Playing the race card

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by JessopSmythe, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    I realise that this may be a contoversial topic and ask you all (inc mods :wink: ) to read the following post carefully before responding.

    Just a thought that struck me whilst reading the girls v boys thread. Somebody mentioned the analogy with the race issue and it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend earlier in the day.

    Why do people feel the need to shout "discrimination" every time they don't get their own way? I know it could apply to all sorts of groups but the two examples I know of happen to involve the unneccessary playing of the race card.

    Firstly, a friend of mine living in suburbia (doesn't matter where) was involved in a case fairly recently after the building of a new mosque in his area. At first there were no problems. Being a quiet town, pretty much everybody got on well regardless of race or religion. However an illegal 2nd story got built onto the mosque without any kind of planning permission. The local residents, quite rightly, comlained to the council. Unfortunately, when the planning officers instucted the mosque officials to stop building work and go through the proper channels to obtain planning permission they were told that any attempt to interfere would result in a racial harrassment case. The council backed down and gave retrospective planning permission without consulting the residents at all. Hey presto, one neighbourhood full of instant racists.

    I'm not racist in any way but can fully sympathise with these residents. Why play the race card unneccessarily and create the very problem you're trying to avoid? Surely this kind of action only goes to provide ammunition for those that are actively racist.

    As I said, a bit controversial. Please reply carefully or not at all. This is not, in any way shape or form, an attack on any race or religious group.

    NB, I've not forgotten the second example, just realised how long this post was getting :)
  2. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Did anyone else hear Lenny Henry at the comedy awards when he accepted his?

    Having done the usual bit about thanking anyone and everyone, he finished by commenting on how few people "like me" there were in the business when he stated out. He then stated that things haven't changed much, saying you still find very few folk from Dudley who manage to make it :wink:

    I am all in favour of equal opportunities, including examining such things as height restrictions etc that may inadvertently discriminate against ceertain groups of people, but it is worrying that there seems to be a whole industry building up whereby persistent claims for compensaton seem to take precedence over actually trying to gain realistic employment.
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Great thread JS... cudos for starting it. Isn't it a shame though that attitude in today's society means that before starting a thoroughly interesting discussion, based on free speech and fairness, that we have to tread on egg-shells such as the comments below - just to get it started.

    It is indicative of today's society, and very unfortunate that we should have to be so careful about starting this debate off.

    I am not a racist, but I do feel 'political correctness' has simply gone way too far right now. My wife works with special needs children and is involved in the management of playgroups and nurseries. One year for example, our local nursery celebrated Diwali with all the children during October/November, but then chose to have a rule that said no Christmas cards should be sent by the children.

    Another example is the dressing up cupboard. There are rules made by the relevant authorities that say costumes of certain countries must be present for the children to wear, but not of our (my) own country i.e. there are no rules stating that Welsh Costumes must be present. Hot Cross Buns were banned in one area, alternative languages were offered as a choice in schools before my country's also deep rooted historical language was offered - all totally unfair rules in themselves. I am stunned on times when she quotes the 'politically correct' section of the government nursery and playgroup rule book. Gone way too far.... way too far.... in my opinion.

    There are loads more examples I am sure and I look forward to reading a thought provoking, educating, pragmatic and stimulating debate here.

    Nice one JS....
  4. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    It's not just in our country either. There are several instances of Christmas messages that have caused "offence" because someone said "Merry Christmas" rather than "Happy Holidays" or similar. I'm not Jewish and not about to wish anyone a Happy Hannukah (or however you spell it) and I don't expect people to get offended should I offer them Christmas wishes. If they do then that's just tough.

    I think that deep down we're all "racist" to a degree. I don't know anyone that isn't biggotted about something. It's not all black and white, there are many shades of grey and we all have our preconceptions about other races and cultures.

    I think as a country we're bending over backwards to keep everybody happy, and at the same time doing a good job of ignoring the "natives" as it were. Our country is what could be termed a "Christian" nation regardless of the number secular citizens - it's disgusting that there are people in positions of authority that are attempting to subvert the way that we celebrate Christmas by trying not to upset other religions. I'm not even religious but I refuse to be told that wishing someone Merry Christmas is wrong. it makes me quite angry :evil:

    Celebrate this time of year as you see fit, whatever your race or religion.
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    The absurdity of the rules was brilliantly illustrated when a ban was placed on a poster for a Carol Service being placed in a library, even though there were no objections at all from the other religious groups in the area, many of whom offered to display posters on their own notice boards :!:
  6. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    One year for example, our local nursery celebrated Diwali with all the children during October/November, but then chose to have a rule that said no Christmas cards should be sent by the children.

