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Friday, April 23, 2004

racism?

*Controversial blog. Read the damn disclaimer first*

Some football fans will probably know about the latest hoo-hah in the footballing world. Ron Atkinson, a pundit for ITV was forced to resign over some "racist" remarks. Now, Big Ron, as he is more fondly known, is a damn lovable character, although he is a crap commentator and a horrible pundit.

So, what racist remarks were there? Apparently, Big Ron is also a big moron. After the game, he took off his headset and microphone and was talking to somebody in the studio about the game. However, the microphone did apparently pick up the following line where he was talking about the Chelsea captain, Marcel Desailly : "He is what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger." The broadcast had already gone off the air here in England, but apparently, they continue transmitting it in the Middle East, where a lot of people heard his remarks.

Now, don't get me wrong. Big Ron, as I said, is a crap pundit. So its better that he resigns so that football fans don't have to listen to anymore of his jargon. And for what he said, as long as there was cursing (ie. saying "fucking") he has to resign. Bad mistake, but sorry. The aftermath was somewhat more interesting. The press as well as a lot of other people hounded him for being a racist.

Racism? In my opinion, the only crime Big Ron is guilty off is pure downright stupidity. Analysing his quote, he did call Desailly a "fucking lazy thick nigger". But isn't that an insult to Desailly himself? A racist remark would sound like "Desailly is a typical fucking lazy thick nigger" in which he would be stereotyping and insulting all black people. But the context of the sentence, he was insulting Desailly alone and not the entire black race.

Another case was in 1995 when Eric Cantona got red carded. As he was walking off the field, a fan called him a "French motherfucker." The King got pissed and kungfu kicked the idiot there and then. This would normally result in a jail term for assault. But his appeal was successful and he got away with community service because of what the fan said - "a racist remark which incensed Cantona." Pardon me! But I reckon a lot of people have a crap command of the English language! "French motherfucker" means that he felt Cantona was a motherfucker who was French - no direct reflection on the French people. A racist remark would have sounded "Motherfucking French" - meaning that he felt French people were motherfuckers.

I reckon this is all a case of a lot of sensitive people out there. I suspect Big Ron was forced to resign because he said the word "nigger." It is a derogatory term, yes. It might just be me, but I come from a land where every race has derogatory nicknames and not too many people give a hoot about it. The whites are called "gwei-lo" meaning Ghost Man for their fair skin. Indians are called blacks. Chinese guys like myself are refered to as Cinapek, or Ah Pek (don't know how to translate that). Malay women wearing headscarves are referred to as "pao tao" meaning Wrapped Head.

But think about it. Are they really derogatory names or do we perceive it to be such? In rap songs, the most common example, the rappers refer to themselves and other blacks as niggas. I don't see anybody calling them racists. Oh, but then its not racism if you "insult" your own race is it? Back to where I was, in school, we went around calling people names like there was no end to it. Thinking about it now, it MIGHT have been a bit sickening, but as kids, we didn't really give two hoots about it.

There was an American guy who got so used to people calling him a "gwei-lo" that he went around proudly announcing that :"I am a gwei-lo and I am proud about it." Frequent readers of my blog would probably remember two characters, Joe and Dicky. Joe is Indian, and Dicky a Chinese. They would affectionately call each other an Ah Pek and a Black Chicken, and laugh about it. In fact, let me correct that statement. In Form 5, I think they never called each other by name, each time they addressed each other, it was by those two nicknames. But neither of them got pissed off. Hell, nobody overhearing their conversation got pissed off.

Racism, is where a person of a certain race is denied certain rights. Name calling is not a matter racism. Its a matter of sensitivity and pure idiocy. You may say that Joe and Dicky were probably joking around with each other and having a laugh, so it was alright. If thats the case, then we adults should probably learn to joke around and have a laugh as well eh?

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