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I is not racist

Deary me. Such a silly little TV programme causing such a stir. Let me just mount my “I haven’t been watching it this time” high horse, and we can get started.

Firstly I’ll state that I’m not interested in who said what, as my firm belief is that any kind of racist statement is a deplorable outcome of ill-education.

Secondly I’ll state that whilst I haven’t really been following this, it does seem to be very much a “reap what you sow” kind of situation, with the sickening implication that Channel 4 are probably, privately, pleased with the increased viewing figures and profile for the show.

Thirdly, it would seem that the main conflict isn’t race but intellect*.

After an exchange of words with Shetty, in which Shetty told Goody she needed elocution lessons, Goody launched into an expletive-ridden rant to Lloyd and O’Meara in which she said “fake” Shetty needed “a day in the slums”. [via]

The key issue, for me, is not how we correct this now, but how we MUST act to correct this for the future. And yes, as ever, it’ll be back to that old adage, education, education, education.

We visited my Gran last night, and she was talking about how her mother was a bit of a stickler when it came to talking properly. She constantly picked up on slang or lazy pronunciation, and I guess part of that has filtered down, through my Mum, to me. I know that I’m very aware of how my nieces and nephews speak.

Why is this relevant? Because I firmly believe that you don’t need to be highly educated to understand how to be civilised.

I’ll take a wild shot in the dark and suggest that there is a chance that certain people in the Big Brother house have been, well not led astray as such but certainly influenced by the media, or the culture in which they surround themselves.

I guess my point is that, whilst I would never condone it, if you hold the view that every single Pakistani should be shipped back to their country of origin, then that’s fine. It’s an ill-educated opinion but you are entitled to your own beliefs.

However, and this reaches out beyond racism, maybe there is a need not to educate people that racism is wrong, but simply to educate to the point of understanding that, if you have an opinion and you cannot state your opinion without resorting to inflammatory language, then you need to keep that opinion to yourself.

Maybe then we can rid ourselves of all the thick, ill-educated twats in the world…

In all seriousness, the declining standard of education, coupled with the underlying racist tones in our culture and the increasing lack of respect for each other, continues to bemuse, perplex and worry. Whilst this current furore was started on a TV programme, one which is largely looked down on by the rest of the media, it does nicely encapsulate a lot of what is presently wrong with the UK. A culture in microcosm if you will.

Unfortunately, it seems our culture is a bit of a car crash and while you know you shouldn’t keep watching, you just can’t take your eyes from the microscope.

* I have some experience in this area, as it’s very easy to alienate yourself from others by attacking their intellect. I’ll happily admit I’m a bit of a snob, but I’m certainly not the best educated person (not that the two are mutually inclusive), however nothing is as distasteful as the know-it-all. I realise this post may be seen to be in that vein, but it’s merely my humble observation.

# ~ News 15 Comments


Comments (15)

Ewan McIntoshJanuary 18th, 2007 at 11:22 am

Education is on to it:
http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2007/01/little_big_brot.html

but the ‘it’s silliness not mean/racist’ angle is the one that bullies use to get out of their responsibility when they’re stung: “It was only for fun”. I don’t know about Scots law but in France there is an overriding law that one must know the law. If you break it, then the ignorant are as guilty as the premeditated. For me, it makes sense.

I have no doubts that C4 are enjoying the coverage (all publicity is good etc etc) but their continual lack of action on such a fundamental of our modern society is endorsing it, especially when they chuck housemates out willy nilly for truly silly things, like talking about their nominations.

As Ross from Friends would say: “Let’s just stop all this…. silliness”.

RichardJanuary 18th, 2007 at 12:33 pm

You’re right about education. When some people are unable to articulate their thoughts and feelings properly to others, they get frustrated, and ultimately angry. People like that can’t resolve disagreements by persuasion or reason, so they resort to personal attacks (verbal and sometimes physical).

Drama QueenJanuary 18th, 2007 at 1:30 pm

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DragonJanuary 18th, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Revolution…wall…Jade Goody.

You know what I’m saying!

anxiousJanuary 18th, 2007 at 5:57 pm

I can’t really comment on the Big Brother thing as I also haven’t been watching.

But Richard’s definitely onto something I think. At “posher” schools, they tend to have debating societies and the like which give people confidence in expressing their opinion and reasoning with others. We had no such thing at our school and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that I rarely get involved in verbal debates because I know I just don’t have the confidence to argue my point, even if I hold a strong, unshakeable belief.

hans stolteJanuary 18th, 2007 at 6:33 pm

Enoch powell went to a posh school, but then you could say he was being directly racist. What we have in the big bro house is indirect racisim caused through lack of education, and by education itself.

If we were all like ms Goody and friends we would say ‘Was n argumemt, snot rasist, right!

