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  • When does ignorance become racism?

    by Sunny
    19th January, 2007 at 1:47 pm    

    Since you guys can’t seem to stop talking about it… this is the weekend thread on CBB. Yesterday I wrote a slightly satirical piece for comment is free. Today, BBC magazine has an article asking when - ‘when does ignorance become racism‘, which quotes me along with other people. A bit of a grey area this, so maybe a useful talking point. To be honest I’m bored with CBB already though. This is now simply a bandwagon which is going nowhere.

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    1. Leon — on 19th January, 2007 at 1:55 pm  

      This is now simply a bandwagon which is going nowhere.


    2. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:20 pm  

      When does ignorance become racism?

      Ooooh, that’s tough ‘un! I think I’ll pass for now — see if the other Picklers inspire me.

    3. Pariah — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:30 pm  

      The only reason it became such an issue is because there was nothing else going on in the news at the time.

      Notice how the mini storm and train delays yesterday knocked CBB off the front pages?

      The next major news story will consign CBB to the bin, where it will rot….

      …until next year when it will be regurgitated with the next influx of attention seekers, wannabes and never weres

    4. Bert Preast — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:33 pm  

      I don’t see how ignorance becomes racism - I know a lot of ignorant people who are good hearted and would never want to cause offence.

      In this case Jade and co WANT to cause offence - because they are not good hearted people, not because of ignorance.

      So in summary does asking the question make one a snob?

    5. ZinZin — on 19th January, 2007 at 3:08 pm  

      “But I remember one instance that has stuck with me from those days. There had been a TV program on the night before called Karachi Cops, and I recall one of the white kids in my year expressing his amazement at the fact that people in Pakistan lived in cities with apartment blocks; whereas he’d thought they’d all be living in mud huts.”

      From Anas blog.

      Point of clarification. What kind of ignorance do you mean lack of knowledge, stupidity or bad manners?

    6. Cartside — on 19th January, 2007 at 3:08 pm  

      You almost had me convinced, but no, it depends by what we mean by “ignorance”. Ignorance, I would say, is a lack of knowledge in any field, and isn’t confined to factual/intellectual knowledge (in which case asking the question would maybe make you a snob).

      However, it can also refer to social competence and in that sense, well, yes, there’s not much display of that, so could we describe it this behaviour as some kind of interpersonal ignorance?

    7. Anas — on 19th January, 2007 at 3:17 pm  

      Hey Cartside! Yet another Glaswegian. Yay!

    8. neenaa — on 19th January, 2007 at 3:25 pm  

      However maybe you could say that some forms of ignorance stem from an underlying belief of superiority, where people assume that it’s not worth knowing about other places/cultures because they are not as good as ‘mine’. In this case the ignorance can be racist as there is a motivation behind it.

    9. Anas — on 19th January, 2007 at 3:27 pm  

      This is now simply a bandwagon which is going nowhere.

      I think this has had an exponentially larger effect on UK race relations than your NGN Manifesto (s’thing I think Kismet pointed out in an earlier thread).

    10. ZinZin — on 19th January, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

      Racism is irrational as the hatred of other races is tied to hating them for their superiority or supposed inferiority. There is a peculiar psychology amongst racists in which the contempt for the inferior races manifests itself in obsessions regarding their hygiene/dirt/disease. The fear element has sexual overtones (Coming over here and taking our women) which tie in with the fear that they will contaminate their race as well as deprive them of a sexual partner.

    11. Leon — on 19th January, 2007 at 4:00 pm  

      I think this has had an exponentially larger effect on UK race relations than your NGN Manifesto (s’thing I think Kismet pointed out in an earlier thread).

      Yeah I read that and laughed. At least with the NGN it has long term plans, dedicated people (some with many years of actual political activism) and structure. You cannot compare the two. Also I’d lay good money that in the terms of aims of the NGN the effect it will have in the long term will actually be positive where as this CBB stuff is just flash in the pan controversy for a few bandwagoneers.

      Of the 30k upwards who complained how many will become politically active? Of that how many will sustain and be politically active in a years time? What organisations will they create (how will they be funded?), what impact will they have? What is their plan outside of feeling angry and texting to vote out Jade? These are the questions anyone wishing to use their anger about this [to good effect] need to think about.

      Going to a few demo’s and burning effigies simply doesn’t cut it.

    12. Anas — on 19th January, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

      Sorry, Leon, but I think the cultural impact of the whole CBB furore has been massive: the momentum has been incredible on this thing. Therefore I think it has had a very (and possibly long term) important effect in terms of influencing what kinds of behaviour are deemed acceptable in society in general: over and above the number of people who’ve complained or who’ve been burning effigies.

      Personally, I don’t think the whole NGN thing has had much affect other than amongst a small number of middle-class media-aware folk, and unless Sunny makes some major efforts to engage with a wider range of people I doubt that will change much.

    13. Anas — on 19th January, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

      sorry that should be “a very important (and possibly long term) effect”

    14. Leon — on 19th January, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

      Well there you go, you said cultural, I’m talking about political impact, actual changes to laws, more political participation because of the anger. I can’t see any substantial change coming [from this] in that domain at all.

    15. Ravi Naik — on 19th January, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

      Shilpa’s remark that she will fight others using Gandhi’s non-violence teachings sounded like a bollywood script to me. And somewhat trivialising the struggle that was India’s independence and the method that was used to achieve it.

      I am just glad she decided not to use violence though. And I hope she does not erupt with a dance/song in the middle of CBB.

    16. Thortz — on 19th January, 2007 at 6:09 pm  

      Someone in CiF made a distinction yesterday that I think is useful. They said that Jade made racist remarks about Shilpa because she hated her, but she did not hate her because of her race.

      In other words, she reacted to her as an individual and came to feel insecure in relation to her looks, behaviour, perceived haughty manner etc and then in looking for ways to do her down clumsily brought out sentiments that were, in effect, racist. This is a weaker racist position than if she had based her dislike on prior pure generalised prejudice about her being Indian (or foreign).

      In lashing out, I’m sure she was attacking any feature of Shilpa she could get hold of, and her Indianness was easily graspable. Jade’s ignorance of the country & culture resulted in her spouting insulting cliched half-truths that were of a racist nature. She was also intending her remarks to be unkind and hurtful, which increased the view that she was using race inappropriately.

      (Oops, forgot to address the question - back later)

    17. Clairwil — on 19th January, 2007 at 7:04 pm  

      When does ignorance become racism?

      When the person displaying ignorance refuses to accept facts and continues to wilfully misunderstand a situation to support their dislike of a particular race.

      Like the moron I nearly killed a few weeks back who insisted that the UK government offers a grant of £10,000 to every immigrant that arrives here. No matter how many times I challenged him to produce evidence and told him he was talking bollocks he wouldn’t budge. The government are keeping it hush hush apparently.

    18. Chairwoman — on 19th January, 2007 at 8:06 pm  

      Should we all go out and come back in again?

      Just a thought.

    19. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 9:18 pm  

      Still awaiting inspiration

    20. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 9:37 pm  

      Given the playground scenario that evolved earlier in the programme, with the three young Witches of Essex bullying the one who was different — something that may have evoked bad memories amongst some of my Asian buddy Picklers — it just struck me that age might have also been factor, in addition to class and race. We live in a shallow society, where education and culture is ridiculed by a youth who are chasing cheap thrills and value brawn and crassness over brains and where ignorance is revered.
      I’m barely touching the surface.

    21. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 9:47 pm  

      At the end of the day, though, I thought Shilpa was subject to racial harassment, albeit temporarily. That’s my conclusion. But I’m more angry with channel 4 for setting it up. I think it was unfair on english white people to be “represented” in that way. Shame Shilpa would rather milk it commercially — i suspect — than sue the pants off the broadcaster and Endemol.

    22. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

      That said, I’m still not sure where exactly ignorance ends and racism — or any ism — ends.

    23. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 9:49 pm  

      i mean starts

    24. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:06 pm  

      I’d like to put forward another question:
      Is there such a thing as harmless racism? Racism Light.
      Take three mates, who know each other well and are comfortable in each other’s company and who just happen to be of different nationalities or race. Say they occasionally take the piss out of each other by referring to stereotypical references to each other’s cultural/historical differences.
      Doesn’t real racism need to be underpinned by other negative attributes e.g. hatred, chauvinism, disrespect, mala leche? Just a thought

    25. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:08 pm  

      Rewind operator.. Say they occasionally take the piss out of each other by referring to stereotypical cultural/historical differences.

    26. Bert Preast — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:31 pm  

      Among my lot you need skin like a rhino - any physical or mental defect, or past error of judgement, will be hammered mercilessly. But it’s all done in fun - not actually having much to talk about the talk turns to abuse, or banter as we call it.

      Racist comments do enter into it, as well as the nationalist (is that the right word?) and even the hairist - the moment you make the mistake of saying or doing something that conforms to your stereotype you’re in big trouble. But at the end of the day everyone gets it, and if you don’t like it go work in a call centre. I’ve not seen actual bullying related to anything other than laziness or inability.

    27. El Cid — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

      Thing is I’m worried about Jack. Jack I hope you give us the right reaction. I’m fucking hooked now. It’s Kizzie’s fault

    28. William — on 19th January, 2007 at 11:37 pm  

      Wonder if asking how much ignorance is involved is basing the discourse around the idea of conscious received information. Wonder if it would be better to compare information with something else, say psychological survival states. Keeping with ones own kind is a feature of the animal kingdom. Sometimes even small differences can be seen a threat e.g. a flock of crows will kill another crow if it has just a few white feathers. Sameness or difference; the foreign or alien is bound up with survival.

      Humans have the potential to exhibit similar behaviour with biological differences but also the same instincts can be transferred to culture. That is behaviour, customs, objects and forms as signifiers of meaning.
      Crows don’t have the means to discover that the odd crow with white feathers is not a threat. Humans however have the ability to test reality by logic and reason. They can suspend just acting on instinct and ask questions about whether a notion is true or not. When we get to the thinking logical level it becomes more in the realm of valid or invalid information about a situation. Even then maybe there has to be a prior idea of whether a person themselves can be wrong about something in order to even want to give reality checking a chance. Maybe in this sense it can be said to be about ignorance. What we know or don’t know.

      Does the above explain maybe a little of something????

    29. William — on 19th January, 2007 at 11:51 pm  

      El Cid

      “Say they occasionally take the piss out of each other by referring to stereotypical cultural/historical differences.”

      I went to a local poetry/storytellers evening in December. The theme of the night was “The West Indian Front room”. Here black people themselves were making light fun of their own stereotype of the contents of their own living rooms.

    30. Chairwoman — on 20th January, 2007 at 12:02 am  

      #20 El Cid - Unfortunately you are so right. My ward, Dmitri, the Aspergers Kid, can’t understand why Katy and I not only buy lots of books, but read them and keep them. His interests are trainers, mobile phones, and ‘designer’ clothing, all of which looks the same to me.

    31. douglas clark — on 20th January, 2007 at 7:12 am  

      Here is the ultimate snobbery. I never watch TV.

      Well, according to the newspapers today, Jane Goody got chucked out of Big Brother. So, a racist stereotype is unacceptable to folk who are willing to spend money to record their vote. Most of whom, I’d suspect, are daft wee lassies with mobile phones. A good result, or what?

      Maybe India will stop targetting us all as racist shite. Or at least the daft wee lasies with mobile phones.

      “Nuclear war averted” could be a Sun headline.

      This reminds me of the War of Jenkins Ear. Y’know, any old excuse.

    32. douglas clark — on 20th January, 2007 at 7:31 am  

      err, lassies, as in ‘the mobile phone aware generation’.

      Print in anger, repent at leisure. PP could help by having a preview function. Please?

    33. Unity — on 20th January, 2007 at 8:50 am  

      Mmm. When does ignorance become racism?

      It doesn’t, ignorance is not an excuse for, or alternative too, racism, its an explanation.

      Quite a few of the comments directed at Shilpa were racist, irrespective of whether there was any express intent on the part of the individual making the comment - if you pick on or abuse someone using an ‘ethnic’ characteristic as a basis for your abuse/attack then you’re being racist.

      Where ignorance comes into the picture is in understanding the ‘why’ of such behaviour - the majority of people who are racist, to some degree, are racist because of their ignorance, far fewer harbour a political/ideological view of race that animates their racist views.

      That doesn’t mean that you take ignorance-based racism less seriously than ideological racism, but you do treat it a little differently because your objective is to ‘kill’ the racism by removing the ignorance, which you do by means of education, rather than alienate the ‘racist’.

      Ignorant racism is ‘curable’ by educating people to be much less ignorant. Ideological racism is far more intractable because the individual’s views are founded on some kind of specific ‘theory’ about the nature and meaning of race, which is what’s lack in those who are simply ignorant.

      The problem with much, if not most, of the public discourse around racism is that its often crude, simplistic and lacking the kind of nuanced understanding of the different ’causes’ of racism, one that allows us to adjust the tone of our response to such incidents to adequate fit the ‘crime’.

      What we too often see are people taking the easy, knee-jerk, route, which is to condemn, where what’s more often needed is a tone of reproach.

    34. Trofim — on 20th January, 2007 at 10:27 am  

      When does ignorance become racism?