    Which surely is a racist slur on OUR culture, that these children should be asked to celebrate Diwali but banned from partaking in a tradition we (and others in other countries) celebrate each year.

    I realise there are 'pros and cons' with the Christmas celebrations, but just as surely as there are pros and cons with celebrating other cultures' festivities. What has become apparent to me in the last 20 or 30 years or so is this: the English in general WERE guilty of unreasonable and racist behaviour towards other races/cultures (after all, it allowed programmes like 'Love thy Neighbour' to be aired) But it seems as though we're paying the price for that now in such a way whereby we have lost any identity or culture of our own in case it's deemed to be upsetting to others. The strange thing is, it's usually the English PC brigade who 'predict' that such matters could be offensive to other races, but the members of the other races usually don't bat an eyelid!

    I think it's great that London in particular IS a home for such a diversity of cultures nowadays, but that shouldn't deprive us of our own culture (within reasonable grounds, of course)
  7. Di

    Di Active Member

    Such as:

    Americans don't have "The Fat Controller" because thats "fattist". They have "Sir Top 'n' Hat.

    They're not allowed Postman Pat because he only has three fingers!

    There are many more like these in kids stories though they escape my memory at the moment. (I used to have a brain, then came two or three gigs a night for a fortnight!) :( :wink:
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I thought the Postman Pat problem was in Japan, where there is a group of gangsters who each have a finger removed.

  9. BottyBurp

    BottyBurp Member

    Hmmm good thread. I'm gonna be totally honest and open now... In for a penny etc.

    I think I'm subconciously racist because all my own personal experience with coloured people (except one!) has been negative. These experiences have to have had an effect on the way I perceive people.

    In the workplace, where I'm my own boss, I actively discourage political correctness and refuse to have anything to do with it. I'm a firm believer in common sense.

    The PC brigade have gone too far and I believe have made things worse for minorities because people like me openly laugh at and scorn any measures or policies put in place by the PC brigade.

    I celebrate my own culture's religious festivals and respect other religions festivals, but refuse to obey PC dictats saying what I can or cannot put up in my workplace.
  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    As far as kids shows goes, the most famous example must be Noddy's Golliwogs being changed into Goblins.

    When I was a kid there was an older chap in the band who's playing unfortunatly started to get worse and worse. When the conductor tried to move him to a lower position in the band, he was accused of making the move because he was anti-semitic..... when in fact nobody in the band even knew he was jewish. After that, any criticisism of or disagreement with this player was met with similar accusations - which made some in the band become "racist" towards him.

    I strongly believe in equal ops and respect for other peoples' culture/race/religion, but I do think political correctness has gone way too far now and I have a big problem with so-called positive discrimination. I am a "WASP" and live in a predominantly white area - to deny our right to celebrate our own culture for fear of offending "minority groups" is ridiculous.
  11. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I too think the PC brigade have a twisted view on what is racist and what is not. They cause division where none exists and to my mind should be taken to court under their own incitement to racial hatred legislation.
    The rise of the BNP is a direct consequence of their meddling.
    I have many colleagues and friends from the so called ethnic minorities. Some of them readily condemn racists, others say its natural and they are racist themselves (usually along religious grounds). But every single one of them to a man has the same view on the PC meddlers who profess to speak for them - they absolutely loathe them and think they cause more harm than good.
  12. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Hey nobody wants your sort round here :evil: - ruining our picnics and buzzing around our beer when sitting outside the pub!

    I admit it I'm racist against wasps.


    Whats a WASP?
  13. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    White Anglo-saxon protestant.

    It gets annoying at school when some pupils from minority groups try to call a teacher racist when you are treating them like any other pupils. I had an incident where I was telling off a pupil who wasn't working, who then tried to convince other pupils that I was telling him off because he was Asian, to which the response from another Asian pupil was 'no its because your a pratt.'
  14. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    I cant believe all this PC rubish, it wasnt untill Abigail started at playschool that i realised exactly how bad it really is.

    some of the most popular nursery rhymes and games altered just so that they dont upset people.

    I was singing Ba Ba Black sheep with her and was lectured BY ABIGAIL herself, on the colour of the sheep i was using. they were no longer allowed yo say black sheep, and they had to change the colour of the sheep each time it was sung!!!

    Ity was the same at all of the plays shes taken part in, having to ask if i can take a photograph if my own daughter just incase i upset somebody.

    Its all taken far to seriously if you ask me, and encourages people to speake out about it, which aperntly we are no longer allowed to do.
    What on earth happened to the freedom of speach!!!!!

    Theres much more on this topic, as it is somthing that drives me completely bonkers even thinking aboiut it and as its Christmas Eve i feel i should leave it there...........for now!

    Merry Christmas everybody and a Happy New Year
  15. wewizrobbed

    wewizrobbed Member

    Yeah you're also not allowed to call it a 'black board' anymore even though it is a board that is black. It is perfectly correct though to have a white board because obviously that isn't racist whereas black board is. :!:
  16. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    Great thread and I'm sure we can all be sensible about our postings, so I don't believe there will be any need for action from moderators.

    I agree with what has been said wholeheartedly.

    There was an incident where I work a few years ago (it made the front page of the sun) where a particular asian person had broken just about every rule that there was to break including numerous safety critical rules just so that he could nip nito town (he then couldn't find his way back). The 'offences' he committed are grounds for summary dismissal, but, management could not sack him because he played the race card. Instead of fighting this 'racism' slur, management decided that it would be less messy if they just warned him. So, he kept his job and then sued the Sun (and won out of court I believe) for defamation of character/libel.

    It is this sort of disgusting behaviour that makes people racist. I also firmly agree with what an earlier post said about the fact that the most racist are the ethnic minorities themselves.

  17. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    it always surprises me when things like this happen... i guess i never saw it coming! So many little things built up into this massive issue. I've known so many guys from countries around the world who laugh at it themselves, and the number of irish jokes i get told, i could claim millions in damages!! Only problem is I usually pass them on to everyone else.

    Isn't there an old saying, if you can't laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at? Taking yourself so seriously that you think everything is a personal attack can't be good for your lifestyle, or your blood pressure!
  18. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I really want to chip in on this one, but most of the things i'd like to say have already been said. With the exception of a few.

    Firstly i agree that changing the name of a black board, or black sheep is just rediculous, the board/sheep is black. i often drive through the country and see white and black sheep. should they be slaughtered for being black? no? so why can't we call them black sheepses? what's next, we're not allowed to call oranges oranges?

    However, i disagree with some things said about most racists coming from the ethnic minorities. They're all around us, black, white, brown, pink, yellow, whatever colour. There are some very racist people around, and it's wrong to point the finger at any one group. Each group winds each other up. without white racists, you wouldn't have black racists. They feed off each other. Really it (racism) and religion are excuses for men, and it nearly always is men, to fight. men want to show they are powerful, want to exert some sort of manly impression "i've got the biggest todger" and therefore will find any excuse to beat people up. doesn't matter what reason.

    However we say racists come from ethnic minorities cos of the large numbers of ethnic minorities who can and do play the "is it cos i is black" card. A classic example was when i was in a pub in sheffield a couple of years back. a busy popular student pub. i went in to do the quiz and was sitting next to the bar with a mate of mine, just next to the gap in the bar to go behind the bar. Anyho, the barman refused to serve this muslim/pakistani lad (and from growing up in a predominantly muslim school it nearly is always guys born in england whos family are of pakistani/muslim background, those that have moved over, or the hindus, the sikhs, and the jews all far more placid and less likely to start a fight, from what i can remember, the italians were sometime quite troublesom, but not too bad). The lad plays the race card, comes over to the gap to fight it out with the landlady (right in my face). calling her all names. she says, "no. we have the right to refuse to serve anyone, and you are barred from this pub", to which the guy calls her a *BLEEP* and tells her he's going to come back and burn the pub down. then can't seem to understand why he's not being served, and still insists on being served. eventually his mate pulls him out.

    but if you were me, or any sane person, and someone told you you weren't going to be served for whatever reason, surely you'd just go to the next pub (about 5 minute walk in either direction). especially as they're all much nicer pubs with much nicer beer. clearly this guy had an ulterior motive.

    I didn't ask him though cos he looked rate hard!! :?
  19. Moy

    Moy Active Member

    OK guys I am Scottish so leave me alone :wink:
  20. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    A number of us on here have cited examples where we've had to respect "minority" cultures and deny our own - it seems especially prevalent in schools - and I think it stinks. BUT..... how p*ed off must folk of other religions and cultures be when the shops and tv ram Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter down everyone's throats for months?!
    Just a thought.