But we are educated, have been in the debating class, chess class and know how to conduct ourselves, as this is the way to be succesfull in todays world.

Try telling that to ms gopody with her £8m fortune, television programmes and best selling perfume….

Oh wait ms Goody IS Britain, thats what the country IS like, perhaps we dont like to see it, but its true. You MADE JADE, YOU LOVE JADE, BRITAIn IS JADE… No wonder India can say Britain is Racist, by choosing our icons we by proxy say THIS IS BRITAIN…

AlanJanuary 19th, 2007 at 7:34 am

I stopped watching the moment the Goody Family arrived. Along with half the rest of the country by all accounts. But before all this started, the most quoted moment of the program was Ms Goody saying “I’m the most twenty-fifth infalential person in the world. What’s infalential mean?” And people are surprised that this person turns out to be ignorant? I agree with Hans, people chose to take this ridiculous person and put her on a pedestal, so maybe this is just a timely salutory lesson to say “don’t do that again.”

hans stolteJanuary 19th, 2007 at 9:15 am

Tonights eviction will be fun, hope for some terror alerts, bomb threats and some extremists….

Happy happy joy joy 25p phone in, clever Channel 4….

DaisyJanuary 19th, 2007 at 11:24 am

Hans is right, Jade Goody is Britain today. Now, what the feck do we do about it?

p.s. Couldn’t Channel 4 be sued under the Trades Description Act – it’s called “Celebrity” Big Brother but I had a quick look at the inmates last night via MetaFilter (and the Eskimo clip on YouTube) and the only person I’ve heard of apart from Ms Goody is Leo Sayer.

DaisyJanuary 19th, 2007 at 11:31 am

Oh fudgenuts, I deleted a paragraph. It was something about not looking to education to improve things, there are as many racists in the teaching profession as there are elsewhere.

I remember the guffaws at a dinner party a long time ago when discussing race issues. A senior police officer was talking about “stills”. An innocent young person at the table asked him what he meant.

“Oh niggers, wops and pakis. We’re not allowed to call them that any more but they still are.”

I don’t know what the answer is. Television is sadly so important in forming opinion in this country, maybe someone like Jamie Oliver could repeat his school dinners feat.

DragonJanuary 19th, 2007 at 12:18 pm

“the only person I’ve heard of apart from Ms Goody is Leo Sayer”

What??? You’ve never heard of Dirk “Face Man”/”Starbuck” Benedict? Turn off that radio and watch more 80′s television, Daisy! ;)

It’s interesting that you raise the Jamie Oliver School Dinners thing. I think the only reason that was a “success” was because he confronted politicians about it and when faced with a television cameras they’re like rabbits in headlights and said “yes, yes, of course you’re right, we’ll do something about it right away!” – after all what else would they say?

But my overriding memory of the whole thing was the pictures of ignorant, poorly educated people getting off their fat arses just so they could push take away food through the school gates to their offspring saying “we don want no fackin’ veg’tabbuls or fackin’ green stuff on our plates, we just wan’ our deep fried pizza, chicken mctwizzles ‘n chips.”

anxious: “At “posherâ€? schools, they tend to have debating societies and the like which give people confidence”

At “posher” schools of the boarding variety, confidence was a defense mechanism. If you showed signs of fear or weakness then you’d be a victim and preyed on by the cliques of popular/in-crowd types. You had to learn to stand up for yourself and look out for yourself because it was very rare that anyone else would. It was a lot like Lord of the Flies in that respect.

jamesJanuary 20th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

It’s a shame this happened really because it has totally overshadowed Leo’s meltdown and expletive filled walk out. Now that was good telly!

CatJanuary 20th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

I’ve been watching and the whole thing has made very uncomfortable viewing, especially last night. I’m not entirely certain that any of it’s genuinely been about race, but it certainly HAS been about ignorance. I suspect Ms Goody is sincerely regretting having gone into the Big Brother house for a second stay.

GertJanuary 21st, 2007 at 11:56 pm

Is it about education declining, or is it that ill-educated people are given the air-time they weren’t when we were young?

I just struggle to understand what people like Jade Goody or the scouse cow can contribute to my life. The only conclusion I can draw is that they are put there by sneering TV producers, hopefully so that we can sneer at them. The alternative is that the TV producers are sneering at ‘us’ for being gullible enough to waste our time watching this stuff, which is only filler-between-the-adverts.

OTOH, I came across a blog the other day whose sidebar said basically “This blog is devoted to celebrities because all celebrities are better than us. Jade Goody is better than you or me because she is a celebrity.”

I guess there are people who really believe that.

DragonJanuary 22nd, 2007 at 4:59 pm

“Is it about education declining, or is it that ill-educated people are given the air-time they weren’t when we were young?”

Both.

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