      Racism is to do with race. That’s why it’s called racism and not thingummyjigism or skinism. It shouldn’t be confused with culturalism or foodism. This has demostrated yet again the power of the race-relations industry, that malevolent grouping of organisations and people whose raison-d’etre is to make something out of nothing and to encourage people to be thin-skinned. And this is why so many of us pinkish people, sick to death of yet another demonstration of the power of the RRI to pervert reality to its own ends, will feel just another of those little inner nudges which says “Perhaps the BNP has got a point, after all”. Anyone familiar with with the terms “counter-productive” or “unintended consequences”?

      el cid.
      Take three mates, who know each other well and are comfortable in each other’s company and who just happen to be of different nationalities or race. Say they occasionally take the piss out of each other by referring to stereotypical references to each other’s cultural/historical differences.

      Aah, that reminds me of the time befoe mass-immigration.

    35. John Christopher — on 20th January, 2007 at 11:12 am  

      I just want to say TWO things as regards the question of when ignorance becomes racism.

      1. If it sound like a duck, looks like a duck and walks likes a duck…’s a duck. Don’t call it a Elephant.

      2. Ignorance is not a defence.

    36. Sid Popadom — on 20th January, 2007 at 11:17 am  

      Ignorance becomes racism when the Channel 4 tried to manipulate the viewers into first tried to ignore Jade’s comments and are now the exectors of the nation’s sense of moral outrage. The swines!

    37. ZinZin — on 20th January, 2007 at 11:23 am  

      What about those imams on dispatches is that ignorance or racism?

    38. Raoul — on 20th January, 2007 at 11:59 am  

      Gosh! I wish everyone especially my Indian brethren, commenting on the alleged racsist behaviour or bullying that is going on in the Big Brother household would wake up and realise that this is just a case of SHILPA SHETTY being an EXTREMELY DIFFICULT and ANNOYING PERSON TO LIVE WITH! She’s bossy, antsy, meddling, and obviously extremely pampered both at home and by people outside her home who she interacts with and cannot handle being treated as a normal person… or won’t let people treat her as normal… all I can say is that apart from the herds of sex craved fans in India that she has, I cannot imagine wanting to live with a person like that. I do agree that Jade and her Mum are very crass and Jade can be appalling at times but that is who they are and they have a right to be who they are… don’t they? Wouldn’t it be justice enough to just let them show the world how ignorant and crass they are instead of raising a racsist issue here where none exists.
      The same goes for the comments about ‘God knows where those hands have been’, that’s just Danielle voicing her dislike of someone meddling with her food! I know I hate for someone I’m barely acquainted with meddling with my food too, does that make me racsist if I comment on it? How in Gods name has this whole episode spiralled up to burning effigys of show directors and Members of Parliament having to intervene is beyond me. That more than anything speaks volumes of the insanity and comical stupidity of both the Indian media for painting these issues to the general public and also to the ignorant masses agreeing with them.
      Rascism is a serious issue and this whole episode is making a mockery of people who are making an effort to do something about it as well as efforts that have been made in the past. Any good that has been achieved in the past towards changing people’s attitudes to rascism is going to be undone by this sillyness, I don’t really know how else to describe it other than then senseless sillyness! And this in a country where endless jokes and what could be construed as rascist remarks are made about Sikhs, Marwadis, South Indians, Chinese people, Black people and the list goes on and on… to the point where teenagers in urban Indian schools use the word ‘Nigga’ prolifically without knowing the meaning of the word or the hurt and pain that has been caused to a race of people in anotehr country by the use of that word.
      How proud it would make me to feel Indian if the reaction to these going ons would have been ‘You (the media) are not going to make me as an Indian, be concerned about race or rascism over the adventures of a silly Bollywood actress on the Tele where all that’s really going on is that an Airhead is getting a dose of reality’.
      Blame the sily Indian media people too for blowing this way outta proportions.

    39. Nick — on 20th January, 2007 at 12:16 pm  

      Of course racism exists, but I can’t help feeling it is the baton by which the ruling class have bludgeoned the white working class into submitting to a policy of massive immigration over the past 50 years.

      Even writing this makes me shudder as it sounds so BNP, but I’m afraid its true.

      Yes the white working class are racist. So is every working class in every bloody country, along with everyone else! British Indians and blacks are racist too, as you all know very well. An Indian girlfriend of mine once said it was ok for her to go out with a white, but certainly not a black, and never a Muslim!

      At the risk of sounding like a marxist conspiracist - this is all about the ruling class dividing to rule. If you look at everything that has happened to the white working class since the end of WW2, from social and housing policy that has split up families and destroyed traditional models of self-reliance, to the gusto with which the media elite sneer at the chavs, the white working class are the greatest victims of prejudice here. And they have no one to speak for them except… a bunch of bigots!

      Wot a carve up!

    40. Nick — on 20th January, 2007 at 12:18 pm  

      BTW, that’s why Jade laid into Shilpa - because Shilpa represented the power dynamic with the gloves off, so to speak.

      Usually it comes with condescension and a benefit cheque.

    41. Phil — on 20th January, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

      This is a thought in process.

      How much of our ignorance has been about allowing channel 4 to manipulate us. Yes it is undeniable that terrible things have been said. I believe the motivation was class and ignorance which then escalated into comments considered ‘racist’ which yes are not acceptable. I do believe that they were said out of lack of intelligence and ignorance and yes she is a foul mouthed bully. How do you explain her earnestly asking Jermaine Jackson why Micheal was a different colour? She simply doesn’t have a clue.

      I was reading in the guardian today that Jackie has been a practicing Muslim for 9 years and of course observes Ramadan and that her praying was edited out. So if we were fully aware of the facts we would realise that either they are not a typical British person or they are. Therefore that also includes you. You need to look at your own underlying racism. Plus you need to look at your willingness to be manipulated to hear and see what you want. Ch 4 is laughing all the way to the bank.,,1994828,00.html

    42. Bert Preast — on 20th January, 2007 at 12:50 pm  

      Jade’s mother a muslim? :D

      Is there any sensationalist ingredient left they’ve still to chuck into the pot?

    43. Chris Stiles — on 20th January, 2007 at 6:27 pm  

      When does ignorance become racism? Never. Though when allied to a nature which resists change, it can be a significant contributing factor.

      I know at least a couple of mentally disabled people - who whilst completely ignorant of much of what constitutes life have not a racist bone in their body.

    44. El Cid — on 20th January, 2007 at 7:11 pm  

      Trofim. what you don’t realise is that i was brought up during a period of mass immigration. Take a look of a picture of my primary school class and there’s is not true native of the British Isles — ok, there was one paddy.
      Sorry, mate or lady, but kids/people of diff races really can get on just like scots, irish, welsh, and english, which is what i suspect you were referring to

    45. Sunny — on 20th January, 2007 at 7:33 pm  

      Hah, you guys think the Indian media has blown this out of proportion? Damn straight! Just see some of the questions I was being asked yesterday for an Indian discussion show.

