Wednesday, 12 July 2017

To Welsh and the "N" Word

You might not be familiar with the Black US Comedian  Dick Gregory .but he he is a pioneer who broke with the minstrel tradition that presented stereotypical black characters. Gregory drew on current events, especially racial issues, for much of his material:

 "Segregation is not all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?"
Many of today's Black  comedians  owe him a debt.

One story goes that he went to see the legendary Lenny Bruce for whom  Dick Gregory was his inspiration,.

Gregory it is said was shocked by Bruce's use of the "N" word but after after meeting Bruce realised that he was pointing out that words depend on the user and Bruce wanted to create a scenario where offensive words lost their meaning alas this never happended.

The row over what the Tory MP Anne Marie Morris use of "the nigger in the woodpile" is important.

Not so muchin that  she used such an archaic term because it clearly  an offensive phrase in a committee full of Tory MPs,

 But mainly because  as Another Angry Voice pointed out

...of the vast swarms of right-wing Tory sympathisers on the Internet defending the phrase and crying that white people can't lob the word nigger around with impunity any more!
"Why can't we use idioms like this" they cry.  "Its political correctness gone mad."

How many time however have you herd a Welsh Person being offended by being called a "sheep shagger", or perhaps more  relevantly  the term "To Welsh on a bet" which seems to suggest we are dishonest,

You can't claim you are offended by insults about your race whilst using offensive language about others.

It is a pity that Lenny Bruce intention to make these words meaningless taking away the deliberate offensive intentions of the meaning did not happen. But it was always doomed to fail

Do those defending Anne Mari Morris really want to return to the 1970's situation where Comedians on our  Television would make racist jokes , with impunity and anyone in the audience from a minority would have to sit with a forced grin  and say they can take a joke . 

Since the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump an ugly politics has emerged , which we hoped that we have defeated .

Right Wing Racists believe that they are now free to vent their spleen with impunity and we must stand against it and it is important that our politicians react to this by making sure they do no revert to such archaic language.

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