almostwitty: (Default)

Thanks to @bloggerheads and b3ta for pointing me to this amazing late-70s UK video, celebrating the diversity of London by … having the great Derek Griffiths impersonate a Chinese man by pulling on his eyebrows and singing about Chinkies, with a popular UK song from 1969 celebrating the ‘melting’ pot’ of the UK.

Derek Griffiths, btw, was the amiable black host of many a childrens’ TV show back in the 1970s and early 80s. I feel like my childhood has just been urinated on. But I can’t stop watching it…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Thanks to @bloggerheads and b3ta for pointing me to this amazing late-70s UK video, celebrating the diversity of London by … having the great Derek Griffiths impersonate a Chinese man by pulling on his eyebrows and singing about Chinkies, with a popular UK song from 1969 celebrating the ‘melting’ pot’ of the UK.

Derek Griffiths, btw, was the amiable black host of many a childrens’ TV show back in the 1970s and early 80s. I feel like my childhood has just been urinated on. But I can’t stop watching it…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

The Evening Standard carries a story about a black couple, outraged that their waitress scribbled ‘black couple’ on their bill, when they were the only couple dining.

The thing is, I’ve kind of done this myself while running my parents’ Chinese takeaway, scribbling descriptive notes on their order because I have a huge tendency to forget which order belongs to which customer. I’ve even done it when there’s only one customer – after all, another one will inevitably walk in and I’ll get all confused.

I’m not so sure I’ve gone as far as just describing someone in terms of their race, but there have been other unflattering descriptions such as baldy, NHS glasses etc. But if I went to a restaurant, and saw that scribbled on my order was “fat balding Chinese man”, I’d be a tad put out to say the least.

It’s certainly racism in the sense of discrimination against or antagonism towards other races, but there are probably bigger battles to fight. Like the woman at Question Time taking Jack Straw to task over African-Caribbean versus Afro-Caribbean while one of Britain’s biggest bigots sits on a panel next to Jack Straw. And then there’s the controversy in China over a “Chinese Idol” contestant who’s half-Chinese, half-black

Ooooh it’s complicated. But I’d rather we just end up dealing with people based on whether they’re nice to us or not…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

The Evening Standard carries a story about a black couple, outraged that their waitress scribbled ‘black couple’ on their bill, when they were the only couple dining.

The thing is, I’ve kind of done this myself while running my parents’ Chinese takeaway, scribbling descriptive notes on their order because I have a huge tendency to forget which order belongs to which customer. I’ve even done it when there’s only one customer – after all, another one will inevitably walk in and I’ll get all confused.

I’m not so sure I’ve gone as far as just describing someone in terms of their race, but there have been other unflattering descriptions such as baldy, NHS glasses etc. But if I went to a restaurant, and saw that scribbled on my order was “fat balding Chinese man”, I’d be a tad put out to say the least.

It’s certainly racism in the sense of discrimination against or antagonism towards other races, but there are probably bigger battles to fight. Like the woman at Question Time taking Jack Straw to task over African-Caribbean versus Afro-Caribbean while one of Britain’s biggest bigots sits on a panel next to Jack Straw. And then there’s the controversy in China over a “Chinese Idol” contestant who’s half-Chinese, half-black

Ooooh it’s complicated. But I’d rather we just end up dealing with people based on whether they’re nice to us or not…

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

The trouble with being non-white is that someone would have to be INCREDIBLY stupid to make a racist remark against me.

The most recent time I can recall is when a workmate said that I'd only got the job because I was non-white. But really, I had to let it slide because:

1. I'm not a violent man.
2. I'm not very good at defending myself, verbally or physically.
3. Punch-ups in the workplace are not a good thing.

I'm more likely to find people say things, and then not realise the connotation of what they mean, if you extend the thought forward.

Personally, I kinda think (alas) that white heterosexual people have to fight these battles. Because if a bunch of black, Asian or gay people march around saying this or that is wrong, most ignorant people would just think "Well, they would say that". If it was someone in *their* peer group, that's a different story.
almostwitty: (Default)

So…

For what it’s worth, I think the BBC had to treat the BNP – and Nick Griffin – as any other politician. To set up a rule deciding on which political parties deserved coverage – and then to ignore it because you didn’t like the results – would be about as unBritish as you can get.

But the results haven’t exactly been good. 22% of people polled by the Daily Telegraph say they would consider voting for the BNP, while the News of the World’s poll of 504 people found a third backed the BNP policy that UK-born ethnic minorities should lose all benefits to pay for them to leave, whilst in a comment article (now deleted), the Daily Mail suggests that second-generation immigrants born in the UK aren’t British (while also trying to denounce the BNP). Which would include Winston Churchill, Prince Charles and Stephen Fry. At least two people on my blog reading list have decried the BNP while stating that immigration is now a huge problem as far as they’re concerned.

So Pandora’s Box has snuck into the UK, and been opened. But how did it come to this?

Well, it would have helped enormously if the issue had been played, rather than everyone concentrating their firepower on a small relatively insignificant political party (although it did attract nearly 6% of the votes at the last European election).

The anti-fascist protesters seemed far more interested in making a big noise and getting on the news than actually, y’know, trying to stop Nick Griffin getting onto the programme, as their stated aim was. After all, he snuck in by the back way, which isn’t exactly a state secret – there are five entrances into the complex, after all.

The whole point of Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time was that he was meant to be regarded as a normal politician. So why have a scenario where the programme might as well been called An Evening With Nick Griffin, with every diverse person you can think of lining up to take potshots at him? If I was a disgruntled white working-class voter watching that, I’d have been far more inclined to think Nick Griffin was right. (Although the BBC said it just drew a random selection of people from where it was being recorded – West London in this case – and the questions asked were ones chosen by the studio audience)

It should have been a ‘normal’ programme, with him being asked questions about, say, the Royal Mail strike instead of letting him turn it into a bite-sized voxpop of what his policies were. After all, if the Greens or the Communists were invited on, Question Time wouldn’t be dominated by environmental or communist issues.

