- Tue May 06, 2014 10:45 am
The 2 real points from that article which actually address the issue:
"let’s look at that word for a moment, uncensored, in all its ugliness – in a manner that was meant to be mischievously offensive"
No it wasn't, it wasn't said 'cheekily', it was said in the manner of someone who grew up with the offensive version of the rhyme.
"Clarkson’s casual racism is the kind of thing that landlords think when they are deciding not to let properties to black people in the supposed multiracial utopia that is London. It is the kind of thing that led to the racist van campaign. The kind of thing that brings your kids home from school in floods of tears, that makes employers think twice before calling you to interview."
No it's bloody not.
The things which have genuinely, and deeply affected me haven't been misconceptions that 'Asians sweat curry', or questions as to whether my semen is brown/black - that's an indicator of ignorance. The ones which have hurt the most (to name a few); People shouting at me to go home while I'm in the street (most recently in Southsea last month), someone remarking about me in a pub that 'Muslims can't handle their drink' (last year), assumptions that my relationship with my girlfriend is hidden from my family, as for the shame it will bring (last week), being asked 'where I'm really from' (on a monthly basis) - and that's just the ones I can be bothered to recall.
Clarkson using this word without malice, in context of a rhyme was just that - an indicator of someone who (raised in a time of prejudice, and has form for varied types of prejudice) made a mistake born of his own personal ignorance. Even muttering the word was enough to cause offence - he was naive enough to think that muttering over the word would be enough to cover it (an indicator he wasn't proudly exclaiming the word as 'banter').
And yes, whip up a brief spate of faux outrage - but I doubt that if you hear a borderline racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic comment in your day-to-day life that you ACTUALLY do something about it. All very well to say 'oh, yes - I'd NEVER be friends with someone who is prejudiced', but let me say this: We all are.
We all have tolerated prejudice (both mild and serious) within our daily lives, for reasons of self preservation - and the reaction to this Clarkson thing is that of a society which doesn't stand for any type of discrimination, full stop. Well we're not.
This is just another excuse for people to showcase how sensitive they are to the vulnerable on society through the medium of comment, without actually addressing larger issues. And quite frankly, is pissing me off.
Find something worth fighting for - there's plenty out there.
For instance: how would the UK have reacted if the snatched girls of Nigeria was to have taken place in a Caucasian country? Do you think it would be different? The sad answer is yes. Hundreds of non-White girls are driven into trafficking while waiting to be deported out of the UK on a daily basis, people don't care so much because these issues don't resonate with them in the same way as it was someone like them. Take the McCann situation for example.
Real racism & prejudice is much deeper than whether an old shouty man said the 'n' word without malice in an unbroadcasted recording, and if we're talking about a moral compass in race relations - within context, this Clarkson argument is miniscule & laughable.