insist all situations are identical. I don’t believe they are.

    55. Reza — on 9th October, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

      coruja

      “The fact you take these situations in to a workplace again makes them different as it now falls under employment law. However, you continue to insist all situations are identical. I don’t believe they are.”

      Of course they’re not. And freedom of speech means that people of any colour can use whatever words they want among themselves as long as they do not direct them to someone to cause offence.

      I’ll try to give another practical example of what I mean. Should the BBC play music littered with “nigger” just because the singer is black? And if so, then how ‘black’ does that singer have to be for it to be acceptable. And why shouldn’t a ‘white’ rapper be allowed to use that word?

      Can’t a ‘white’ be an ‘honoury’ nigger?

      See. It’s a can of worms.

      Obviously, it’s going over Picklers’ heads.

    56. coruja — on 9th October, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

      @ Reza - Oh no I just realised, you’re just bonkers.

      I can’t believe you’re equating Jim Davidson with GGM. GGM wasn’t ever that funny, when it was it was because they turned the tables and allowed the majority to see how a minority may feel about how they are being represented. that sketch was about middle-class asians pretending to be ‘white’ and not being able to get away with it, because at the end of the day to a ‘white’ racist a paki is a paki regardless of your accent. I don’t see why the racist here is deemed working-class. I can’t see how a racist who is white is whitey-bashing?

      If Jim Davidson had a sketch where he pretended to be asian and some racist asians kicked him out of a bhangra gig, that would be similar. Instead he said ‘OOOOOOOOkaaay Maaaan!” and the like at Her Majesty’s variety performances. Not the same.

    57. Kismet Hardy — on 9th October, 2009 at 5:24 pm  

      “Can’t a ‘white’ be an ‘honoury’ nigger?”

      Eminem. Asher Roth. Beastie Boys. Third Base. Rick Rubin. House of Pain. Insane Clown Posse. Rage Against the Machine.

      “Obviously, it’s going over Picklers’ heads.”

      If the can is full of worms, I have a few ideas as to what you’re full of.
      :-)

    58. Sunny — on 9th October, 2009 at 10:04 pm  

      See, Reza is apparently Iranian. He won’t get GGM.

    59. persephone — on 9th October, 2009 at 11:19 pm  

      spelling: honorary

    60. Reza — on 10th October, 2009 at 7:35 am  

      @ Kismet

      “Jim. Davidson. Just. Mocked. Black. People.”

      So presumably you’re saying that had he also mocked himself, or ‘white’ people then his ‘Chalky’ character would have been okay.

      And if I were to provide evidence for this, would you suddenly stop considering JD as a racist prick?

      Thought not.

      This has been interesting for me, yet sadly, not suprising for me. I’m sure that thirty years ago, similar debates occurred regarding anti-black racist humour. And the racists then would have been just as unwilling to see the harm as everyone here has been.

      Sunny: “He won’t get GGM.”

      What I don’t “get” is your irrelevant posts. Look, if you have nothing to say, then why do you bother typing? And if you simply want to get in an insult, then at least try to be cutting or witty. Make it worthwhile. Otherwise you end up looking a bit, well, pathetic.

      Persephone: “spelling: honorary”

      Are you for real?

    61. persephone — on 10th October, 2009 at 11:37 pm  

      Reza

      Well, part of retaining indigenous culture is the correct use of language so we must be whiter than whiter in spellings especially since our education has come at the cost to the indigenous.

      But also because the honorary white in me does emerge sometimes when it comes to the finer detail.



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