The political parties and the Establishment have seemed far more interested in ignoring the BNP and their associated issues, instead of perhaps engaging with the electorate. Thus, we have a situation where a few people genuinely seem to believe that the British government is far more interested in helping asylum seekers than British people.

Which flies in the face of a reality where legal routes into settling in the UK are very bureaucratic, and puts a lot of obstacles in the way of my (white British) friend trying to settle in the UK with his (Korean) wife and in the meantime the British government deports women dying of cancer, locks up the children of asylum seekers, leading to things like a ten-year-old Nigerian girl trying to commit suicide as she sits waiting in an “immigration removal centre” and the Catch 22 scenario whereby the Home Office won’t kick people out but neither will it allow them to apply for legality in the first place.

Yes, being against immigration isn’t being racist. But the talk is already moving on from “new” immigrants to current immigrants and their sons and daughters. If you saw me walking down the street, I wouldn’t look British. But I sound, feel, and am British. How long will it be before I have to carry an identity card – or a yellow star – to prove that to people?

Mirrored from almost witty.

almostwitty: (Default)

Nigroids from Ernest Jackson [livejournal.com profile] sentience popped down to her local chemist, and found a tin of liquorice lozenges. Called Nigroids. Through a bit of Googling, we discover that the manufacturer of said Nigroid liquorice lozenges - Ernest Jackson & Co. Ltd - are apparently owned by Cadbury’s.

I’m still rather amazed they’re still called that. What possible reason would you have for calling liquorice lozengs Nigroids ?!

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

almostwitty: (Default)

So, the man third in line to the British throne is caught on camera joking around and calling one of his Army colleagues and ‘mates’ a “Paki”. Apparently, it was all just a bit of joking, Harry gets called ginger quite often (so that’s alright then) and anyway it was all three years ago, he’s a different man, we apologise on Harry’s behalf, can we please all forget it now? Lest it be forgotten, this is also the same guy who wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party.

Er…. no.

It points out the huge flaw in British society where the guy is so cut-off from the rest of British society, he’s missed the fact it’s been an insult for the last thirty-or-so years. And unless said Army colleague goes around saying “Hello, I’m a Paki” (which, frankly, seems a tad unlikely), you certainly don’t call a friend that.

What amazes me are the people who rush to his defence. Have they not been anywhere in the last decade or so? You rather expect latent knee-jerk racism from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, since he’s 2000 years old. But from a 24-year-old?

Personally, unless I see an actual apology from Harry - not his office or whatever - then I’ll continue to believe he’s ignorant at best, a Hooray-Henry racist thug at worst.

Originally published at almost witty. You can comment here or there.

almostwitty: (evil)
A work blogger I respect recently made a joke about their local Chinese takeaway mixing their Ls and their Rs when making a mythical dish. The in-house work magazine recently pointed out a menu slip-up meaning that a dish was described as "Lice" instead of rice, not noting that the two letters are very very far apart on the keyboard.

Naturally, that's immediately raised my hackles and slightly offended me, but I can't decide if it's racist or not. On one hand, people do impersonations of Polish or Birmingham accents all the time. On the other hand, said jokes wouldn't work if you were attributing them to a Turkish takeaway.

Then again, my native-Chinese mandarin teacher habitually mixes up her Ls and her Rs, which rather rankles with me internally. Oh, and the cartoon illustrations in the textbook she uses helpfully distinguish Chinese people by giving them slanted eyes.

*sigh* Oh it's so confusing. But I definitely feel a whiff of genuine offence.
almostwitty: (evil)
Spanish basketball team pictured with slitty-eyed gesture

To recap, the Spanish basketball team pose for a pre-Olympic-Games advert making slit-eyed gestures in one of Spain's major newspapers. Freelance Madrid-based journalist Sid Lowe points this out in the Guardian, spreading the story everywhere else with predictable outrage in English-speaking media.

To which the Spanish wonder what the fuss is about. The Spanish-language paper El Mundo debates whether the advert was racist, and accuses the British press of trying to smear Spain's good name. One Spanish basketballer apologises, saying "It's wrong to interpret it as racist.", while the head coach says "I don't think it was offensive".

Now, brilliantly, the original journalist who filed the report has filed a piece
defending himself against accusations that he had a hidden agenda, pointing out that he never said it was racist. Of course, if you see someone carrying an umbrella, you don't wonder if it's raining or not.

Oh, and here's the Spanish tennis team making a similar gesture. Interestingly, a random sampling of Chinese people in Beijing suggests they aren't that bothered - but then they don't have the history of racial harassment.
almostwitty: (Default)

Was cycling home after another uneventful day at work (aside from bumping into Heledd in the shop, who apologised profusely for not getting back to me about the cinema and stuff, saying she was busy, and suggesting coffee at 11am today)… when I basically got accosted by a bunch of racist bikers. Who were about 14.

As I was cycling home along the river, a couple of kids cycled past and asked me “Are you Chinese?”, “What’s Chinese for hello?” and other crap like that. After a while, I answered just to get them off my back, and cycled ahead. Then they cycled past me - about 7 of them, started doing the usual Chinese slurs and insults, and then surrounded me and tried to *push* me off the bike.

For a while I could have just stuck my foot out and kicked them off their bikes, but then of course I could get criminally prosecuted for assault etc., and that would get me into way too much trouble.

Bloody Cardiff. Yet another reason why it’s probably just not my kinda town.

.

Profile

almostwitty: (Default)
almostwitty

August 2017

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20 212223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 10:24 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios