Thursday, 4 October 2007

Racist or PC gone mad?

The debates over where to draw the line between what is offensive and what is considered harmless fun have once again been brought to the fore by a combination of Facebook and a seemingly innocent 'Black and white ball'.

It wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that pictures of Tory Aide Emma Pentreath with her face 'Blacked up' would have caused a stir even without the offensive captions posted beneath them.

Political correctness has admittedly gone mad in recent years. No black person in their right mind takes offence to terms like 'blackboard' or 'black bag' but in this instance, I don't believe that people are wrong to be offended.

Historically, anyone who knows about the 'Nigger Minstrel' shows of the 19th and 20th century would know that it was horribly offensive and that quite frankly, the black community are generally not prepared to make light of it.

We had a brief discussion about the story in class yesterday and people were actually prepared to play down the seriousness of the incident and questioned how it could be seen as inflammatory. Typically, that famous phrase 'harmless fun' was branded around a lot.

This charge of oversensitivity is unfair. Ms. Pentreath (Notice I haven't blamed or accused her of anything) probably isn’t racist but the picture and subsequent comments were highly inappropriate.

In the week of the Tory party conference, considering their reputation and frightening views on immigration, the 'nice' party ideology that Cameron is trying to purport is looking less convincing by the day.

Our tutor made a point of telling us how damaging this story would have been across the pond. The Tories would have been hammered from pillar to post and the rumoured autumn election would have produced one of Gordon Brown's rare smiles. In this country, we're not as gung-ho (a good thing) but it does seem that it has become a problem to be offended. Complain about anything and you become a 'liberal left-wing PC so and so'.

To be offended it seems, is offensive.

1 comment:

Amelia Butterly said...

Hey, like what you've written - think your points are really interesting and I hadn't even considered some of the stuff you said.