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June 07, 2007

Comments

Heraklites

Do programmes such as Big Brother succeed by playing on popular prejudices? E.g. that Tories (and the working class) are racist?

Amir

Chris,

She used the word "nigger."

Big fucking deal...? So what? Usage depends on context.

The black housemates she supposedly offended were not, it seems, offended.

"Knee-jerk emotivism" hey Chris...? You hypocrite.

Alastair

Looking at the transcript and seeing this in context it looks like a failed attempt to be cool (Charley seems to acknowledge this: "I know maybe you see it in a rap song. Maybe you and your friends sit there saying it").

It is stupid not to realize that, while some black people may be happy to call each other "Nigga/Nigger", they are going to be a lot less happy about hearing it from a white person. However, I think that the intent behind a persons remarks is the test of whether they are racist. That is, do they imply, consciously or unconsciously, that the other person is inferior by virtue of their race? I would say, therefore, that the remark was stupid and offensive but not racist.

Attempting to link this to her voting choice is just feeble. I have met many Labour voters who come out with much worse than this.

chris

I'm not complaining about her racism - that's not for a white guy to judge. I'm laughing at exactly what Alastair says - the stupidity of a posh girl trying to fit in.

Alastair

"the stupidity of a posh girl trying to fit in"

Granted, this was a stupid way to try and achieve that, but your comment seems to suggest that any attempt by her to fit in with someone who is not posh would be reprehensible.

I think it is fair enough to be more concerned about prejudice directed against minority groups who are more vulnerable due to socio-economic status but that doesn't make this sort of sneering class prejudice any more attractive.

emmanuelgoldstein

[The black housemates she supposedly offended were not, it seems, offended.]

So let me see if I get this. We can judge the intentions of the victims of the slur from their behaviour, but the intentions of the slurrer are opaque?

Matt Munro

Alistair - Funny how it's ok for the middle classes to mock working class attempts at "improvement" but not the reverse ?? Inverse snobbery is an admirable trait in my view and it's about time it came back into fashion.
Also, at every diversity and equality seminar I've ever been on (and believe me, I've been on a few) the point has been made, ad infinitum, that "offence" is in the eye of the beholder. Intent is irrelevant.
Not saying that's right, but that's how minorities (and the law) see it. It hardly needs saying that having just ridden out one "racist controversy". Channel 4 were going to be more than a little jumpy if about ists and isms.

Bruce

Channel 4 must be delighted. The girl is clearly just a fool and that's what she should be branded as, not as a racist. But creates a perfect oppotunity for Channel 4 to prove it has learnt its lessons from the previous "racist controversy" BB show.

Richard Hancock

The pendulum swings: having under-reacted during CBB (Shilpagate), C4 now chooses to over-react.

As someone somewhere suggested, it would have been interesting if they'd left her and got the HMs to discuss what happened and why it might have caused offence.

alastair

@Matt,

"Funny how it's ok for the middle classes to mock working class attempts at "improvement" but not the reverse ??"

I don't think I've ever suggested that this is OK. What bit of my comment suggests that I think it is?

Some, perhaps many, members of the middle class are guilty of arrogance, selfishness and/or stupidity and should be taken to task for this. Criticizing them just because they are middle class comes across as spiteful.

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