    46. El Cid — on 20th January, 2007 at 7:55 pm  

      “Burning the house to roast the pig” Indeed!

    47. Jag — on 20th January, 2007 at 8:42 pm  

      Well, there has been a lot of talk about whether the comments made by Jade and cohorts was “racist” or not. But I think the union boss (forget which union and forget his name) got it right: the Goody invectives were unacceptable, even if it was all just a display for the show. And any excuse offered (whether it be by her, her agents, her supporters or other commentators) in favour of the diatribe not being “racist” is simply offering an “it’s OK to say sorry afterwards” get-out clause to potential copycats in the playground/office/street.

      There might be loads of argument about the definition of racist, or what’s racist and what isn’t, but it shouldn’t IMHO detract from the dividing line between what’s *acceptable* and what isn’t. If it’s not racist, it doesn’t mean that it’s OK. If calling it racist makes it more not-OK than OK, then I’m OK with that. Apols in advance if this comes across as thinking too deeply about it; I’m easily confused …

    48. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:17 am  

      thortz has a good point.

      anyways, if we’re all going to be so damn PC all the time i reckon the term chav will have to fall within ‘racist’ terminology.

      we’re all ignorant about something or other so that’s something to keep hold of.

      i think the whole BB thing just shows what a lot of inferiority complexes there are out there. that’s what’s so interesting actually - for me.

      rambling on..the thing about accents - i always think indian accents are well cute - so many british accents are so much sillier - like birmingham accents for example. still making fun of an accent is hardly racist.

    49. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:22 am  

      17 - clairwil - good one! Chairwoman :-)

    50. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:28 am  

      yeah the indian media have gone nuts. Can someone please shout “and what about all those FAIR AND LOVELY ads” in their face please.

    51. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:29 am  

      Still making fun of an accent is hardly racist?

      Well it depends why we do it. If it’s to mimic a mate and laugh with them together - this is OK. If it’s mimiced as part of a conversation attacking and mocking someone - it’s called racism. That’s the difference between me teasing my Mum’s accent and Jade’s ilk doing it for a different reason. That’s the difference, in my opinion between humour based on difference and attack based on difference which equals racism.

      Isn’t this something like black people using the word ‘nigger’ to reapprproiate and jest among friends but in a public space a white person calling somone a ‘nigger’ is inappropriate and racist. Context again - even when it comes to the debates about appropriation and reappropiation of language.

    52. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:39 am  

      seems like any attack on anyone is called racism now. if it happens to be towards someone of a different race. automatic assumption. shades of ‘oh my god it must be because of my skin colour’. or my race. when did we become so obsessed?

      anyway India isn’t a race.everyone seems to have forgotten this.

    53. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:41 am  

      i mean BB has hardly ever been a bastion of cuddlyness and aw come lets all be mates? it’s a cold look at human foibles - setting up people in a cage - setting them against each other - the ultimate psychology experiment. Seems we’ve forgotten this in the crazy media hype since day one. If ‘Nasty Nick’ had been asian goodness knows what would have happened.

    54. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:51 am  

      its a good point bringing up the fact that when someone black says nigger its treated differently to when someone white says the same thing. Highly racist that in my opinion. if two people say the same thing and it’s treated differently based on the fact they have different skin colours - which neither of them can help - well that’s precisely what’s racist - in my opinion.

      why should you not be able to do something ( i.e. say a certain word) because of your skin colour? Ahem. Talk about reverse discrimination. See - that’s the catch - if people do want to shout about Racism all the time they need to realize that they then have to think very carefully about the issue of reverse discrimination. the right to minorityhood is a right as well. its easy to be like well ‘im a minority so i’ll say gora as much as i like ( cos ‘they’ won’t understand it anyway)’ or ‘whitey’ and such like and be all like ‘well its fine for me to refer to ‘them’ like that’) if a group of people have experienced racism in the past, it is still racist of them to automatically assume that differnt individuals of that same group will behave in the same way, or interpret their behaviour according to what their ancestors may or may not have done. it’s not exactly fair is it.

    55. El Cid — on 21st January, 2007 at 9:53 am  

      i see we’re getting far on this one :)

    56. karim_amir — on 21st January, 2007 at 11:53 am  

      “anyway India isn’t a race.everyone seems to have forgotten this.”


    57. karim_amir — on 21st January, 2007 at 11:56 am  

      sonia, are you simply advocating a land where black and white are allowed to call each other nigger in harmony and whites and asians and are allowed to say paki without fear of being called racist? cos the reason asians dont like white people saying paki is cos the history behind it, same with nigger. its not ‘unfair’ or ‘racist’, its about context.

    58. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

      heh i wasn’t advocating that - i was pointing out that the colour of your skin makes a difference - and last i heard, people were saying that was ‘racism’. my point was that people might need to think hard about all this: it doesn’t go one way - as far as i can see, some people are so keen to say that ‘white people’ are racist they can’t see that sort of automatic assumption in itself might constitute racism. i.e. the view that ‘black and brown’ people are ‘victims’ of racism and ‘white’ people are the perpetrators. straight line thinking. and re: context - well yeah Duh of course its all about context - so what? next time someone complains about something racist, we can all turn around and just don’t get the context honey :-)

    59. karim_amir — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

      i wasnt saying its okay for brown on white racism or brown on black racism, nor was i saying that can be forgiven simply cos its not coming from white people. of course thats still racism. and yes, sometimes asian and black people seem to think that they are exempt from being racist when of course, theyre not. its great youre being fair but this all seems like a kneejerk ‘but look! asians can be racist too! so there!’ response. i dont think anyone has refuted that.

      i havent got time to properly reply but this:
      “its a good point bringing up the fact that when someone black says nigger its treated differently to when someone white says the same thing. Highly racist that in my opinion. if two people say the same thing and it’s treated differently based on the fact they have different skin colours - which neither of them can help - well that’s precisely what’s racist - in my opinion.”
      is just ridiculous. especially in regard to the word ‘nigger’. certain words still carry that same cache/sting as they always did coming out white mouths (paki, chink, etc etc). and no thats not reverse-discrimination by denying white people the right to say that word and not be called a racist.

      sorry to the original poster for detouring this topic.

    60. Anas — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:58 pm  

      A lot of people have been bringing up the fact that Jade has a pig-like appearance (I have in my blog too). But I was thinking, surely a lot of that’s to do with the way her nose is, namely, broad, with large flared nostrils. OK, so she must have got that from her father who is black: indeed that type of nose shape seems to be much more common with black people than many other races. In other words people are mocking her appearance in a way that highlights a typically black aspect of facial structure, part of Jade’s African heritage. So couldn’t this be construed as racist?

    61. Katy — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

      Her father made that very point around the time of the first Big Brother. One of Jade’s grandparents was West Indian and her father said something along the lines of “she’s just got a wide nose and full lips as have many West Indians”.

      I think Jade is quite pretty - more so since she started taking advantage of the celebrity pampering that seems to fall into your lap once your fifteen minutes of fame starts. I don’t really understand why people are bothered about her looks anyway; it’s her attitude that stinks. The fact that she’s mixed-race and has had stick about her looks makes her more culpable, not less, if anything.

    62. phil — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

      Annas - of course it is racist. African nose / pig is one of the easiest laziest ways of being racist, like saying popadom, so Anas welcome to Jades world of saying very silly things. Are you racist, was this the motivation behind your slur on your blog? We need to think about this. Jade is not solely guilty in all of this, we all are but we used her as a scapegoat, so shame on us.

    63. Chairwoman — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

      Anas - My late husband’s niece, who is, I assure you, so Aryan that Hitler would have swooned, is most definitely porcine in appearance, and it is all centred on the nasal area, and, come to think of it, the personality. So perhaps that’s where the confusion arises, the psyche is imprinted on the face, and that’s why we perceive her as pig-like.

    64. Katy — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:15 pm  

      That’s true, you know. You can see all the way up my cousin’s nose when she’s standing in front of you. But then I am probably just jealous because she has a fabulous Pamela Anderson-like figure and I generally got flattened in the testosterone-fuelled stampede towards her whenever we went out. The cow.

    65. El Cid — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:18 pm  

      yeah, so who are the racist bullies now?

      actually, her ugliest aspect is her big mouth. and i don’t think any particular race or nationality has a monopoly on those.

    66. Chairwoman — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:21 pm  

      I like pigs. I like their gentle oinking. I do not want to compare them to either Miss Goody or Lobster Girl (afore mentioned husband’s niece has a penchant for sun beds).

    67. Anas — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

      This is very off-topic and she is a nasty, conniving, bitch but doesn’t danielle have the most wonderful heart-melting smile? I can definitely see what Teddy saw in her.

    68. phil — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

      I think we all need to be reminded of all areas of discrimination……….. sexism is just as bad as racism. So ‘bitch’ is the same as ‘nigga’. Get it??

    69. El Cid — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:40 pm  

      no it isn’t phil, that’s bollox

    70. phil — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:45 pm  

      Just because calling a woman a bitch has become common and has been trivialised does not mean it is acceptable. You are being incredibly complacent. Discrimination against women etc is just as unacceptable as racism. A bitch is a female dog not a woman.

    71. Anas — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:53 pm  

      Phil, You’re trivialising the impact of a word such as “nigger” by claiming that it’s comparable in effect to the term “bitch”. That makes you a racist. Checkmate!

    72. Katy — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:56 pm  

      The word “bitch” is not sexist. It is a term used by both men and women against women, in the same way as “dick” is used by both men and women against men. Can we stop trying to castrate the English language now please?

    73. Katy — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:57 pm  

      Ooh, I said “castrate”.

    74. karim_amir — on 21st January, 2007 at 2:01 pm,,1995021,00.html

      kathryn flett seems to think jade and co’s comments stop short of racism.

      “But was she a racist? No. I may be wrong in defining racism as a conscious act, but that’s the way I perceive it. Everything else is stupidity, or ignorance, or laziness, or being inarticulate.”

    75. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 3:16 pm  

      67 & 68

      The reason sexism isn’t the same as racism is this: power relations. Both racism and sexist isn’t explained by just reference to gender and race - perhaps with my ‘sociology’ hat we might remind ourselves that even gender and race are socially constructed - i.e. there is no such thing as ‘black’ skin anymore than ‘white’ skin but culturally we’ve negotiated ‘black’ to mean Caribbean. As Stuart Hall, my source of reference on all things ‘race’ said a long time ago, he didn’t know he was ‘black’ until he arrived in Britain in the 70s from the Caribbean. To all extent and purposes his skin was more ‘brown-ish..’ and white folks skin is ‘pale - perhaps pink’.

      And so how we understand discrimination rides on power differentials and how much less power one might have over another group. That’s why I can handle being called a bitch but not a Paki or Paki Bitch. For example when a white bloke on Bethnal Green Road on Friday night has tried to chat me up and I’ve turned away, he hasn’t just called me a bitch - he’s called me a Paki bitch. I am sure he wasn’t being ‘racist’ but wanted to sya fuck off because I rejected him. but nevertheless his words were sexist and racist - and therefore he was sexist and racist but whay hurts more is the Paki bit.

      Women have less power than men ( historically) and non-white people have less power than whites ( historically) - and this overides gender discrimination.

      This doesn’t mean words like bitch are offensive and some might say, also sexist. But the blow to me as a women is worse if I am called a black bitch.

      That’s why Zinadin got mad. They called him a son of a terrorist whore - double wammy.

    76. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

      PS going back to the post above - conscious or unconscious racism???

      This misses the fundental point about discrimination. Post Stephen Lawrence this country passed raft of legislation in the UK to stop organisations from committing ‘unwitting’ forms of discrimination. This basically amounts to situations where the org or individual didn’t intend to be racist but nevertheless the effects have been racist to disadvantage or discriminate. This is how we seperate actions from intentions. In a court of law the act of killing is punishable - manslaughter is criminal even if you didn’t mean - ooops , to kill someone.

      If Sharon aged 5 in school playground calls her best Asian friend a Paki without knowing that this wasn’t a description for brown people, it’s still racist. Sharon, aged 5 , still needs to be corrected.

      So C4 needs to disown any association that BB contestants were racist for legal reasons - they need to keep their lips zipped.

      But we don’t have the same constraints.

      I am sure picklers all now that racism isn’t just calling someone a Paki or a nigger - it’s a series of insults based on cultural differences. This is why a Paki wearing hijab might be spat on at the bus stop but one wearing a turban might not. A sign of our times maybe that racism is more colmplicated than I is a nigger. We’ve had books and reports for last 20 ys to prove this - are there any students who can kindly provide links to a Tariq Madood article maybe or Stuart Hall or Paul Gilroy, please?

    77. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 3:57 pm  


      I’m a bit slow today missed this thread.

      Racism isn’t based on ‘race” .. Others have talked about context so i’ll leave that point. ‘Race’ is a made up term as you know so we can’t just fall foul of racism just based on skin colour alone - the power to offend is the priviledge of someone/group who holds power - or has historically held the power and words themselves carry the burden of history which is why when a white person uses the word ‘nigger’ is dfferent from a black person using it. Context, yes. But there’s more to this. As you know, lots of young black and asian youth, indeed, spice girls etc, re-appropriate language to try and take away the sting of words - or symbolically the power or priviledge to offend. I’ll exernorate ‘nigger’ so you can’t use it to bash me with - so you have no power blah blah. That’s why NWA in the 80s were refresing - and white boys rapping with ‘nigger’ terms had to be ‘home-boys’ or within a closed club to use the term without offending. Fast-forward to where we are now …UK.

      Debates on racism in the UK and US, and North America need to be understood within the context of Brtish Black and Asian people growing up within an institutionally racist system - I don’t know how many picklers out there grew up in India or Bangladesh or oter international citis where being a minority and poor was the norm? The collective identity of British Asians and Black populations is borne out of this experience and often my mates who haven’t grown up here miss this point. True , this is claiming that this debate on racism is focused on an Anglo-Saxon experience of multi-clturalism - and yes, it is.

      Racism isn’t just based on skin difference, it’s based on history and when white people have used the word ‘nigger’ in context of oppression. There is not a century of history of black people calling other black people niggers so black people using the term doesn’t have the same power to offend.

      So to purely judge whether something is racist nor not is MISSING the point.

      As for me to assume there is anything such as ‘race’ is racist. The last time I checked ‘race’ was invented as a catogory when arch imperialists in the UK were riding high on rule Britannia, justifying the imperialist project. Race until the lae 19th century wasn’t even a catogory, and indeed, ‘blackness’ wasn’t even a second class catogory until colour was given a hierachical playing field and this all happened in late 19th century. Before then we had colonialism and ‘slaves’ - no explicit racial slant to this.

    78. Phil — on 21st January, 2007 at 6:11 pm  


      Did not have full voting rights until recently, in some countries women are still waiting.
      Were not able to own property within a marriage until recently.
      Sexual Mutilation as a means to control their sexuality
      Raped as a use of weapon in a war – a form of ethnic cleansing – Bosnia as an example
      Female foetuses being aborted as male is more desired (India, China for example amongst others)
      Forced to cover.
      Pay differences the world over.

      Therefore sexism is very relevant and as offensive and unacceptable as racism. Being called a slag or a bitch has become part of everyday language and we have to accept it.

    79. Katy — on 21st January, 2007 at 7:17 pm  

      You don’t need to tell me what sexism is or what feminism means, Phil, but the word “bitch” is not sexist. It is not the same as the word “slag”, which is a judgement on women who are sexually active, and to which there is no real male equivalent.

    80. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 8:04 pm  

      “Raped as a use of weapon in a war – a form of ethnic cleansing – Bosnia as an example”

      What rubbish. Unless the rapist is incredibly brave and foolhardy, he’s unlikely to admit paternity. So any child will be bought up in the culture of the mother or given up for adoption. Rape was strictly for terror or fun.

    81. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 8:39 pm  

      Sexism is shite, no disagreement there, but was just saying that for some of us - some discriminations hurt more than others.

      And yes, agree that rape of women historically has also been used as a weapon of war - in fact - the oldest way to wage war.

    82. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 8:42 pm  

      But it’s useless for ethnic cleansing.

    83. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 8:45 pm  

      Should point out that sticks and stones are also the oldest way to wage war. But today they just get you slaughtered.

    84. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 9:06 pm  

      Rape can be used for ethnic cleansing when combined with slaughering male folk and raping women folk in order to ensure the dilution of ‘race’.. something like that. Can be intrumental in ethnic cleansing.

      Oldest way to war - don’t want to play semantics but rape is a time honoured tradition committed by men.

    85. Bert Preast — on 21st January, 2007 at 9:11 pm  

      Again, rubbish. Unless the rapists stick around the women will bring up the kids as they choose. It’s nothing more than a feeble excuse for raping those who look to you for protection. “you must rape this girl in the furtherance of ******* nationalism”. It’s about spreading terror, in the hope of angering the other side permitting one to engage in a full scale genocidal fiesta. Die, propaganda.

    86. Tahir — on 22nd January, 2007 at 12:05 am  

      Hmmm, not rubbish according to gendered theories of war and violence.

    87. Kismet Hardy — on 22nd January, 2007 at 11:45 am  

      Look: 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關

      I’m probably racist cos I don’t know what it means

    88. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 22nd January, 2007 at 11:46 am  

      This is the best day of my life!

    89. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

      “according to gendered theories of war and violence”


    90. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 1:47 pm  


      The day changes the hysteria to surpass the desert not to close. (babelfish)

      Profound, mate.

    91. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 22nd January, 2007 at 2:03 pm  

      Proof that ignorance can be masked by blagging, while racism can only be masked by apology.

      I thank you

    92. Vandana — on 22nd January, 2007 at 2:15 pm  

      Bitch is a derogatory term for a woman, taken to mean that she is malicious, spiteful, domineering, intrusive, unpleasant or sexually promiscuous. This meaning has been in use since around 1400.

      Bitch has long been in use to refer to a woman in contempt, as shown in an 1811 dictionary which describes bitch as “the most offensive appellation that can be given to an English woman, even more provoking than that of whore.

      I think what Phil is trying to say is that the word Bitch historically was / is a sexist word however it has been used so frequently these days it has become part of acceptable language. Women have to put up and shut up. The word Nigger has not lost its meaning because people have been educated to understand. Hence today it seems more offensive however if you think about it any word that is derogatory and attacks the other will fall into sexist, racist etc. Always referring to someone at work as the girl in the office is using sexist language. She is a woman and has a name. It doesn’t sound nasty but it is belittiling her because of her gender which she is born with. So can we please have a posting on ‘When does ignorance become sexist?’

    93. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

      I think Vandana makes a good point. Why should we excuse sexism over racism?

    94. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 3:21 pm  

      Oh man, am I ever in trouble now.

    95. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2007 at 3:43 pm  

      this is ridiculous

      if a woman called me a prick or a wanker or a tosser or a nonce or a benchoad, I too might take offense.. but if I took offence on sexist grounds i surely would be one of the aforementioned (easy now)

      P.S. Around where I live, bitch is also used between men — of the straight variety — usually after an unfortunate accident or error

      on other hand, english bitch, spanish bitch, black bitch, paki bitch — now that would be unacceptable

    96. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 22nd January, 2007 at 3:54 pm  

      Final thoughts on the whole CBB debacle:

      The Asian community and the rest of UK unite to condemn racism

      Tont Blair discusses racism in parliament, Gordon Brown addresses race relations on a global scale

      Chiefs at television have to rethink about getting away with casual racism on TV

      and the people behind Pickled Politics are a little bit embarrassed by it all and denounce it as much ado about nothing

      I’m quite disgusted, if truth be told

    97. Leon — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

      Yep a great victory; the illusion of unity (drowning in hypocrisy for some of them I’d wager) over tv racism, politicians pay lip service then do nothing and channel 4 allow more TV racism on shipwreck 2007…

      The world turns and awaits the next bandwagon while rest of us get on with covering news rather than boosting some corporations profits.

