My thoughts on things I’ve read this week
Nick Griffin said stuff that was anti gay and incendiary and now people want him off Twitter
A gay couple won a discrimination case against the owners of a B and B who would not let them sleep in a double bed. The couple said it was because one of them is a man. The owners said it was because they weren’t married. (What if they were married and were cheating on their wives? Would it have been okay then?)
Discriminating against protected groups is going to deservedly land you in trouble. We can only redeem ourselves as a guilt ridden society by proactively encouraging behaviour that acknowledges people deserve and are right to expect equal treatment.
The argument that the B and B owners were in the right because they also discriminate against unmarried heterosexual couples is not correct because a heterosexual couple could lie about being married, or the B and B owners could wrongly assume a couple who are living in sin are married. I’m going to stick my neck out and say they probably don’t ask every lady that turns up if she had been taken up the aisle. That whole marriage excuse is a load of rubbish anyway; the owners clearly have a problem with homosexuality, wedding ring or no wedding ring.
If you have such strong beliefs and you are not willing to compromise, you should not be operating a business open for the public.
In disgust at the ruling of the judge, Nick Griffin tweeted the home address of the gay couple. Where he got this from, I have no idea. Maybe he’d been round for dinner before. Anyway, his advice was to advise turning up to the home of the gay couple and protest against what he sees as the diminishing right to discriminate in society.
The gay couple were like “whatever”. Lots of people who hate discrimination reacted more vociferously and have called for Griffin to be banned from Twitter.
We should never call for people like Nick Griffin to be silent. Who are we to decide who can speak, and who cannot? The real problem to be tackled is with the people that listen to him. Are you going to call for his followers to be banned too?
Small minded people will say small minded things and sane, well balanced people will always be around to tell them to put a sock in it. Removing ignorant people from social networking sites is a stupid idea because it makes twitter into something it is not – some kind of magic persuasive cacophony of influence, where evil people can tweet things that stress them out (“Yet another Polski Sklep SMH”) and other people can’t resist agreeing with them. Will you ban him from Rymans if he starts writing letters? Should we ban him from the Carphone Warehouse if starts calling Radio 5 Live? I tell you what, let’s kill him! That way he’ll be shut up for good.
To be honest, you can waste a lot of time on Twitter. The more time he spends trying to creatively edit words like ‘Pakistani’ the less time he spends doing something that is actually effective.
It leave me with a warm, happy feeling that people are really motivated in this day and age to voice disgust at people like Nick Griffin MEP, but just as many people are more than happy to vote him into European parliament. Many more people are willing to vote his candidates into local government. And even more will follow, RT and relate to his bullshit.
I think loud liberals want him off Twitter because they are too ignorant about the prevalence of racism and discrimination to know to ask for anything else. And if you are aware of the prevalence of racism and discrimination, you will know that Nick Griffin is the least of our problems.
Let him talk. It’s the ones that listen you need to look out for.
Jason Roberts didn’t want to wear a Kick it Out t-shirt and Alex Ferguson cussed him for it
I have always had a problem with the way we breed the skills and minds of footballers in this country. I use the word ‘breed’ very deliberately because the way we scout, recruit and train young talent to prepare them for life as a pro bears much resemblance to the way we raise cows and sheep. We want them to all be the big, strong and stupid so they will do what they are told, when they are told to do it.
In the face of this upbringing, I respect any footballer that decides to do as he pleases on an intellectual level because it’s so rarely seen. Jason Roberts shouldn’t have to wear a t-shirt to support Kick it Out if he doesn’t want to because wearing a t-shirt doesn’t eradicate racism in the same way that wearing a red nose doesn’t eradicate hunger.
Alex Ferguson had this to say:
“I have to disagree with Jason Roberts, he is making the wrong point. Everyone should be united, all the players in the country wearing the top, the warm-up tops. I do not know what point he is trying to make or trying to put himself on a different pedestal to everyone else. He really should be supporting all the rest of the players who are doing something. If you are doing something then everyone who believes in it should do it together, we should not have sheep walking off. He is making the wrong message.
“Yes, all my players will wear it. I think all the players will be wearing it. I only heard that Jason Roberts is different. He is very different, he plays his game and is in the studio 20 minutes after it, it’s a great privilege.”
This made me absolutely livid. Who is Alex Ferguson to tell a black man how to feel about race and racism in his industry? Who is any white person to question the motivation of a person who feels unhappy with the place such a sensitive and emotional subject matter finds itself in?
A lot of people get things twisted. When someone says something racist, it isn’t necessarily the act of that speech that hurts. It’s the context of our society that allows white people to throw our race as an insult in the way we could never reciprocate. It’s the difficulty we know we’ll face when we say we take offence because we almost always have to make this known to superiors who are almost always white, and so not necessarily equipped to understand. And it’s the knowledge that when it happens to us, it’s not even a big deal because it will happen again.
Kick it Out and Show Racism the Red Card and all these other anti-racism campaigns are useless because they don’t do anything to spread awareness of the complexity of race and racial abuse, and they do even less to hold authorities to account. They see things in black and white. I should imagine that if no one ever said another racist thing on a football pitch or in a stadium then these organisations would think their work is done. This is a stupid way to approach change because it’s not what people say, it’s the way people think that needs to evolve. Why are so many black men channelled into football in the first place? Why are Asian and other minority groups excluded from our national sport? Where are the minorities in management, training and governance?
Alex Ferguson didn’t like what Jason Roberts said because he thinks racial equality is about assimilation and God forbid a black British footballer should give a black British opinion. It’s a shame, because nobody can accuse him of being a racist, with his record of having a team as diverse as any other in the league. But from this we can conclude diverse only in looks because Alex Ferguson wants his players to think the same. I’d be surprised if he wants them to even think at all.
Girls Aloud are back together
Now that everyone’s feeling the pinch of the cuts and the credit crunch, we’re all having to do extra bit and pieces to get by. The four members of Girls Aloud who aren’t Cheryl Cole can’t wait to start earning money again and work on the self-esteem issues you tend to have to deal with when you’re unemployed.
The sad truth is that the music industry would rather invest in tired old hags who have nothing new to offer to their art and society rather than new, experimental talent. I think the British music scene at the moment is dire.