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The guilt game is breaking.

One of those Strictly Come Dancing (which, to my disappointment, contains none of the bizarre pornographic imagery its title conjured up) chappies apparently called his dance partner 'Paki'. She was offended at that, and rightly so, especially because she isn't even Pakistani. He apologised for causing offence. She accepted his apology and remains his dance partner.

So, that's it, yes? Offence, apology, apology accepted and since it happened off air, there's no reason for anyone else to get upset. Ah, but the Righteous are desperate these days. They demand this man pays for his remark with his career. "Off with his dancing shoes!" they cry. "Cast him into the wilderness." The genuine apology he gave freely and without coercion is no good to the Righteous. He should have waited until they demanded it. He didn't play the guilt game and now they want him hanged.

Brucie the Forsyth, that grand old man of entertainment (never could stand him myself but if he was on TV, you could guarantee scantily clad dolly birds were somewhere nearby), said it was all blown out of proportion, the name-caller didn't mean it, he was joking, accepted his joke went too far, apologised and that should be that.

Brucie has now been forced to apologise for that. He apologised after being ordered to do so by the Righteous so they have accepted his apology and he can keep his job. He knew how to play that game.

Meanwhile a group of Australians did some kind of routine with their faces blacked up so they could pretend to be the Jackson Five. The Righteous went into overdrive at that. Quite how you could pretend to be the Jackson Five as a visible mix of Asian and white lads isn't clear, but the makeup went too far for the Righteous to bear. What the Righteous notably fail to mention is that the one who played Michael Jackson wasn't in blackface. He wasn't white either. He was an Asian man in whiteface. That has raised not a single Righteous hackle. Not one. It happened in Australia, as far away as you can get without leaving the planet entirely, the act was performed by men from a mixture of races, not just white, and yet our Righteous hold it up as an example of terrible, terrible racism. We're supposed to feel guilty for the actions of people in another country? Desperate, Righteous, desperate.

Over on the Guardian website, Marina Hyde is making considerable mileage out of all this. I wonder if her name is Jekyll when she takes a day off?

And though the blackface Jackson 5 insist they meant no harm, intent is only relevant to a degree. Of course, it's nice that they didn't think they were being deliberately racist.

Thoughtcrime. They didn't think they were being deliberately racist because they weren't. Intent is not 'relevant only to a degree', intent is the core of real racism. Real racists don't dress up and prance around on TV. Real racists hurl intentional abuse, and cause intentional physical and mental harm to their victims. Real racists don't apologise if anyone takes offence to what they are doing. Real racists intend that offence. Intent is the key. It is not 'relevant to a degree' it is the principal determining factor in real racism.

That is at the heart of the Righteous failure to control people with their 'racist' jibe. Someone makes one slip, realises they could cause offence, apologises at once and the Righteous will not let it lie. They must cry 'racist' and call for flogging or the stocks. They must drag out every little mistake and keep bringing it back up whenever that person tries to speak. Why do people vote BNP? Why wouldn't they? They've been told they are racist anyway so what's to lose?

There are real racists out there. Not very many, but they are there. I've seen our local Palestinian kebab shop owner take some abuse from drunk racists. Real ones, not the thoughtcrime ones the Righteous love to pick on. Real, nasty, big and dangerous ones. Fortunately, the shop owner can keep his cool in those situations because if it came to blows, I happen to know his friends are all at the back of the shop and they're not drunk. I wouldn't like to see him arrested for beating a drunk to a pulp. I also wouldn't like to think what was in their kebabs. He doesn't normally prepare them out of sight...

I'd like to see the Righteous demand an apology from those real, drunk racists. They won't. Ever. They'll stick to raging at people who make one slip, who recognise they are wrong and who will apologise on demand. The Righteous will never tackle the real racists because they cannot be induced to play the guilt game. They will not apologise.

These random accusations and insistent battering of non-racists in order to force some kind of Inquisition-style confession out of them merely allows the real racists to hide. It allows those real racists to gather support from ordinary people who are told their every thought and deed is racist - they just haven't realised it because (Righteous buzzword alert) they are 'ignorant'. So why would they shun someone else who's regarded as racist? They know how shallow the insult is, so why would they think anyone else tarred with that brush would be different?