    98. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

      Bring on the next manifesto. Yasmin Ali Bhai Brown’s waiting with her pen at the ready. Oooh a change is gonna come…

    99. Leon — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

      Thing is Kismet I can’t find anywhere where the signatories claimed the NGN would change the world, or made claims so outlandish in their detachment from reality that it left me stuttering with incredulity. You on the other hand…

    100. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

      Kizzie, seriously, what has changed…
      did we not know before CBB what was unacceptable TV?

      Shilpa Shetty ain’t Rosa Parks and Jade Goody is a nobody

    101. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

      It’s. not. about. the. people. on. telly.

      It’s about the attitude of the people on the streets, council estates, board rooms. They’re all talking about it and the understood conclusion is: yep, racism is bad

      Stupid people need to be reminded of that every much as the pompous intellectual

    102. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:57 pm  

      Yes, but it can be counterproductive when it’s OTT and the bully becomes bullied or the american guy has his accent mocked and noone flickers an eyelid… e.t.c

      Anyway, let it go man

    103. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

      although, i must say, i found some of your sarkyness funny — ouch, you’re such a bitch ;)

    104. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:19 pm  

      I take offence to bitch

      Call me a cunt by all means

      I’m officially over and out

    105. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

      I can’t bear the ‘C’-word, the ‘B’-word, the ‘F’-word and a few others beside.

      Its a mark of the decline of good manners and respect within our society. On TV, use of the bleep is portrayed as hilarious (see all the outtake programs) - when there should be no room for it in the public space.

      My grandson (not yet 5) revelled in saying ‘F in ‘ell’ the other day, repeated by his 3 year old sister. Leaving all of us shocked. Something he’s picked up in the playground.

      Foul language seems to be treated as if it has minimum age restriction on it. Like the right to buy a packet of cigarettes.

      Can’t say to a five year old - don’t swear until you’re old enough.

      No wonder kids think its clever to act grown-up with use of swear words.

    106. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 5:46 pm  

      Refresh - the kids are repeating what they hear. When they’re old enough to realise you’re offended by it they’ll stop swearing around you. Especially if you beat the granny out of them whenever they forget their manners. But for the next year or two you’ll have to learn to live with it.

      My mother hates swearing, and used to slap me for it until I got too big, whereupon she fined me for it. These days I honestly relish swearing at/in front of her, because I know how much it annoys her.

    107. Chairwoman — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:23 pm  

      Refresh has grandchildren!

    108. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:50 pm  


      Yes, an absolutely fabulous addition to the family.

      We moved to be near the first born:

      The eldest is heading for the theatre - just won a part in Oliver.

      My five year old I am sure will end up as a fireman - loves fires (unfortunately).

      The 3-year old is the next Margaret Thatcher in the making - without any of the Thatcher attributes. In other words she’s a bit bossy, so can’t allow her a handbag just yet.

      One is near East Angular, a handsome 2 year old.

      Then there are the gorgeous Scottish grandchildren, incredibly well-mannered with lovely accents.

      I am sure there will be more on the way.

      Most of our time is spent taking or making phonecalls to them (especically if their parents have been mean to them); and every Friday is a sleepover for 3 of them. I am now just a bit worried that they’ve started asking whether their friends can sleep-over as well.

    109. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:52 pm  

      Casual foul language is boring and monotonous, but there are times when a judicious obscenity, in the right company, says exactly what you mean. I don’t know which ‘B’ word Refresh is referring to, I’m comfortable with ‘bastard’ except in the presence of elderly ladies and infants of tender years, but I tend to use ‘bitch’ rarely and only as a verb (Don’t just bitch about it, do something.’).

      The ‘F’ word can be appropriate when with friends, but loses meaning with over-use. If nobody notices when you use it, you’re using it to much.

      I can’t imagine using the ‘C’ word to refer to a woman, I really doubt if I could, and I’ve only used it to refer to men when some dickhead in a 4×4 or BMW has actually put my life at risk. Cathartic, though.

      Which is the point of this rather long-winded post; if it doesn’t add a carefully judged emphasis and it isn’t cathartic, it’s just degrading the language. If you baste every sentence in the ‘F’ and ‘C’ words, where do you go when you really need to cuss?

      (Of course Kismet has a special dispensation; I’m sure that, in extremis, he has places to go the rest of have not yet imagined.)

    110. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 6:57 pm  

      “If you baste every sentence in the ‘F’ and ‘C’ words, where do you go when you really need to cuss?”


    111. ZinZin — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:01 pm  

      Will you be pushing up the daisies anytime soon?

    112. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:08 pm  


      One employs people for that sort of thing.


    113. Chairwoman — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:13 pm  

      And there I was imagining you as a mere stripling! Whereas in fact you a patriarch and font of wisdom. All the cuddles and none of the responsibility :-)

    114. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:15 pm  


      I am tempted to list all the words I don’t use but I can’t even bring myself to type them out.

      Another one I dislike is c*w. I find it a derogatory reference to women. I have used it only once in my life and it was in a work situation (at a company sales conference) and almost won a round of applause - certainly won a lot of new friends.

      The B-word should really have been the B-words (includes the one you mentioned).

      One of the B-words (in the context you refer to) could easliy be replaced with whinge I guess. Having said that I don’t bother with that either. I might say a person is unhappy about something or is prone to complain.

      Cathartic? Only experienced that the once (I mention it above).

      With regards the 4×4 and the BMW situation. Have a heart, the last time I experienced such outpouring was pulling out of Heathrow car-park and noticed the adjacent car (which was a BMW) had THE C-word carved on the passenger door, preceded by ‘RICH’. It was around the time ‘Kill the Rich’ was standard grafitti and Cardboard City had its own planning department.

    115. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:19 pm  


      Pushing up daisies? Not soon I hope. I’d love to see my grandchildren settled and on their way before that happens.

      If you’re asking my age - I am younger than you might think.

    116. Chairwoman — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:20 pm  

      Refresh - you are a gentleman. That’s a little used and much maligned word, but I salute you.

    117. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:21 pm  

      Chairwoman, hardly patriarchical or even wise.

      But yes definitely all the cuddles.

    118. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:36 pm  

      Why thank you Chairwoman. You’ve just made me blush - probably also blown my credibility with the youthful Picklers of today ;)

    119. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:36 pm  

      One of my favourite books, now out of print, is Graves’ short essay on swearing. In ‘Lars Porsena, or the Future of Swearing and Improper Language.’;

      “Keep obscene or indecent language as a last resort,” warns an ancient but sensible Chinese handbook on swearing etiquette. “Avoid reflections on the chastity of your opponent’s female relations or on any physical infirmity from which he may be suffering. Once you have gone so far it is impossible to retrace your steps and resort to minor forms of vituperation. Never shout … Be calm . . . Begin with a great show of courtesy . . .”

      Graves concluded that people were ‘swearing more, but enjoying it less’. Rather like meat-eating; better a carefully-chosen and well sourced cut twice a week than econo-mince and chicken nuggets twice a day.

    120. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

      Why thank you Chairwoman. You’ve just made me blush - probably also blown my credibility with the Pickled Politics Provisional Wing. ;)

    121. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:38 pm  

      Where’s the preview function!!!

    122. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:40 pm  

      I hope your bladder has a sense of humour. I suspect it’s going to need it.

    123. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:41 pm  

      Is ageism better or worse than sexism or racism?

      We need a league table here.

    124. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 7:55 pm  

      Ageism is better; few of us will change our race or sex. All of us will be either old or dead (or both). It’s more inclusive. Reap what you sow, kiddo.

    125. Bert Preast — on 22nd January, 2007 at 8:03 pm  

      I fantasise over an old git’s home with a 24 hour bar and 17 year old nurses. As you can’t be imprisoned in Spain if you’re over 75 you basically have a shooting licence. Some like bowls or bridge, but neither is a patch on nursey arse-grabbing and cholostomy bag duels to be honest.

      Bring on paradise, I say.

    126. Don — on 22nd January, 2007 at 8:10 pm  

      Cholostomy bags might be a joke now, but try finding matching shoes when you’re 83. The market just passes you by.

    127. Sid Popadom — on 22nd January, 2007 at 8:43 pm  

      Don, hah! I gotta get me that book.

    128. El Cid — on 22nd January, 2007 at 8:52 pm  

      Yeah, too much swearing is boring, I agree.
      (Do not adjust your set, it really is me).
      But smashy and nicey dinner table chatter about the real world can generally be improved with the odd obscenity. I guess it’s a question of taste.

      On the other hand, I’m generally very embarrased if my kids catch me swearing. They of course are forbidden to use foul language (in the house and towards teachers are the iron rules) Did I say I was a hypocrite?

      I’ve only ever heard my wife use the ‘c’ word. Once towards me — I must have been very naughty but I can’t remember — and once with BT, which I’m sure you can all understand.
      I, on the other hand, often use the ‘c’ word — both in English and in Spanish. My PC is the usual target.

    129. Refresh — on 22nd January, 2007 at 9:05 pm  

      I can’t believe it - ageism from a Benny Hill.

    130. Tahir — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:10 am  

      86 Kizzy

      “I’m probably racist cos I don’t know what it means”.

      Don’t know what the east Asian words mean … but if it reads ‘Paki’ and you use it, yes, it is racist.

      ‘Racist’ is an adjective - neutral descriptive word with no bearing to intentions, motives or ignorance. It is a word that describes racist terms, so if those Chinese words say ‘paki’ in Chinese (assuming it’s mandarin) and I don’t know but still use the words, it is racist.

      It’s easy to be racist because as we all keep saying some people dont intend to be racist. But racism in a court of law is never debated on grounds of intention or ignorance. It’s simply based on effect, impact of actions and words. I didn’t mean to run over a child - but ooops, I did.

      People surely must see that racism doesn’t come in a white hooded KKK clans man flying a burning cross? In fact - some of the KKK men also didn’t know what they were doing during Rosa Parks’ times - did that make them any less racist?

    131. Tahir — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:13 am  

      And agree that ‘bitch’ and sexism has become acceptable because we haven’t challenged it historically - though perhaps sexism hasn’t produced oppression to the scale of slavery from Africa which is why racism has such deep connotations and cannot be de-invested of meaning so easily. Before anyone else slams me - yes, I agree that women’s oppression also goes back many many eons.

    132. Ravi Naik — on 23rd January, 2007 at 11:32 am  

      There seems to be a another racist row in another C4 reality show. This one, I kid you not is about an 18-year old girl who wants old British values back… like slavery!

    133. Ravi Naik — on 23rd January, 2007 at 11:45 am  

      >> and the people behind Pickled Politics are a little bit embarrassed by it all and denounce it as much ado about nothing. I’m quite disgusted, if truth be told

      Kismet, if it makes you feel better, Sepia Mutiny has just threaten to ban me for denouncing that this whole BB thing is much ado about nothing, pointing out the hypocrisy of the Indian government, and that I didn’t see racism in making fun of cultural differences. And, so my friend, I too feel disgusted.

      This made me appreciate Pickled Politics even more.

    134. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:08 pm  

      I think that 18 year old has actually managed to overstep the boundaries even of racism and is fully into the realms of howling at the moon insanity. Bring back slavery ffs? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone express a view like that in my entire life, even from a student.

    135. Refresh — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:16 pm  


      I once had to lead a sixth form debate on apartheid at a time when NF was active within schools, and it was clear that 50% of the school felt apartheid was actually a great asset for the black majority.

      I don’t think for a minute that the majority of those opposing the motion would have reviewed their position without the joyous media and political coverage of Mandela’s triumph.

      The media and politicians can do a great deal to change attitudes for good or ill. Channel 4 is deeply embroiled in the chase for viewers to the detriment of us all. (Lets hope it is simply the chasing of viewers that is the problem and nothing more deep-seated).

    136. Bert Preast — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:21 pm  

      Refresh - as she supports a return to empire it follows she supports apartheid rule. That’s still a long way from supporting slavery though.

    137. Kismet 天變得歇斯底里超過漠不關 — on 23rd January, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

      Ravi, it doesn’t make me feel better because I wasn’t out to stamp on freedom of speech, condoning the reaction of the Indian government or playing the Save Shilpa card

      I was applauding the unity shown by the Asian community and the number of white/black etc to send out the message: you can’t get away with this kind of attitude shown on telly. It’s people power that heartens me, dismissing, nay aplogising for such a show of unity as bandwagon-jumping disgusts me

      No one should be banned from saying anything. It’s how far others will go to send the clear message that they can’t say it that counts

    138. meranda — on 28th January, 2007 at 10:53 am  

      Is Racism the same as Cultural Ignorance?

    139. Jai — on 28th January, 2007 at 11:51 am  


      I’ve been reading through your comments on this issue today — as you know, I don’t have access to PP during the weekdays anymore, hence the delay in my posting here.

      All I can say is that I applaud your stance and support you completely. And I’m disgusted by the behaviour of some people here on PP and SM too (I’ve already said so several times on the parallel discussion over on SM).

      To paraphrase what I said to our American friends, Asians are frequently their own worst enemies. Absolutely bloody typical. As the cliche goes, “Who needs enemies when you have friends like these…..”

      Nothing ever changes, it seems.

      Anyway, Shilpa will most likely win by a landslide tonight. It’ll be interesting to see how she reacts to the events in the outside world during her absence, along with the realisation that she had a huge amount of support, and the fact that she’s predicted to make millions now. Vindication enough, perhaps.

    140. armine jean — on 8th February, 2007 at 9:10 pm  

      if people werent so ignorant half of this world’s atrosties would not be occuring. its sad how we all bleed red when cut but color still define who we are

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