Fortunately it's starting to break. People are questioning the summary judgement of 'racism' passed upon them. They are starting to shrug the word off. They are realising what real racism is and they know they aren't it. The Righteous still use 'ignorant' as a put-down but that's just annoying people now. It's lost its power too.

Their collapse is a matter of time. The Righteous have never innovated. They have used the same techniques for centuries. Their methods work for a while but eventually they break down. Then it goes quiet for a while, but never permanently. Only until the next generation who have not heard the techniques, and who can be shielded from history books, become available. They'll be back.

Another one from Miss Hyde:

It seems ludicrous that there's still a need to explain why the likes of Anton Du Beke have behaved offensively

Obviously there is. So explain it. Why was his apology for causing unintentional offence not an end to the matter? Why is it just fine for a black actor to appear in a show in whiteface, but not okay for an Asian or a white man to appear on TV in blackface? Has anyone ever actually heard an explanation beyond "Well, if you don't understand, there's no point me trying to explain" or "Isn't it obvious?" or "Just shut up and get back to your BNP rally, you racist"?

There is no explanation because it is patently nonsense. The black actor in whiteface is not being racist. He is being an entertainer, playing a part. His intent is entertainment, not racism. Why, then, is the white actor in blackface being racist rather than doing exactly the same thing? Why is the white or Asian man committing thoughtcrime without even realising it, but the black man is not?

Fobbing people off with 'ignorant' and other pompous put-downs no longer works. If you want us to feel guilty, Righteous, you now have to explain exactly why you feel we should bow to your superior morals. You have to explain exactly why one group imitating another is okay while the reverse is not. You finally have to answer that question with more than "Because I say so."

You can't. It is not logically possible to produce any reasonable explanation for your divisive, racist attitudes.

Finally, for any Righteous who have managed to read this far, if you want someone to feel guilty about slavery, here's someone who had a slave-trader ancestor and who you really should force an apology from. Rather than chase the rest of us for things our ancestors didn't do, I give you, on a plate, someone whose ancestor did do it. In your favourite Grauniad, too.

Don't say I'm not generous to you.

Update: Damn, the squirrel has this covered too. There's just no stopping his squirrelly wrath.
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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
10th Oct, 2009 00:12 (UTC)
You're too young to remember the Black ad White Minstrel Show on a Saturday night (back in the 60s). Magnificent singing and wonderful entertainment they were - until the Righteous arrived.
10th Oct, 2009 01:18 (UTC)
Not that young. I remember it.

Young enough that I wasn't sure if they were white people with black-painted faces or black people with white-painted eyes and mouths. Didn't care, as it happened. They were just singing.

Nowadays it's a horrible, terrible thing filled with thoughtcrime-unintentional-racism. I don't recall any racist complaints or comments at the time. it was just another song show. Our TV was monochrome anyway, they could have been purple and yellow for all we knew. I wasn't a big fan of song shows.

At that time I preferred Harry Worth and Jimmy Clitheroe... Damn, I'm old. I think another wrinkle just appeared.

Best warm up the iron.
10th Oct, 2009 05:18 (UTC)
I apologise for the programme-makers of the 1970s

I remember the B&W Minstrel Show. We used to watch it when we were babysat by my Gran, so it must've gone on into the 70s.

What days they were. "Mr and Mrs" never had a 'gay' couple.

"Thought for the Day" only had Christian messages.

As for "One *Man* and his Dog".

What racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic swine we must have been in those days. And we didn't even realise it.

I wish to offer my humble apologies. I'm not sure to whom, but definitely to someone.
10th Oct, 2009 00:33 (UTC)
Du Berk
He is a bit of a prat - have met him and listened to his bullshit. Given the way he is, this was an 'off the cuff without brain in gear' comment that someone found offensive, or at least enough to get them a few bob from a newspaper. Then again, would not put it past the Strictly PR to have made more of it to get publicity for the show given the ratings war with the hex factor. Remember that any publicity is good publicity - and the righteous have assisted in publicising it even more. The PR folks could count on that, given the obsessive nature of the British public being offended on behalf of others.

Brucie's explanation about du berks comment (before retraction and apology) was spot on

10th Oct, 2009 01:22 (UTC)
Re: Du Berk
I get the impression Beaker is just a babbler who once in a while has to go 'Whoops!' and apologise.

You might have a point though. There is no such thing as bad publicity - can't remember who said it but it's true.

Nobody might have heard of Harry Potter if those American Bible belt folk hadn't had their book burnings. Dan Brown's books are sold by annoying the Vatican and getting them to do the marketing.

I can see the show's producers thinking 'Oh yes, keep the story going'.
10th Oct, 2009 04:56 (UTC)
"And though the blackface Jackson 5 insist they meant no harm, intent is only relevant to a degree."

Well, except in law.

Perhaps if she ever accidentally runs someone down we can try her for murder? 'No, no, Ms Hyde', the judge will say as he pulls on the black cap, 'Intent is only relevant to a degree...'

JuliaM (http://thylacosmilus.blogspot.com/)
10th Oct, 2009 15:25 (UTC)
There have been a lot of cases recently where people have been sentenced on the basis of what 'might have happened'.

Some judges are already thinking the Hyde way.
10th Oct, 2009 05:40 (UTC)
No Pakis harmed during filming of this episode
And why exactly should Ms. Rouass be so offended at being referred to as a Paki? She isn't one, so she must be offended by the suggestion that she is, which implies she thinks there's something inferior about being a Paki, no?
10th Oct, 2009 10:05 (UTC)
I remember Jade Goody went from racist to saint after her death. The righteous quickly changed tack on that one.
But back to the Strictly case. I think most commenters must admit that when he called his partner a Paki it was meant to make fun of her. Everyone knows that the word Paki has racial connotations. Unless they live on another planet. It conjures up pictures of a deprived backward place with filthy streets and poor pay and living conditions. A place where Islamic extremism leads to death and distruction. A foul smelling country where everyone is trying to escape to the UK for a better living.
He quickly apologised and that should have been the end of the matter.
10th Oct, 2009 10:10 (UTC)
Cretians are from Crete

Pakistani is a nationality, not a race.
10th Oct, 2009 11:29 (UTC)
the guilt game
Until 1947 there were no pakistanis.They were all Indian ,just that a lot of them were muslims,who were allowed to form there own state.The girl was annoyed at being called a paki because Indians hate Pakistanis,Simple.They are the SAME race.Andy M
10th Oct, 2009 11:31 (UTC)
the guilt game
Oops, should be (their)Andy M
10th Oct, 2009 11:40 (UTC)
From the BBC
"Rouass, whose parents are Moroccan..."
10th Oct, 2009 15:26 (UTC)
Re: From the BBC
As I understand it, one parent is Moroccan, the other Indian.
10th Oct, 2009 16:33 (UTC)
Say it isn't true
You mean I can't trust the beeb?

My point stands though, I think. It's just as 'racist' to be offended at being called a Paki when you're not as it is to call somebody one.

I'm fair skinned and blue eyed (it's an old picture) and I've been mistaken for a German on my travels, but if someone called me a 'bloody kraut' I'd just be mildly confused, not furious.
12th Oct, 2009 07:31 (UTC)
Hey Hey It's Saturday
The big deal was that Harry Connick Jr got upset by the Jackson Five thing. It wasn't really very funny anyway but upsetting our honoured guest.... gasp! Oh, the shame.
It's really quite depressing because I came to this country thinking Aussies were independent spirits and made of stronger stuff. Three years ago I'd have expected their response to some white Yank sleb guest judge giving a routine 0 not because it was unfunny crap (which it was) but because he chose to take offence on behalf of all the black people to be something like 'piss off then, mate'. Does no-one in the Australian media have the nuts to tell the guy that black people are perfectly able to decide for themselves they've been offended and don't need a white paternalistic twat to explain it for them? Not any more apparently.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )